Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Safari Boy

Following the Tokoloshe Men post here’s another Greek from South Africa. Tolis Fasois, born in South Africa and formed his first group there influenced by the UK punk scene.
The family moved to Greece and Tolis searched for a new band. So in 1979 when Madness were releasing their first album, a new band was coming to shape in Greece: Sharp Ties.

The band was meant to be one of the first and by far the most successful Greek band to jump on the post-punk/new wave/ska train at the time it was created.
In 1981, at the time the Smiths were releasing their first album, Sharp Ties released theirs. The title: Get that Beat and the title song still remains a party classic.

Get That Beat - Sharp Ties (from Get That Beat, 1981)

Platinum disc, tours all over Greece and sold-outs. At a time when most groups where singing in Greek, this English singing group made record companies re-think their local strategies.
Their second album, Safari Boys, follows in 1982. These two first albums remain among the most successful and best new wave Greek albums. Two more albums follow, Sharp Ties 3 in 1986 and Positive in 1989.
The sound becomes more pop (just like their UK influences).

Safari Boys - Sharp Ties (from Safari Boys, 1982)

By the By - Sharp Ties (from Sharp Ties 3, 1986)

Then the group disbands and it would take more than 20 years for Tolis to release another album, solo this time.
Just before that he writes the English lyrics for the songs of Pyx Lax that were sung by Eric Burdon, Marc Almond, Steve Wynn and Gordon Gano (the songs included in Pyx Lax, Happy in the City of Fools album of 2003).
Finally in 2009, Tolis Fasois releases his first solo album Just for a Day. To the old influences (David Byrne, Bryan Ferry) some new are added (Jarvis Cocker).
The sound is fresh, pop with very good songs and production.

A very nice (and unexpected) comeback.

Crumbling Down - Tolis Fasois (from Just for a Day, 2009)

Come On - Tolis Fasois (from Just for a Day, 2009)

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