I’m somewhat surprised that Age of Chance were included on CD86.  It’s nothing to do with the quality of their music but more that it doesn’t comfortably tie in with much of the rest of the indie/twee nature of the other songs.

The four-piece, consisting of Steve Elvidge, Neil Howson, Geoff Taylor and Jan Perry, came together after meeting at Leeds Polytechnic College and their first two singles came out on their own Riot Bible label.  They were an unusual lot in that they wore cycling clothing while performing (at a time when the sport was far from cool and seen as geeky) and their music was a combination of styles, including a form of the newly emerging hip hop sound, with strident often spoken vocals delivered over rock and punk guitar chords.

The second Peel session in June 1986 brought them some more interest thanks to what was a brave and unusual cover of Kiss which was riding high in the charts at the time with Prince being regarded as the new king of pop music. The cover was then recorded as a track for a mini-LP for the Sheffield based label Fon and in due course would be voted in at #2 in the end of year Festive 50 on the Peel show.

This led to Age of Chance signing to Virgin Records in January 1987  and a stab at the big time.  Three singles and a debut album were released that year but without any huge breakthrough –  a lot of critics seemed to say they had never released anything as good as the Prince cover and were unlikely to ever do so (which was unduly harsh).

The beginning of the end came in the autumn of 1988 when Elvidge, who was the lead vocalist, left the band during the middle of sessions for the next album.  The music was completed and a new singer, Charles Hutchinson, brought on board the following year to add the vocals.  This led to a delay in the release of the album and it bombed completely when it eventually reached the shops at the tail end of 1989.  The band did soldier on for another year or so relying on what were always regarded as decent live performances to maintain enthusiasm but they eventually called it a day in early 1991.

The track on CD86 was their second single on their own label:-

mp3 : Age of Chance – Bible of the Beats

It reached #4 on the UK Indie Charts and this was the b-side:-

mp3 : Age of Chance – Liquid Jungle



3 thoughts on “NEXT YEAR’S NOSTALGIA FEST (Part 34 of 48)

  1. Funnily enough I was listening to 1000 Years Of Trouble their 1987 album last night, Their are lots of things as good as the Kiss cover . They were so far ahead of the pack when it came to the use of samples and incorporating a dj as part of a band. I saw them i Aberdeen in 87 and they were excellent live. The album produced after Steve E left has it’s moments especially Higher Than Even and the first trance record, a remix by the band themselves of their single Time’s Up – Timeless.

    Another first for the band was their mix of Kiss, the Kiss Power mix, the first record wholly built on samples beating Coldcut by six months, however the lawyers got twitchy due to the Springsteen sample amongst thousands of others and the record was never released. One of my prized possessions is a white label of this that also got played last night.

    I have a track from 1000 Yrs of Trouble penciled in for this week

    I love this extremely underrated band

  2. I think the way that Age of Chance evolved musically was quite special. My personal favourite is Playing With Fire, the 12″ version that meanders on for ages and which still isn’t long enough for me. (Although I do have to be in the mood for it!) Better than Kiss, I would argue.

    Yes, definitely an underrated band, I’m glad they’re getting some love on here.

  3. I’ve got more love for Age Of Chance as well. Their use of samples and decks was really refreshing – and of course would become dull and uninventive as more and more like it began to be released by others that were less inventive. That debut album still sounds fresh and far from dull though.

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