Lighthouse Family are back – with a brand new studio album in May and a live tour this autumn.
After a gap of 18 years since their last recording, original LF members Tunde Baiyewu and Paul Tucker have reunited to cut a whole album’s worth of new material, Blue Sky In Your Head. It will be released on May 3 and contain and additional set, Essentials, which includes all their classic songs remastered for the first time.
The lead single, My Salvation, was unveiled on March 21 on BBC Radio 2 and will spearhead the duo’s comeback.
Says Paul: “What happens when Tunde and I get in the studio is, we just drift off – we don’t ever row! There’s no shouting or throwing things. In fact we only ever had one argument – but it lasted 20 years!”
Tunde and Paul formed Lighthouse Family after meeting at Newcastle University in the early 1990s. Their 1995 debut album Ocean Drive sold six times platinum while staying in the album charts for almost three years. Lifted became one the defining songs of the era, a pop-soul classic that was simply inescapable. The 1997 follow-up, Postcards From Heaven, featured three Top 10 singles [Raincloud, High and Lost in Space] and also went six-times platinum, charting across Europe, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand. Their third album, Whatever Gets You Through The Day  produced another Top 10 single in the shape of [I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be] Free/One, but by this time the band were at breaking point, their friendship burnt out after years on the road living in each others’ pockets. And Tunde was dealing with the grief of losing his mother, a situation complicated by the fact that his stepfather, Olusegun Obasanjo, was at the time the President of Nigeria. The duo badly needed – and took – a break.
In the intervening years Paul formed a band, The Orange Lights, while Tunde released two solo albums, but the old connection between the pair remained, and in 2010 they got back together with a view to making a fourth album.
“Somehow we couldn’t knock it together in the studio,” says Paul. “So we decided to go and do some shows, to remind ourselves who we are and what we do. As one of the Duran Duran guys said to me: ‘What do you want to go in the studio for? That’s where all the arguments happen! Go and do some gigs…’ So, that’s what we did, and it was great.”
Tour dates for the Autumn are:
Birmingham, Symphony Hall [November 11]; Glasgow,Royal Concert Hall ; Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle City Hall ; Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall ; Halifax, The Victoria Theatre ; Manchester, Bridgewater Hall ; Bexhill, De La Warr Pavilion ; Bournemouth, Pavilion Theatre ; and London, Palladium .