THE FIZZ: A Eurovision party!
The Fizz are a British pop music group formed of three original members of Eurovision Winners Bucks Fizz. The core of the group consists of Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston. Another former member, Shelley Preston was part of the group on formation, but she was replaced by Aston in 2009. Bobby McVay later became a member in 2015, making the group a quartet until he left in 2018. To date, the group have released three albums, two of which have charted in the Official UK Albums Chart Top 30. Their 2017 album The F-Z of Pop reached No.25, becoming the highest-charting Bucks Fizz related album in 33 years. In 2020 the group again charted with the album Smoke & Mirrors, which reached number 29 on the Official UK Album Chart. The album also reached number 6 on the Official Sales Chart - which is the highest chart position of any previous Bucks Fizz / Fizz album.
In December 2004, Bobby G, Mike Nolan, Cheryl Baker and Shelley Preston reformed briefly after 15 years apart to be part of 'The Here and Now Tour' of the UK. To distinguish this line-up from G's other group, they renamed themselves The Original Bucks Fizz. Due to prior commitments with the current lineup of the group, G could not make all of the dates played, but did appear at some shows. Following this, Nolan, Baker and Preston subsequently performed more shows together as a three-piece under the same title and featured in the Congratulations show, the 50th Anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. In September 2008, Preston, Baker, Nolan and Aston reunited for a makeover show Pop Goes the Band for Living TV, which was screened in March 2009.
In April 2009, Preston left The Original Bucks Fizz. Soon after it was announced that original member Jay Aston would be joining Baker and Nolan in the group for live shows — the first time she has been a part of Bucks Fizz since 1985. In October 2009, this line-up embarked on their first tour, encompassing 10 venues across the UK as well as a special gig at Newcastle to commemorate the 25th anniversary of their coach crash. The group released their debut single on 24 May 2010, which was a jazz-style reworking of their hit "I Hear Talk". In January 2011, while preparing for a 30th anniversary tour, The Original Bucks Fizz became caught up in a legal conflict with Bobby G over the use of the Bucks Fizz name. Baker, Nolan and Aston sought legal advice over the matter.
A mini 30th Anniversary tour took place in May 2011, while a larger scale gig took place at the London Palladium on 11 July 2011 to celebrate their 30 years. This venue was chosen as it was the first place that Bucks Fizz performed a live concert at back in 1981 and much publicity was undertaken around this time. The group also recorded their debut album, Fame & Fortune? which was a new studio album comprising six reworked Bucks Fizz tracks along with six original tracks composed by the group. The first of these, "This Day is Mine" was premiered at the May gigs and was also played on BBC Radio. The release of the album was put on hold until after the court case verdict.
A hearing between The Original Bucks Fizz and Bobby G took place on 15 July 2011. On 22 August 2011 the judge found in favour of G with the reasoning that since his wife (Heidi Manton, also a member of his group) owned the Bucks Fizz name, the use of the name The Original Bucks Fizz was an impediment on their trademark. The Original Bucks Fizz sent an appeal to the high courts but was subsequently dropped.
On 3 April 2012, the group re-launched as OBF. They performed some shows around the weekend of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and released the debut album on Saturday 26 May. It was made available through their official website. During 2014, the group rebranded as Cheryl, Mike and Jay - Formerly of Bucks Fizz. In 2014, the group gained a temporary fourth member, singer Stephen Fox who had been a member of their supporting band at live shows. In 2015, the group embarked on an extensive tour of the UK,[ now officially as a four-piece with former vocalist of 1980s group Sweet Dreams, Bobby McVay. This was the group's biggest undertaking with more than 40 dates throughout the year, ending on 30 October 2015.
On 1 April 2016, the group, including McVay, performed at the London Hippodrome theatre to celebrate 35 years since Bucks Fizz won Eurovision. A UK tour titled "Make Believe Tour 2016" took place during 2016.
In December 2016 the group released a re-recording of Bucks Fizz's biggest hit, "The Land of Make Believe", produced by famed record producer and songwriter Mike Stock of Stock Aitken Waterman fame.. The limited edition CD sold out on pre-release. and was followed by a digital download version.
Rebranded "The Fizz" the group released an album 'The F-Z of Pop' via Pledge Music in September 2017. The album, also produced by Mike Stock, contains three re-imagined Bucks Fizz tracks and eight original songs, some co-written by the band, one written by Cheryl's daughter Kyla. The album entered the charts at No.25, their highest chart position for 31 years. The group also performed a third tour throughout 2017 and released three singles during the year.
In February 2018, McVay departed from the group as, living in Italy, he found it challenging to be constantly travelling between the two countries for tour commitments. Baker, Nolan and Aston decided to continue to perform as a trio until they find a replacement.
In June 2018, Jay Aston was diagnosed with mouth cancer and was to undergo surgery in July to have part of her tongue replaced. By November she had returned to performing with the group. Before her surgery she completed her vocals for the group's next album 'Christmas with the Fizz'. Consisting of Christmas standards and original tracks with a festive theme, this was released in November 2018 and entered the UK albums chart at No.93.
Following Aston's brief departure following her surgery, Baker and Nolan performed as a duo, assisted by backing singers Lance Ellington and Zoe Nicholas.
In 2019, the group completed recording for a third studio album with Mike Stock. Recording had actually begun in 2018 before Jay Aston's cancer diagnosis when work stopped for her to undergo treatment. During which time Baker and Nolan completed vocals on the christmas album. Recording began again in summer 2019 where The Fizz worked on eleven brand new songs for the album. In January 2020 the album, now entitled Smoke & Mirrors - went on pre-release and was available as Limited Edition , signed, blue vinyl as well as Limited Edition Cassette. The album was released on March 6th and entered the Official Album Charts at number 29 and achieved higher positions in both the Official Sales Charts and Official Vinyl Charts, reaching number 5 and 6 respectively.