Sad news this morning, the passing of Fay Ray’s John Lovering, “It is with great sadness that we have to report that John – our songwriter, guitarist, friend and so much more – died on Monday night after a long illness. We will all miss him terribly and our hearts go out to his family and his wide network of friends. He may be gone, but his music will live for ever. In love & sadness. Tony, Owen, Sheila and Jeff” so said the band via their Facebook page
If you grew up in North Wales and hung around Bangor in the early 80’s then Fay Ray were a big deal, they were one of ours – “hey look, a band can’t come out of this part of the world”, well that’s what we thought at the time. Heatwave was the big song, it still sounds good, a classic then and as bleak as the feeling of waiting for that heatwave it was, sounded good right now (still a clossic). Fay Ray were and still are a fine fine band, I loved their 80’s new wave flavoured alternative pop, I loved that cover with the Anglesey estate agents board (really? We can have bands that come from here?), I loved them that time on Something Else, that time it came from Bangor. Nothing much went on musically in North Wales at the time, the occasional visiting band on Pier at Colwyn Bay or at the Curved Lounge in Bangor – besides the healthy alternative Welsh language punk bands there was very little we could call our own, certainly not bands who signed to major labels and got themselves on big tours, on bills in London and in the music press and on the radio or MTV. Fay Ray were an exciting Bangor band, they were a big deal, they were ours and they made some fine fine music that was right there in the early 80’s, they deserved all they got, they deserved a lot more actually, Fay Ray were brilliant. Our thoughts are with John’s friends, family and band members.
“Fay Ray were formed from the ashes of Bangor’s Hot Water and garage band Dick Dick & the Dicks. Based in Bangor, North Wales, they were “spotted” at their first London gig and signed by Surrey Sound Records – an indie label set up by Nigel Gray – producer of the first three Police albums. They subsequently recorded their first single “Family Affairs”, produced by Nigel Gray and recorded at Surrey Sound studios in Leatherhead. Family Affairs was Melody Maker joint single of the week (along with The Teardrop Explodes’ “Reward” and The Passions “I’m In Love With A German Film Star”. The band were then signed by WEA International, and recorded “Contact You”, released in 1982 on WEA in Great Britain & Europe and Elektra in the U.S. This previously-unseen live TV footage , featuring the title track taken from the “Contact You” album, was filmed at BBC Television Centre in 1982. The band split in 1982, but still perform occasionally”.