Hereward Kaye composer singer song writer title
Hereward Kaye composer singer song writer title
Hereward Kaye composer singer song writer title

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Hereward Kaye composer singer song writer title

The Flying Pickets



The Flying Pickets were formed in 1982 by members of the 7:84 Theatre group, a socialist fringe theatre group who found Europe-wide success with ‘One Big Blow’, a musical about a colliery brass band, set against a backdrop of the 1982 miners strike in England, in which all the instruments were evoked vocally by the members of the band. Touring around Europe for two years in a van, the six members of the cast developed their acapella singing to a fine art. So much so, that they found immediate success working the pubs and clubs of London, at a time when nobody else in the UK was performing pop/rock based acapella.

The first recording was a live show: 'Live at the Albany Empire' on the group's own label, which sold so well that they soon came to the attention of Virgin Records, who signed the group in 1983.


The very first single with Virgin, ‘Only You’, a cover of a song by Yazoo, went straight to number 1 in the UK charts and was to remain there for five weeks over the Christmas of 1983 before going on to repeat the success throughout almost every country in Europe.

This was soon followed by the Lost Boys album (1984), which went to Number 7 in the albums chart. The follow-up single ‘Young And In Love’ also went Top Ten.

Flying Pickets
In 1986, two members of the band (Brian, the one with the sideburns - and Stripe, the bald one) left the band to pursue their acting careers.

Hereward joined, though whether it was to replace the good-looking one with the sideburns or the ugly bald one, he was never quite sure!

(Read Hereward's personal account in Baa Da Da Daa).

Their first single with the new line-up and Hereward on lead vocal was
Take My Breath Away.'

(Play soundbite at top of page)


Waiting for trains - flying pickets

Two more albums followed - Flying Pickets Live (1986) and Waiting For Trains (1988).

But The Pickets were essentially a live band (and still are) regularly touring in the region of a hundred shows a year, from Australia to Austria, from Africa to Iceland and appearing regularly on TV shows.

In 1989 the group were commissioned to write a musical theatre piece based on songs about the working life.

The Late Shift performed for a successful 4-week season at Stratford Theatre Royal and went on to tour Europe. Around the same time, the group also composed and sang the theme tune for the BBC TV series Porterhouse Blue.


In 1991 the group recorded the album ‘Blue Money’, which had success throughout Europe, and was followed in the nineties with the albums 'The Warning' (1994), 'Politics Of Need' (1996) and 'Vox Pop' (1998).

At the end of ’99 Hereward left the band after telling Pat, his wife “I refuse to spend another thousand years in the Flying Pickets!

The band continue to thrive, despite countless defections and new arrivals and have delivered their best album for a long time – ‘Every Day’.


Politics of need - flying pickets

Visit the Pickets website!

.Flying Pickets

Flying Pickets



Web design and occasional backing singing: Nicky Furre - See