Still promising a spot of Fizz

Two days ago, a milestone anniversary passed in the history of 80s pop sensations and Eurovision Song Contest Winners Bucks Fizz. On December 12, 1984, following a sell-out concert at Newcastle City Hall, the four-piece band were among a dozen people injured when their luxury tour bus and a lorry were in collision on the Great North Road in Newcastle.
Singer Mike Nolan was seriously injured and surgeons at Newcastle General Hospital removed a blood clot from his brain. He slipped into a deep coma and was placed on a life support machine. After many months of treatment, he managed to recover from the horrific injuries he suffered after being thrown through the windscreen of the bus, along with fellow Bucks Fiz member, Jay Aston – although she was left suffering from epilepsy.
Tonight, the group are back to play an 80s revival gig at the Metro Radio Arena as part of the nostalgia-filled Here and Now Tour. It is a destination which stirs strong emotions for 49-year-old Mike – especially given the timing of the concert. He says: “I have a soft spot for Newcastle. People up there are really nice but it’s not all happy memories. It took me a long time to get over the accident. It was very tough to come to terms with. Many people have less serious injuries and do not recover. But the only regret is that I never got my driving licence back after I suffered loss of vision from the accident.”
Fans will be pleased to know the band have resurrected the skirt-ripping routine that saw them win glory at the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with Making Your Mind Up. That year, Mike and fellow member Bobby Gee tore off Cheryl Baker and Jay Aston’s long dresses to reveal tiny mini skirts underneath. It is probably the first image which the words Bucks Fizz conjure.
Mike, however, refuses to take credit for it. He says: “We were working on the dance moves and needed something to go with the line `but if you wanna see a little more…’
“It was one of the team working with us who came up with the idea of ripping off the skirts. So it wasn’t really our idea, but Bobby and I were more than happy to go along with it,” he laughs.
Although doubts remain about how many appearances Bobby Gee will be making on the tour, Mike is confident he should appear tonight show. Jay Aston will definitely be absent, her place taken by Shelley Preston, who joined the group in 1985. Bucks Fizz are touring on the same bill as a host of 80s legends, including Kim Wilde, Belinda Carlisle, Living in a Box and Ultravox’s Midge Ure, as part of the Here and Now Tour 2004.