VIVA!
Now That I've Found You I Can't Let You Go!


A brief history of Viva!

Forgive us for this short recollection, but we promise to post the Viva! story in-depth at some point in the future. Anyway, here goes . . .


Viva! made contact with Club Skinny promoter Kevin Wilde and were promptly booked to play on May 18, 1995 with an up-and-coming Camden band (whose singer was a nice Irish guy named Eddie if we remember correctly) called Autopop. This secured Viva! the distinction of being the first Romo band to play either Club Skinny or Arcadia!

Their performance must have struck some kind of chord because not only did Viva! become regulars at Skinny, but they struck up a close friendship with Kevin Wilde who was later to become their manager.

Being at Club Skinny every week when the Romo movement was taking shape meant Viva! were central figures on the burgeoning scene and they were invited to perform the opening night at Club Skinny's new larger venue at The HQ Club on Camden Lock. Record company interest was not far behind.

As most people know, Del was also one of the much loved Club Skinny DJ's and spent many, many hours behind the decks pumping out sounds ranging from Roxy Music to Blondie and Duran Duran to David Bowie. Howvever, Viva! were hard at work during this period perfecting both their sound and their look and also found time for a few line up changes occured during the mid '90's.

The core members of the group have always been Mark Hudson, Derek Gray and Lee David. We remember Daniel (a softly spoken guy from South Africa whose last name we never knew) took on keyboard responsibilities throughout 1996, but later left for his native country never to return.

Anyway, back to 1996! Viva! played a stunning performance at Arcadia and also played as special guests on the London date on the Romo tour to a sold out crowd at London LA2. During this period they went into the studio with Neil X from Sigue Sigue Sputnik and recorded 'Now That I've Found You' for the 5 track cassette that appeared on the front of Melody Makers notorious Romo issue. Many said Viva!'s song was the standout track for them. The song became both a Romo classic and Viva!'s signature tune.

Viva! seemed to mature and improve with every performance and by mid-1996 had really hit their stride with a legendary performance on April 25, 1996 as they returned to Club Skinny for the final time. Womens underwear, panties, bras, garters, you name it, literally rained from the sky during the show and the band whipped the adoring (mainly female) crowd up into a frenzy for an encore of 'Now That I've Found You'.

The band were spotted by legendary A&R man Dave Ambrose whose signings include Sex Pistols, Duran Duran and Pet Shop Boys this in turn lead to a record deal with Planet 3 records, at which was A&R executive. The bands tenure with Planet 3 took them through 1997 and 1998 during which time they recorded some first class material much of which has sadly yet to see the light of day.

The most recent line consisted of Lee David (Keyboards), Joe Fernandez (Drums), Shelley (Guitar), Mark Hudson (Bass) and Del (Vocals) and Viva! are not known to have recorded or played live since 2000.

We are trying to get together some classic Viva! recordings and hope to have some MP3's posted here sometime in 2002! Believe us, it will be worth the wait!


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