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Marti Pellow

Background information
Birth name Mark McLachlan
Born 23 March 1965 (1965-03-23) (age 44)
Origin Clydebank, Scotland
Genres Pop, soul
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Instruments vocals
Years active 1982 - present
Associated acts Wet Wet Wet
Maggie Pie & The Impostors

Marti Pellow (born Mark McLachlan, 23 March 1965, Clydebank, Scotland[1]) has been the lead singer of the Scottish pop group, Wet Wet Wet, since their formation in 1982. He has also recorded solo material.


Early life

In 1982, at the age of seventeen, McLachlan formed a band with three friends from Clydebank High School. The friends were Tommy Cunningham, Graeme Clark and Neil Mitchell, and the band's name was Vortex Motion.[2] This was subsequently changed to Wet Wet Wet, a title taken from the Scritti Politti song, "Gettin, Havin' and Holdin'". McLachlan also changed his birth name in favour of the stage name, Marti Pellow.

Wet Wet Wet

Pellow enjoyed success with Wet Wet Wet throughout the late 1980s and 1990s. However, in 1997 drummer Tommy Cunningham left the band and its success waned immediately. Pellow was by this time suffering from an addiction to heroin. On finally beating the drug, he stated: "It was textbook. I couldn't function without it. But there's no romantic side to heroin – it's nae guid."[3]

Pellow left Wet Wet Wet in May 1999, effectively disbanding the group.[4] They reformed, however, in March 2004.

Solo career

Pellow began his career as a solo artist in association with Chris Difford of Squeeze. In November 1999, Pellow began his first solo tour. On 4 June 2001, he released "Close to You" from his debut solo album, Smile. A further single, "I've Been Around the World", was released that November; towards the end of the year he embarked on a seven-date tour (the Smile Tour) around Britain. In 2002, he hosted and sang in Girls' Night Out, one of a week of shows in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, at the Royal Albert Hall. This led to him, in 2002, being offered the part of Billy Flynn, the lawyer in the musical Chicago in London's West End and, in 2004, on Broadway.[5][6] Also in 2002, Pellow released Marti Pellow Sings the Hits of Wet Wet Wet & Smile, an 18-track compilation comprising three songs from the latter album.

In November 2003, he issued an album of cover versions, Between the Covers, the single from which was Neil Young's "A Lot of Love".

At the end of June 2004, the reformed band went to a secret location to record tracks for a new album and to prepare for a UK tour. At the tour's conclusion, Pellow recorded Moonlight Over Memphis, with the record producer Willie Mitchell (Al Green, Otis Clay, Ann Peebles, etc.), demonstrating a deep affinity with southern soul. The album was released in October 2006 on DMG TV, a label which has had some success previously with albums by such artists as Jane McDonald and Daniel O'Donnell. Pellow went on tour during October and November to support the album, with a helping hand from regular Wets contributor Graeme Duffin.

Pellow won the second series of the prime-time BBC1 show Just the Two of Us, which began on 2 January 2007, partnering actress Hannah Waterman.

Between February and July 2007, Pellow performed at several jazz clubs and at jazz festivals (Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and The Pigalle Club in London being two examples), the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and "Ronnie Scott’s in the Park" in Woburn. These gigs were followed in April 2008 by the release of his jazz album, Sentimental Me, on Rhino Records (UK) containing well-known jazz songs he sang at the above-mentioned gigs and a self-penned song, as well as an accompanying tour throughout the UK.

In May 2008, Pellow appeared in Sir Tim Rice's concert revival of his hit musical Chess, playing the "Arbiter". The concert took place at the Royal Albert Hall on 12 May and 13 May 2008. In June 2009 it aired on British and American television and was released on DVD.

Since the end of August 2008 he is playing the leading role in a revival of the musical The Witches of Eastwick.[7][8]

Personal life

On 27 February 1999, Pellow collapsed at the Conrad Hotel in London and was taken to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for tests. He was released the same night.[9]

In October 2003, Pellow's 66-year-old mother, Margaret McLachlan, died after a long battle with kidney disease.[10] Pellow's then-ex-bandmates attended her funeral, a show of support that touched the grieving frontman. "I thought it was a powerful gesture," Pellow said. "Moments like that put things into perspective - it wasn't all about music, it was more about a kinship between us. I remember my mother once saying, 'Maybe Wet Wet Wet will get back together again one day'. She must have had a wee vision. I'd never closed the chapter on the band; I'd always left the door open."[5]

Pellow has been in a long-term relationship with his now-fiancée, former "Miss Scotland" Eileen Catterson.[11][9]

Pellow placed sixth in a 2003 Glasgow Herald poll to determine "The Most Scottish Person in the World".

He resides in the small village of Wittersham, Kent.


For the Wet Wet Wet discography, see here.

Studio albums

Cover albums


Year Song UK[12 ] IRE Album
2001 "Close to You" 9 - Smile
2001 "I've Been Around the World" 28 - Smile
2003 "A Lot of Love" 59 - Between the Covers
2006 "Come Back Home" - - Moonlight Over Memphis


External links

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