Here’s a look back at another group who suddenly got big for a short time. The Boo Radleys formed in the late-80s, and they took their name from a character in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird. Their frontman was known simply as “Sice”, although his first name was actually Simon. And well, as you should know by now, I’m sorry but it’s no good, I’ve got to do it, here goes…
“Bid again!“. Now I’ve got that out of my system, their first album “Ichabod And I” was released in 1990. This album didn’t chart, but the few fans it did attract had just one question… which one’s Ichabod? They then released some more singles and albums that did enter the chart, but not the Top 40. In March 1995 they suddenly hit the big time when they released “Wake Up Boo!”, and the video was made at Battersea Power Station.
This is often considered to be a cheery, summer song, with most people not realising that the opening lyric is “summer’s gone“. “Wake Up Boo!” reached no. 9 to become their first and only Top Ten hit. Also around this time their fourth album “Wake Up!” was released, and this was a chart-topper. Part of their newfound success could be because they were grouped in with the Britpop genre when that was on the up, even though they always denied that they desired to be a part of all that.
As well as “Wake Up Boo!” being played on the radio rather frequently, they also got on to the cover of Melody Maker, celebrating the fact that they were now popular, and I remember being rather surprised at how tiny Sice’s head seemed to be in comparison to his bandmate Martin. Their new fans had just one question… which one’s Boo? I can’t believe I did that joke for a second time.
The next singles off the album were “Find The Answer Within”, “It’s Lulu” (which features a reference to Smash Hits, and in the video they are briefly seen on the cover, although I’m sure that it’s not real, they never came across as a Smash Hits-type group really), and “From The Bench At Belvidere”. These were also good and they all made the lower end of the Top 40. Their live performances were always enhanced by having some spoons and a trumpeter on standby too.
In 1996 their fifth album “C’Mon Kids” was released (the computer-generated video for “Ride The Tiger” was much praised), and this was followed in 1998 by their sixth album “Kingsize”. The first single “Free Huey” was released in October 1998, and reached only no. 54. Their later singles were much more harder-edged and shouty, but they denied that they were trying to shake off their mainstream “Wake Up Boo!” fans. The ones remaining had just one question… which one’s Huey? Oh dear. The next single was cancelled and The Boo Radleys split after a decade to work on other projects.