The Real People: Wikis


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The Real People
Origin Liverpool, England
Genres Britpop
Years active 1988–present

The Real People, from Liverpool, England, were one of the very first bands to play what is today known as “Britpop”, and have been quoted by Oasis as being one of their major influences. They were formed in 1988 by brothers Christopher and Anthony Griffiths, the original line up consisted of Chris Griffiths (guitar and vocals) Tony Griffiths (bass and vocals) Tony Elson (drums) (later to be replaced by Garry Ford) and Sean Simpson (guitar) (later to be replaced by Alan Gillibrand). The current line up is Tony & Chris Griffths (bass guitar vocals, guitar and vocals) Russ Mitchison (keyboards) Martin Lappin (guitar) Tony McGuigan (drums).


The band

Originally influenced by the Stone Roses and the Inspiral Carpets, as well as by the Mersey sound of the 1960s, the band started playing in local clubs and later toured as support act for the Inspiral Carpets, Ocean Colour Scene, Nelly Furtado, The Pixies, Simple Minds, David Bowie, plus many more band throughout the 90s and onwards

JoJo & The Real People signed a management deal with local entrepreneur Mick Swift of Whitehouse Management, Bold Street, Liverpool in 1986. Their first record deal was in 1988, a one single deal brokered with Polydor records after Mick Swift had persuaded Eddie Lundon of Kirkby band China Crisis to produce the demo of their debut single One by One (song). The Band band also signed a publishing deal with Polygram not long after. In 1989, and now managed by Jeff Abbotts, they were then signed as The Real People by CBS on the Columbia label, although CBS were subsequently bought out by Sony. They released their self titled debut album The Real People in 1991. All the songs were written by Chris and Tony Griffiths. This reached the top 40 in the album charts. They recorded a second album, Marshmellow Lane, for CBS, but although Believer, the first single from the album, charted at #38 and another single, Too Much Too Young, appeared soon afterwards, the album was never actually released and the band were dropped by Sony in 1993. (Several tracks subsequently appeared on a 2 band compilation album called Liverpool - The Calm Before The Storm, released in 1996 on the Columbia label). Tony and Chris Griffiths went on to set up their own recording studio in Birkenhead, Liverpool and started their own label Egg Records.

Their next album, What's On The Outside, was released independently under their own label in 1996 it was critically acclaimed but failed to make the charts. Although another album was reported to be in preparation in 2002 it was never released.

Despite this the band have continued to play live.

The Real People and Oasis

Oasis were still unsigned when Noel Gallagher first met Tony Griffiths of The Real People when he was roadie to the Inspiral Carpets. In 1992, determined to make a professional sounding demo, he contacted Tony and asked him to help record something decent to send out to record companies.

Paul Moody of the N.M.E reported:-

'Used to the hard-knock school of the Manchester scene, Oasis were shocked by the co-operation of their scouse mates. "Because we'd got our own eight-track studio we let them come down to the Dock Road and record there," says Tony. "They were quite naive about recording, so we'd show them how to play the songs, how to think about the structure of the songs and the dynamics. We were just helping them because that's what bands do in Liverpool. I don't think it's quite the same in Manchester, because no one had done anything for them before."'

The result was the now legendary eight song music demo (later dubbed the Live Demonstration tape) recorded in Liverpool in 1993 that got Oasis their first record deal. The tape included many of the songs that eventually featured on the band’s first album Definitely Maybe.

  1. "Rock 'n' Roll Star"
  2. "Strange Thing"
  3. "Bring It On Down"
  4. "Fade Away "
  5. "Columbia"
  6. "Cloudburst"
  7. "D'Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman"
  8. "Married With Children"

Armed with the demo, Oasis finally got their deal.

Chris and Tony Griffiths' input into the writing and recording process has since been fully acknowledged by Oasis. Tony Griffiths is credited with providing vocals on supersonic Definitely Maybe. Chris Griffiths also co-wrote Rockin' Chair with Noel in 1993. This was released as the B side to the single of "Roll With It" in 1995, and also appears on the album The Masterplan. (Chris Griffiths also claimed to have actually written the lyrics for Columbia with Liam Gallagher being responsible for the chorus). They are both included in the documentary made for the Definitely Maybe 10th anniversary DVD.

Current work

Despite having minimal chart success themselves but massive critical acclaim acclaim from the music press, The Real People enjoy cult status among fans and from their more successful contemporaries. As well as a vast number of songs written for The Real People, Chris and Tony Griffiths have since written top 40 hits for bands such as Tunde, Ocean Colour Scene, Rooster, bb mak, Atomic Kitten plus many many more and continue to work with other artists and songwriters.

In Summer 2006, "Losing A Friend" was released in the UK as a single by Icelandic girl group Nylon. It reached top 20 in the UK chart. Another Real People cover, "Closer" was the second single release from the group in October 2006 both of these songs were number ones in Iceland.

They have also written several tracks for the forthcoming debut solo album by ex Atomic Kitten, Natasha Hamilton.[1] also "Reaching Out", (co-written with Alistair Griffin and James and Tom Martin) which was recorded by the Northern Irish band Bel's Boys and appears on their 2007 album People Lets Go [2]

Chris and Tony Griffiths continue to perform live, both as solo artists and as backing for other bands. In November 2006 the Real People played a special benefit concert at the Carling Academy Liverpool, for the mental health charity C.A.L.M. Following another successful live gig in December. The Real People supported The Pretenders at the Liverpool Summer Pops, on July 9, 2007 at the Aintree Pavilion Arena, Aintree Racecourse. They also appeared at Liverpool Arena on January 19, 2008 as part of The Number One Project singing a cover of "Hey Jude". This was later released on the charity album Liverpool - The Number Ones Album [3] They have since played at the Carling Academy on the 21.3.2008 to a sold out audience, at the Echo Arena supporting Duran Duran and also at the Cockpit, Leeds with other dates lined up over the coming months.

Their long delayed fourth studio album is scheduled for release in 2008. Several tracks have already been previewed on their official MySpace page.[1]



Year Title UK Chart
1991 The Real People
1992 Marshmellow Lane (unreleased}
1996 What's On The Outside
2002 Closer (unreleased)
2009 New album due next year to be released on the Sony label



  1. ^ BBC Liverpool: Natasha Hamilton interview 2005/06/15 (Accessed: November 29, 2006)
  2. ^ ASCAP(Accessed: August 13, 2008)
  3. ^ The Number One Project(Accessed: August 13, 2008)
  4. ^ UK 40 Database (Accessed: November 29, 2006)
  5. ^ a b c d UK chart log 1994-2005 (Accessed: November 29, 2006)

External links

The Real People's official website.

Year Title UK Chart
1987 "One by One" - as Jo Jo and the Real People
"Lady Marmalade" - as Jo Jo and the Real People
1990 "Window Pane" 60
1991 "Open Up Your Mind (Let Me In)" 70
1992 "The Truth" 41
"Believer" 38 [4]
"Too Much Too Young"  
1995 "Bring You Down"  
"The Real People EP"  
"Every Vision of You" 138 [5]
1996 "Rayners Lane" 98 [5]
"Rolling Stone" 106 [5]
1997 "The People in the Telly" 155 [5]


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