Type to search

Celebrities Interview



Did you grow up in the 80s? Then you will surely remember Haircut 100, when their debut album Pelican West, stormed into the UK charts for 34 weeks! These icons of pop have announced a rare one-off live show to celebrate that landmark album – Nick Heyward, Les Nemes, Graham Jones and Blair Cunningham will step on stage for a very special once-in-a-lifetime show at London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire on May 12th, 2023. Lynda Clark caught up with Nick Heyward to find out what the group had been up to over the past 40 years

How was the group originally formed?
Well the band originally formed when Les Graham and I became single, in the same week!  We’d been musicians in other bands, but we weren’t really focussed until we were all dumped by our girlfriends, leaving us with a lot of spare time on our hands. We all clung together and got a flat together. We survived together, we lived and breathed the band, living in a flower shop in Gloucester Road. We should really have called ourselves Lifeboat 100, because we really did rely on each other to get through those times.  So, at the time, the band was just an idea, it was something to do as single boys. 

Where did the name Haircut 100 come from?
The name just sprang into my head one day. I jumble up words in my head and it can be fortuitous to have that kind of mixed up brain, where words scramble randomly. I said Haircut 100 out loud, who knows why, and the name stuck.

What are your greatest memories after releasing Pelican West?
I think going on TOTP was the game changer. It really was a before and after game changer in those times, once you hit that show, you never looked back. It was the next day, and I remember being recognised in the petrol station when I was filling up, by someone that had seen the band on TOTP the night before. That hadn’t ever happened before, but there we were, being recognised by complete strangers – and we felt like stars. Then I remember bumping into old friends in a Beckenham record shop where we used to go to a lot, who asked “what are you doing now”.  I still laugh at the memory of Graham saying, ‘I’m a popstar now ain’t I”, and the mate say, “oh nice one mate” ….it literally happened overnight and those are great memories to have.

What have you all been doing since then? Do you meet regularly? Play together regularly? Have you all been working in the music industry since then?
Yes, nobody’s left the industry, but we all went in different directions within it. Blair drums for The Pretenders and Paul McCartney, Mark became an A&R man and signed Natalie Imbruglia on her hit ‘Torn’, Phil played with Lenny Henry, Les played with Rick Astley and Graham played with Boys Wonder who became Corduroy. I continue writing songs which turn into records.

What made you decide to do a concert next year?
Because of the 40th anniversary. I threw the idea out there that we should get back together. I had no idea if it would happen, but it did.  If you plan it too much it doesn’t always happen, but there’s good will there and it’s great to be back with the band again – it’s a really strong friendship. This is for life now, we’re going to be old-timers together, until death do us part!

Performing every song from the original Pelican West album, plus unheard tracks from their newly released Super Deluxe edition of Pelican West, the show will be an unforgettable Haircut 100 live experience that fans won’t want to miss. Bringing the past 40 years whizzing into the present day, the Haircut 100 boys come together to fuse the sounds of those classic 80s hits, with new music from the band.

They are also releasing a bonus version of the Pelican West album. Over four CDs, there are 54 tracks, of which 24 are unreleased. The album will be available as a Super Deluxe Edition featuring a new remaster of Pelican West, all the 12” mixes and B-sides, a live set from Hammersmith Odeon and for the first time, the demos for their unfinished second album, which was given the provisional title Blue Hat for a Blue Day.

The 4-CD set features a 44-page booklet featuring an oral history of the time with all six members interviewed by the set’s curator, author and DJ, Daryl Easlea. The booklet also includes memorabilia and exclusive photographs from the personal collection of Haircut guitarist, Graham Jones and bassist, Les Nemes. Pelican West 40 is also available as a half-speed master vinyl LP as well as a 38-track 4-LP edition containing the new half-speed cut of the album along with the unreleased second album tracks and a collection of 12” mixes.

Haircut 100 Pelican West Show, 12 May at the Shepherds Bush Empire: myticket.co.uk


Next Up