Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Archivist - Haircut 100 - Pelican West

From those brightly strummed chords back in 1981 came an album of such optimism and fun that even thinking about it puts a smile on my face. Just at the beginning of that bright, colourful decade Favourite Shirts burst on to the airwaves like a shot of sunlight through the gloom. OK, it may not of have been the best of times politically, but musically the 80s wasn't dull.
Initially formed by three friends, Nick Heyward, Les Nemes & Graham Jones, Haircut 100 lit the music industry and pop charts like a comet for one glorious year before the usual story of mismanagement and band members falling out resulted in Nick Heyward leaving after just one album. But that album, Pelican West, contained some of the best pop music that Britain produced in that year. In the words of Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront, 'I could have been a contender'. Yes, they could have been one of the best bands to have come out of the UK in many a year but it wasn't to be. But let's not dwell on what might have been and look instead at what a great album Pelican West actually is. It contained three killer hit singles in Favourite Shirts, Love Plus One and Fantastic Day.
Behind the breezy pop tunes of Pelican West was principal songwriter Nick Heyward. He was, and still is, the master of a good pop tune. But the pressures of fame and the responsibility of having to come up with the songs took it's toll on Nick.  
Following the success of Pelican West, the pressure was on to make a follow up which was at least as good as and possibly better than Pelican. This is where the cracks started to appear. The last hit that Nick had with the band was the glorious Nobody's Fool, which was due to be the lead track of the second album. But that was not to be. Nick left to get himself together and start a solo career.
Following his success with Haircut 100, Nick went on to release the brilliant North Of A Miracle as his first solo album, and one of the singles was Blue Hat For A Blue Day, which was rumoured to be the title track of the second Haircut 100 album.

After Nick's departure, Haircut 100 produced one more album, Paint & Paint. With all members contributing to the songwriting and now featuring percussionist Mark Fox on vocals, they did have two minor hits with Prime Time & Too Up Two Down but for the Haircuts, this was it. There were no more new releases.

The band did play one again as the appeared in VH1's Bands Reunited show but nothing came from the reunion.

The original band did play a one off gig at the Indigo O2 back in 2011. And there are rumours of a new album following the reconciliation of the band members. We still wait in anticipation.
The live album of the Indigo show can be purchased here.

Twitter - @Haircut100


  1. there was a bit on Nick heywards blog about recording a new lp and it seemed all optimism in terms of how well it was going. However there has been months of silence and I fear the whole thing may have petered out which would be such a shame

  2. Yes, he is recording a solo album at the moment. Les confirms that there is nothing happening at the moment but hasn't given up hope. Nothing really to stop them except the desire of Nick to get the haircuts back together.