On Tour in
Australia
October - November 2024

Smokie (UK)
– Greatest Hits Tour

Oct18
Melbourne *Sold Out*
The Palms At Crown
Oct19
Melbourne *Sold Out*
The Palms at Crown
Oct20
Adelaide
The Gov *50 Tickets Left!*
Oct23
Perth *Sold Out*
Regal Theatre
Oct25
Brisbane
The Tivoli
Oct26
Tweed Heads
Twin Towns
Oct27
Toowoomba
Empire Theatre
Oct29
Melbourne
The Palms at Crown
Nov1
Enmore Theatre
Sydney
Nov2
Canberra *Sold Out*
Southern Cross Club

Smokie (UK)
– Greatest Hits Tour

Event Info

Smokie have sold over 30 million CDs, records and albums! They celebrated their 45th Anniversary last year and continue to be one of the most successful bands in the world today performing their hits that have become bonafide pop classics!

Smokie’s Greatest Hits Australian Tour will feature every single hit record they had including their Australian Top 10’s – Living Next Door to Alice, Lay Back in the Arms of Someone, Needles and Pins, Oh Carol plus many more of their hits that became radio staples. Smokie’s “All The Best” compilation sold a staggering 230,000 copies in Australia!

It’s a not to be missed, sound and lighting spectacular, with hit after hit Smokie proving once again just why they deserve the name of being one of the greatest “live” bands in the music business today!

There’s no smoke without fire, so the saying goes – and Smokie are still a must-see band firing on all five cylinders!

“Nostalgia at its best. A 5 star show” (Belfast Telegraph)

Fan & Live Reviews

“Seeing Smokie live makes me feel young again”
“The songs sound just as good live if not better!”
“I've been a Smokie fan my whole life and they didn't disappoint!”
"Smokie is that band that brings me back to my youth days!"
"Brilliant collection of Memories brought back all that was good in the DNA of the '70s. I'd forgotten just how good they were"
"Their music will never date"
“I got great pleasure from watching this concert and danced and sang and laughed and smiled”
“Smokie have amazing harmonies live and it’s great to see their hits played with such energy”

Bio

Smokie are an iconic English rock band from Bradford, Yorkshire. They achieved success both in their home country and internationally after teaming up with songwriters Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn. One of their most popular hit singles is “Living Next Door to Alice,” which reached No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also topped the Australian singles chart. Other successful songs include “If You Think You Know How to Love Me,” “Oh Carol,” “Lay Back in the Arms of Someone,” and “I’ll Meet You at Midnight”.

The original members, Terry Uttley, Alan Silson and Chris Norman first met as children at St. Bede’s Grammar School. In October 1963 guitarist and vocalist Alan Silson formed The Yen with drummer, Ron Kelly. Chris Norman joined on vocals and guitar and Terry Uttley joined on bass. The Yen’s first show was at Birkenshawn School in February 1965. The Yen later renamed themselves to The Sphynx and then again to Essence. As Essence the band toured and played small clubs around Bradford. In 1966 Essence broke up. Ron Kelly went on to join the band, the Black Cats with Peter Eastwood on guitar and vocals and Arthur Higgins on bass. Alan Silson soon joined the band and Chris Norman replaced Eastwood. The band changed their name to the Four Corners in 1967. In 1968 the band recruited manager, Mark Jordan, who suggested the band change their name to The Elizabethans. In 1968, Terry Uttley joined the group, replacing Arthur Higgins.

On 9 December 1968 the Elizabethans had their first TV appearance on Yorkshire Television. In August 1969, the band performed on the BBC show, High Jinx. Excited by the band’s success, Jordan arranged for them to record their first demo. RCA Records showed an interest in the group but suggested a name change to Kindness. RCA released the double A-side “Light of Love”/”Lindy Lou” was released on 3 April 1970.

In 1971, the band’s fortunes took a series of twists and turns. At first, they backed Ronnie Storm for his song “My Desire,” adopting the pseudonym “Fuzzy and The Barnets”. This led to Steve Rowland, manager of Family Dogg, hearing them play live on Radio One Club. Rowland expressed interest in signing the band to his production company. He arranged for Albert Hammond, also part of Family Dogg, to write a song for the band, called “It Never Rains in Southern California.” However, before its release, Hammond decided to record it himself and recruited Kelly to play drums. Hammond wrote more songs for the band, but their single “You Ring a Bell”/”Have You Met Angela” failed to see the light of day due to issues within Rowland’s business. In late 1971, the band’s management was taken over by Dave Eager, a BBC Radio One DJ. At the same time Chris Norman suffered from a severe infection that affected his voice. Following his recovery, his voice became coarser, which added a unique element to their sound. Eager helped introduce them to Decca Records, resulting in their first single release in February 1972 with “Oh Julie”/”I Love You Carolina.” They followed up with the release of “Let the Good Times Roll,” which became the opening theme song for Emperor Rosko’s BBC Radio One Saturday show. Though it gained major media exposure, it did not lead to record sales. Unfortunately, their Decca contract was eventually cancelled following the release of their final single “Make it Better”/”Lonely Long Lady,” as it failed to gain traction.

During Kindness’ Decca contract, manager Dave Eager used his connections with Kennedy Street Enterprises in Manchester to secure an audition for the band as Peter Noone’s backing band. After a successful audition, the band was asked to become his permanent band and embarked on a nationwide tour with him. Unfortunately, the tour did not bring them much success. The band met Bill Hurley at a gig in Cheshire, Hurley offered to manage the band and convinced Eager to release them from their contract. Ron Kelly left Kindness on August 8, 1973, and the band recruited Pete Spencer, an old school friend, to replace him on drums and vocals. Hurley introduced them to songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, known for their work with glam rock contemporaries such as Sweet and Suzi Quatro. Initially, Chinn and Chapman turned them down, but Hurley’s persistence eventually convinced them to give the band a chance. Hurley and Chinnichap (Chinn and Chapman) started working with the band and suggested they change their name (again!) to “Smokey.”

The band purchased new instruments and began recording their debut album, “Pass It Around,” in late 1974. The album was released on February 14, 1975, but the title track as a single did not gain much attention. Allegedly this was because BBC Radio 1 refused to add the song to their playlist believing that the title and the band name along with ambiguous lyrics would cause the public to believe the song was a reference to smoking marijuana. The band’s debut album did peak at 94 on the Top 100 Albums for one week in Australia.

Smokey opened for Pilot on tour in April, Pilot had a UK number one hit at the time with “January”. During this time, the band had to change the spelling of their name to “Smokie” to avoid legal action from Smokey Robinson, who claimed their name would confuse the audience. They then embarked on their first headline tour after the release of their second album, “Changing All the Time,” on September 22, 1975. The album’s first single, “If You Think You Know How to Love Me,” became a hit in many European countries and reached number three on the UK Singles Chart and number two in Ireland and South Africa. They followed it up with the single “Don’t Play Your Rock ‘n’ Roll to Me.” Which reached 50 on the Australian charts and number eight on the UK charts. The song was covered in 1976 by the French singer Johnny Hallyday and released as “Joue pas de rock’n’roll pour moi” as the b-side for his single “Derrière l’amour” which spent six consecutive weeks at number one on the French singles charts.

Smokie’s third album, Midnight Café, was partly produced in the US as Nicky Chinn had moved there. The album reached number 6 on the German Albums chart. The album produced a series of successful singles. The first single “Something’s Been Making Me Blue” preceded the release of the record and reached 17 on the UK Singles chart. “Wild Wild Angels” was a hit in Germany. “I’ll Meet You At Midnight,” was a hit in Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Germany and the UK. It reached number one in Ireland. The album’s most remarkable hit was “Living Next Door to Alice”, written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman it was originally released by the Australian band, New World where it reached 35 on the Australian charts in 1972. The Smokie version was a worldwide hit. Smokie’s version reached 25 in the United States. It was a number one hit in Austria, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland and a number two hit in Australia where it  stayed in the charts for 23 weeks. The song also reached number two in South Africa and number three in Sweden. According to Mike Chapman the song was inspired by the track “Sylvia’s Mother” by Dr Hook.

Smokie became bonafide superstars in Europe and Scandinavia with sold-out tours and million-selling albums. Smokie followed “Living Next Door to Alice” with a non-lp single “Lay Back in the Arms of Someone”, again penned by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapmann – the song was another number one hit throughout Europe and reached number 12 in the UK and 11 in Australia.

Smokie’s next album was 1977’s “Bright Lights & Back Alleys”. Recorded primarily at Whitney Recording Studios in Glendale, California, from March to April 1977. The reggae-influenced single “It’s Your Life” preceded the album and reached number seven on the Australian charts and number five in the UK. “Bright Lights & Back Alleys” was again a huge hit in Norway and Sweden along with Germany, Austria and charted well in Australia. The band recorded a cover of “Needles and Pins” a song made famous by the Searchers in 1964. Smokie released the cover as a single and it again reached number seven in Australia, number ten in the UK and was a big success throughout central Europe and Scandinavia.

In 1978 Smokie released their fifth record, The Montreux Album, the album contained successful singles in “For a Few Dollars More”, “Oh Carol” and “Mexican Girl” which reached number one in Germany. “Mexican Girl” was written by Norman and Spencer, who were beginning to distance themselves from Chinnichap. Norman and Spencer also wrote and produced “Head Over Heels in Love,” the debut single for British football star Kevin Keegan. 1978 was Smokie’s commercial peak and during this time, lead singer Chris Norman teamed up with Suzi Quatro for a duet single called “Stumblin’ In,” another Chinnichap composition. It became a chart-topper in Europe and reached the US Top 10. The song was recently used in the Paul Thomas Anderson film, Licorice Pizza and in 2022, “Stumblin’ In” was featured in episode 3 of the Netflix drama Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

Smokie travelled to Australia to record the band’s sixth album, The Other Side of the Road. This was their first album to feature no songs from Chinnichap. The album spawned additional singles, “Do to Me”, “Babe It’s Up to You” and “San Francisco Bay” but it became evident that their sales were declining. Dave Thompson at allmusic.com wrote about the record “The Other Side of the Road is actually one of Smokie’s stronger latter-day albums, 13 songs that can best be compared to the sound of the Searchers, if they’d relocated to the mid-’70s Hotel California. Melody and texture dominate, with Chris Norman’s vocals sounding sadder and more soulful than ever before…”

After taking a brief hiatus, Smokie returned with a series of singles, “Take Good Care of My Baby”, “Run to Me” and “Little Town Flirt”. The singles were modest successes. Savoy Brown covered “Run to Me” and it became Savoy’s highest-charting single in the United States, peaking at number 68. “Little Town Flirt” was a cover of Del Shannon’s hit from 1962, Smokie’s cover spent 17 weeks on the German charts, peaking at number 30. The band released the albums Solid Ground and Strangers in Paradise in 1981 and 82 respectively. These were their final albums for EMI/BMG. Norman and Spencer wrote the song “This Time (We’ll Get It Right),” which was recorded by England’s World Cup Squad and became a No. 2 hit in the UK Singles Chart.

After Strangers in Paradise, Smokie recorded two albums simultaneously. Midnight Delight released under the Smokie name and Chris Norman’s solo debut, Rock Away Your Teardrops. Neither album was particularly successful.

In 1983, Alan Silson, Chris Norman, and Terry Uttley collaborated with ABBA’s Agnetha Fältskog on the track “Once Burned Twice Shy” for her first English solo album, Wrap Your Arms Around Me. It was during the journey to Sweden for this recording that the band decided to part ways. Chris Norman pursued his solo career, while Terry Uttley went on to play bass for various groups and artists, including Peter Goalby and John Coghlan from Status Quo.

Smokie began plans at a comeback in 1986. The comeback was inspired by some unfortunate circumstances. The Bradford City Football Club suffered one of the worst disasters in sports history when the club’s main stand caught on fire during a match which resulted in several deaths. A relief fun was set up for the families of the victims. Yorkshire musician, John Verity invited Smokie to reform for a benefit concert. Three days after the gig, Chris Norman called the rest of the band suggesting they put the band back together. Smokie toured Germany, Austria and Switzerland, fans were stoked to see Smokie back in action. However following the tour, Chris Norman’s second solo album, Some Hearts Are Diamonds was released and contained the hit “Midnight Lady” – driven by the success of his solo record, Chris admitted he could no longer commit to the Smokie reunion. Norman suggested he be replaced by Alan Barton of the band Black Lace due to their similar vocal styles. Following an impromptu jam session at Terry Uttley’s house where Chris Norman and Alan Barton sang a duet, the rest of the band band were convinced. Smokie also brought in keyboardist, Martin Bullard. Pete Spencer was replaced by Steve Pinnell. This new line-up of Smokie released All Fired Up in 1988, the album featured a revamped version of “Rock Away Your Tear Drops” From Chris Norman’s solo album.

The band released Boulevard of Broken Dreams in 1989, which topped the charts in Norway for seven weeks and followed this up with Whose Are These Boots? In 1990 which likewise topped the Norwegian charts. The band toured continuously through these years in Scandinavia, Germany, Austria and Australia culminating in a sold out tour of the UK, their first homeland tour in a decade.

Smokie had a constant string of successful albums in the early 90s. They released Chasing Shadows in 1992, Burnin’ Ambition in 1993 and Celebration in 1994 which contained old and new hits re-recorded with new arrangements. Smokie returned to the UK Singles chart in 1995 with a reworked version of “Living Next Door To Alice.” Called “Living Next Door To Alice (Who the F**k is Alice)” which reached number 3 in the UK. This was a unique duet featuring comedian Roy Chubby Brown,

Tragically, shortly after recording the song, Smokie’s tour bus crashed during a hailstorm in Germany, resulting in the death of Alan Barton. The band and Brown agreed to donate their royalties from the song to Barton’s first wife. Despite the tragedy, Smokie persevered, recruiting Mike Craft as their third lead singer. Allegedly the band knew Mike was the right person after playing just one song at his audition. In 1996, Alan Silson left the band with Mick McConnell taking over as lead guitarist.

Smokie continued to release albums throughout the 1990s and 2000s, including On the Wire (2004) and From the Heart (2006). In 2010, they achieved chart success in Denmark with the album, Take a Minute. After 26 years of service, Mike Craft retired in April 2021. He was replaced by Pete Lincoln formerly of Smokie contemporaries, Sweet and Sailor.

Terry Uttley, passed away on December 16, 2021, at the age of 70. Martin’s son Luke Bullard took up the bass for Smokie in 2021 having previously played some dates as a substitute for Terry in 2019.

Smokie have etched their name in the annals of rock history with a story of triumphs, challenges and marked by an unwavering passion for creating music that resonates across borders. The band continues to tour the globe performing the hits for their adoring fans, an audience which now spans several generations.