Biography

Sad Café - old faces and new for 2012

Sad Café combine longtime band members from the 70s and 80s with new faces to bring a great show to the stage on a new tour for 2012/13.



Ian Wilson - rhythm guitar and vocals

Ian has been the heart and soul of every Sad Café lineup since their inception in 1977. His unique vocal sound was paramount in the signature of the band and the close harmony between Ian and Paul was legendary in creating the sound that was Sad Café. His acoustic and rhythm guitar is a foundational mark, which marks the link between the new band and the classic Sad Café line-up of the past. Ian is composer or co-composer of 38 songs in the Sad Café canon. Since Sad Café he has worked with many artists including Pete Townshend, Paul Rogers, Debbie Harry and the French superstar Johnny Hallyday. Now bringing the band together for a new era, Ian is glad to be back on his old stamping ground.

Ashley Mulford - lead Guitar and vocals

Ashley is another founder member of Sad Café and his lead guitar riffs made the band one of the most recognisable live sounds of the late Seventies and early eighties. He left the group in 1981 to work overseas but returned to the line-up for the 1986 Politics of Existing tour. During this period he also joined Paul Young in Mike and the Mechanics. He is the composer of Sad Café’s 1980 hit “Strange Little Girl” and “Losing You”.

Dave Irving - drums and vocals

The engine room at the back of that Sad Café sound is provided by Dave Irving. Dave joined the band in time to be the drummer on all their hits including My Oh My and Everyday Hurts. He left the band in 1984 but now returns to the drum-stool in time for the new tour and following on from his excellent work on the “Paul Young – Chronicles” album. Dave’s session credits include work with Roger Daltrey (Who) on his solo albums. Jim Capaldi (Traffic) albums, and Mike Rutherford (Genesis) with Virginia Wolf and many more. Dave actually introduced Paul Young to Rutherford at this session which culminated in Paul getting the Mechanics gig.

Des Tong - bass and vocals

Des joined Sad Café after the retirement of their original bassist in time for the 1981 “Ole” album. He then became Dave Irving’s partner in providing a solid bass and drums combination on many of the great Sad Café recordings. He remained with Sad Café through their 1989 “Whatever it Takes” album. In subsequent years he has provided the bass lines on many great recordings and for a time was resident bass-man in Alvin Stardust’s touring band. After working again with Dave on the Chronicles album, they now become once more the heart of the rhythm section that powers Sad Café.

Steve Whalley - guitar and vocals

Steve Whalley will be sharing lead vocals and playing guitar in the band. Sad Café could never replace Paul Young and in appointing Steve they have added a new dimension to the band whilst retaining the sheer quality that was the heart of Paul’s performance. Steve is a gifted singer, writer and performer in his own right and has an eclectic résumé. Steve and Ian had a band called Greasy Bear, renowned for their live performances, way back in the late 60s and have remained close friends ever since. Steve has appeared on the main stage at Glastonbury four times, he was Slade’s choice to takeover as lead vocalist when Noddy Holder retired and he was the choice to be lead vocalist in the promotion for the “James Burton signature” series of the Fender Telecaster in a band that had Sir Cliff Richard on backing vocals. Both Slade and Sad Café had hits with songs called “My Oh My” but there should be no confusion: Steve Whalley is the new vocalist with Sad Café.

Sue Quin - vocals and keyboards

Sue Quin is one of the UKs premier session singers and the composer of the Sad Café single “Why Do You Love Me Like You Do (Heart)”. She has had strong links with the band from the early 80s. As a session singer she worked vocal sessions with both Ian and Paul for many years, and sung BVs on Sad Café’s “Keep Us Together”. She joined the band live at the Apollo for Paul’s memorial in 2000 and was invited to sing BVs on Chronicles. She is a writer, singer, vocal coach, guitarist and keyboard player. Most recently she has co written a song with `john Blackwell (Prince) and sung the vocal on his album. She teaches on the Music Apprenticeships and Artist Development for Access To Music in Manchester.

Simon Waggot - keyboards

Simon is thrilled to be following in the footsteps of Sad Café's amazingly talented keyboard predecessors and looks forward to the challenge. Simon started playing piano when he was 5 and has always adored music. Chart success came as a teenager in the popular York band Strange Days and it's been all go since. Having a love of Classical, Jazz, Blues and Rock the Sad Café repertoire suits Simon to the ground. As a singer, Simon has fronted his own bands and performed many times as a Backing Vocalist/Session singer. Blessed with an extraordinary vocal range Simon looks forward to complementing the legendary Café harmonies. Recent work has seen Simon on tour with Robin Gibb, and featuring on BV's and keys on Alistair Griffin's current album Albion Sky. Simon first met Ashley during the Mandalaband York sessions and an immediate "musical connection" was made, Simon's "soundscape" chords providing a great palette for Ashley's solo work. Simon is also a writer, producer and arranger.

All Band Member Biographies

Sad Café have a long history, and many musicians have contributed to their success over the years.

Here you can read the biographies of all the members of Sad Café - from the longest serving and most influential to the guys who were just passing through.

Read all the biographies here...