It’s been an amazing journey for Wild Boys – from small local gigs to playing at this year’s launch of the world’s largest cruise ship Harmony of the Seas.
Widely regarded as the best live 80s Function band in the UK today, you can check them out next Friday at the KL.FM Back to the 80s show at Lynn Corn Exchange. This is a rare local gig for Wild Boys who are more at home – or sea – on cruise liners or at corporate shows.
As Rich Knight points out: “I never would have thought the band could have come as far as it has. Its been amazing to travel the world doing something we love. We are very lucky to have a great following and we always have a brilliant audience.”
Darren Taylor, managing director of KL.FM, said: “We are delighted to team up once again with the Wild Boys for our ever-popular Back to the 80s. They bring tremendous passion and a great sense of fun, along with real musical skill. Their great stage presence always ensures everyone at Back to 80s has a great time. If you’ve ever tapped your feet or sung along to any classic 80s pop hit, the Wild Boys are unmissable!
Rich was born in Lynn and now lives at Parson Drove near Wisbech, while the rest of the group are all based in the area and bass player Rob Fidler lives in Lynn.
“It all started as a joke for my 80s fancy dress birthday party in 2009 when we set up a band as a one-off for some entertainment,” said Rich. “We had such a good response we added to the set and tried to get some local gigs. We started off playing in Bar Red, then Downham Market Club, Dersingham Social Club and the Long Sutton Club.
“In 2011 we got approached by a big agent who said we sounded amazing but looked horrendous – we used to wear wigs and spandex! She advised us to change the look, which of course we did, and offered us a show at Old Billingsgate for Pret A Manger. We performed at our first corporate show in front of 2,500 people and it really was the beginning of where the band is now. We paid £50 to someone to come and film the show and make a short promo video which has gained us so much work with more and more corporate shows throughout the UK, weddings and fundraising balls coming in.
“We sadly had to leave our social club roots behind as the profile grew, but we do try to go back to Dersingham once a year as a one-off gig. It’s always great fun.”
At the start of 2014 they got to share the stage with Chesney Hawkes and then performed at the biggest 80s festival in Europe (Rewind Festival) in front of a crowd of thousands. There were also gigs with the likes of Heaven 17 and Bucks Fizz.
That same year Wild Boys had their first show on a cruise ship, being flown out to Turkey for a private 80s deck party on The Seabourn Odyssey. And since then they have, literally, been sailing the seven seas, which started when Royal Caribbean asked them to perform at the world media launch of Quantum Of The Seas in October 2014; that was followed by performances at the launches and cruises aboard liners Anthem Of The Seas and Ovation of the Seas.
“We had to pinch ourselves,” said Rich, “and then we got the call for the launch of the world’s largest cruise ship, Harmony Of The Seas. This one was a massive deal and the world was watching with so much interest. The buzz around the ship was great and we knew we would have a great crowd at our shows, with over 2,000 people watching us on the Royal Promenade.
“We are next due to fly to Florida in September to join the prestigious president’s cruise on the Allure Of The Seas then the Independence Of The Seas in October. Over the last two years we have got to visit so many places – Italy, Poland, Portugal, Turkey, Spain, Greece, Greek Islands, Gibraltar, France, Belgium, USA, Bahamas ... I’ve probably missed some!”
Back to the 80s at Lynn Corn Exchange next Friday starts at 7.30pm and tickets are just £11 each; call the box office on 01553 764864. For more on the Wild Boys visit www.wildboysband.co.uk or www.facebook.com/wildboys80sband