born on 13/5/1957 in Seaham, North East England, United Kingdom
Kane Gang were a sophisti-pop/pop rock trio from North East England that scored several UK and US hits in the 1980s. Named after the movie Citizen Kane, the trio recorded for the indie record label, Kitchenware, that was also home to Prefab Sprout.
Vocalists Martin Brammer (born 13 May 1957, Seaham, County Durham) and Paul Woods, plus multi-instrumentalist Dave Brewis formed the trio in 1982, after meeting while in small local bands, and signed to a small record label, which led to a deal with London Records in 1984.
Their debut album, Bad and Lowdown World of the Kane Gang (released in the U.S. as Lowdown), was released the following year. It spawned two UK hit singles. These were "Closest Thing to Heaven" (#12) and a cover of The Staples Singers' "Respect Yourself" (#21). The latter was also a hit in Australia, reaching No. 19. The album was produced by Pete Wingfield, and featured P. P. Arnold and Sam Brown as backing vocalists.
The band's next album, Miracle, was released in 1987 and spawned two U.S. hit singles: "Motortown" (#36 US / #45 UK) and another cover this time of Dennis Edwards' "Don't Look Any Further" (#64 US / No. 52 UK). The latter hit No. 1 on the US Dance Charts.
Woods left the band in 1991 to attempt a solo career. Woods and Brewis also worked on an album which was never released.
Kane Gang performed the music for the "Ooh Gary Davies... On Your Radio" jingle for BBC Radio 1. As was the fashion around that time, bands would adapt songs to provide the radio station with a jingle, and embed the hook of the track in the public's consciousness. The Gary Davies jingle was based on their track "Smalltown Creed" (from The Bad and Lowdown World of the Kane Gang LP). The same track was used as the basis for the theme tune of the long running Children's BBC Byker Grove, the television programme that launched the careers of Ant & Dec (as PJ & Duncan) and Donna Air.
Post Kane Gang
Brammer continues to write songs for other artists such as:
- Beverley Knight various songs on her Music City Soul album
- Tina Turner "Open Arms"
- Lighthouse Family "Lifted", "Loving Every Minute" and "Raincloud"
- James Morrison "Undiscovered" and "The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore"
- Sheena Easton "Time Bomb" (from her What Comes Naturally album)
- Roland Gift "Flown"
- Nick Carter "My Confession" and "Is It Saturday Yet?" (from his Now or Never album)
- Jack McManus "Bang on the Piano"
- Tony Moran and Nicki Richards "Lighthouse"
- 1985: The Bad and Lowdown World of the Kane Gang UK Albums Chart No. 21
- 1987: Miracle UK #41; U.S. Billboard 200 No. 115
- 2007: The Miracle of The Kane Gang (double CD collection released on Kitchenware Records, containing tracks from the two albums plus previously unreleased tracks and B-sides)
- 1983: "Brother Brother"
- 1984: "Smalltown Creed" UK No. 60
- 1984: "Closest Thing to Heaven" UK No. 12
- 1984: "Respect Yourself" UK #21; Australia No. 19
- 1985: "Gun Law" UK No. 53
- 1987: "Motortown" UK #45; U.S. Billboard Hot 100 No. 36
- 1987: "What Time Is It?"
- 1988: "Don't Look Any Further" UK #52; U.S. No. 64
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. dance chart
- Number-one dance hits of 1988 (USA)
- List of 1980s one-hit wonders in the United States
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- Bands and musicians from Yorkshire and North East England
- Now That's What I Call Music 4 (UK series)
- 1.0 1.1 Martin Brammer | Credits. AllMusic (1957-05-13). Retrieved on 2014-01-26.
- 2.0 2.1 Kane Gang: Motortown. One Hit Wonder Central. Retrieved on 2014-01-26.
- Kane Gang | Awards. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2014-01-26.
- 5.0 5.1 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums, 19th, London: Guinness World Records Limited.
- 6.0 6.1 Kane Gang | Awards. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2014-01-26.
- Mini biography/discography at Ear.fm
- Biography at 80's Pure Pop website
- Martin Brammer interview at Zioshow.com Archived copy from 29 Sep 2007 Retrieved 10 Feb 2011