Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri Return To Backstage Kinross
Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri play Backstage at the Green Hotel Kinross on Sunday 18th November 2018 at 8.00pm for EMS / Mundell Music.
For almost two decades, Kiki and Carmelo have been touring their spellbinding acoustic live show across the UK and Europe. Performing in this stripped back fashion allows each of their exceptional talents to shine through and create a wonderful and warm sense of intimacy for the audience.
Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1947, as Pauline Matthews, under her stage name of Kiki Dee, she began her incredible musical journey by singing with local dance bands, and after being spotted by a record company scout in 1963, Kiki was signed as a solo artist to Fontana Records.
In 1963 Kiki released her first single “Early Night”, and recorded her debut album “I’m Kiki Dee”, which included a series of Phil Spector style tracks and covers including “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, Nancy Wilson’s “How Glad I Am” and her 1965 release “Why Don’t I Run Away From You”, which became an airplay hit on both Radio London and Radio Caroline. Kiki’s 1968 single “On a Magic Carpet Ride” has remained a much sought-after classic on the Northern Soul circuit.
During these early years Kiki gained a respectable reputation as a backing session singer, working with many artists such as Dusty Springfield and performing on two of Dusty’s early hits, “Little By Little” and the Carole King song “Some Of Your Loving”.
Continuing her solo career, Kiki appeared on iconic TV shows like the Morecambe and Wise show, The Two Ronnies and The Benny Hill show, (of which Kiki appeared in an early episode performing the Blood, Sweat and Tears hit, “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy”).
In 1970 Kiki became the first British artist to be signed by Tamla Motown, releasing an album on the label in the same year. She worked with legendary producer Frank Wilson on tracks including “The Day Will Come Between Sunday and Monday” and “For Once In My Life”, recording in the original Motown studio in Detroit, which is now a museum.
After signing to Elton John’s Rocket Records label in the early 1970s, Kiki scored her first UK Top 20 hit in 1973 with her version of the Véronique Sanson song “Amoureuse”. An English lyric by Gary Osborne lead to a lifelong friendship with the lyricist, who also penned the lyrics for “The War Of The Worlds” musical. In the same year, Kiki could be heard singing backing vocals on Elton John’s global smash album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. During this period Kiki recorded two albums produced by Elton and started song writing for the first time.
During her career, Kiki Dee has released 39 singles, three EPs and 12 albums. Kiki’s latest single ‘Sidesteppin’ With A Soul Man’ will be her 40th single release.
Kiki’s 50th year as a recording artist finds her still pushing boundaries and moving forward. The title track of the new album “A Place Where I Can Go” is about the joy of music, and as the lyric says: “In the Middle of this sound is a place where I can go”.
All the new songs have been written by Kiki and Carmelo, with the exception of a duet with Eddi Reader entitled “Horses”, which was penned by a young Canadian duo called Dala.
Carmelo Luggeri’s abilities as a guitarist, composer and producer have taken him on a rich and interesting musical path over the last two decades. Born in England of Italian parents, Carmelo was mainly self-taught with some classical training. It was whilst sitting on a beach in Italy that he first heard Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti”. This was the defining moment when he fell in love with the guitar and decided a life in music was for him!
He was signed to Bill Wyman’s Ripple Productions as a writer and artist collaborating with Bill on several projects. He worked with Julian Lennon and they co-wrote “OK For You” on the multi-million selling album “Valotte”.
Working with comedian, television personality Billy Connolly he created the “Watzin’ Matilda” re-work used for the hugely successful 1995 “World Tour Of Australia” TV series. In 1998 Carmelo produced the track “Stealin” for the film “Still Crazy” starring Jimmy Nail. The British comedy about a fictional 1970s rock band named “Strange Fruit” starred Billy Connolly, Bill Nighy and Timothy Spall was nominated for two Golden Globes in 1999.
During a spell living in San Francisco, Carmelo produced and wrote tracks for the west coast soul outfit ‘SFO’ featuring vocalists Martin Scott and Rudi Wilburn from ‘Pride and Joy’.
Carmelo has also worked with US singer Andy Williams, Paul Rodgers, (Free, Bad Company), Kenney Jones, (The Faces, The Who), Ray Cooper, (Elton John), Chris Rea and singer songwriter Ralph McTell.
Carmelo and Kiki’s paths first crossed when he produced a collection of bonus tracks for “The Very Best of Kiki Dee” album, and, having hit it off musically, they took on a new musical direction together, playing acoustic concerts, starting with an appearance at The Royal Albert Hall for World AIDS Day in 1994 and their musical collaboration which led to their debut acoustic album “Almost Naked” and UK tours.