Haircut One Hundred were a British new wave group formed in 1980 in Beckenham, London by Nick Heyward. In 1981 and 1982 the band had four UK Top 10 hit singles: “Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)“, “Love Plus One“, “Nobody’s Fool“, and “Fantastic Day“.
Nick Heyward and Les Nemes had been in several bands together since 1977. They were first known as Rugby, then as the Boat Party, then as Captain Pennyworth, and lastly as Moving England, before finally becoming Haircut One Hundred. By this time, Heyward and Nemes had met guitarist Graham Jones, and the three were joined by drummer Patrick Hunt. Managed by Karl Adams, the band recorded some demos. Phil Smith played saxophone on the sessions and he joined the group, followed by percussionist Mark Fox. The group played some live dates and were signed by Arista Records in 1981. They entered Chalk Farm’s Roundhouse Studios to record their debut single, “Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)”, which became their first hit, reaching No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart in late 1981 and resulted in their first appearance on BBC Television‘s Top of the Pops.
For the recording of their debut album, Pelican West, Blair Cunningham replaced Hunt on drums. Their second single, “Love Plus One”, was released in January 1982 and gave the band their second UK Top 10 hit. Pelican West was released in February, reaching No. 2 in the UK Albums Chart. The band became internationally famous and toured the globe. “Love Plus One” reached the US Top 40, and they secured further UK Top 10 hits in 1982 with the singles “Fantastic Day” and “Nobody’s Fool“.
In late 1982, tensions began arising within the band as they struggled to record new material, which was hindered when Heyward refused to attend recording sessions. Eventually, in January 1983, the band’s forthcoming single, “Whistle Down the Wind”, was postponed and a statement was issued confirming that the band and Heyward were parting company.
At the time, Heyward told Smash Hits magazine that he had been contemplating going solo for some time and had already recorded some tracks with session musicians. However, many years later, Heyward stated that he had been struggling with stress and depression at the time after a year of constant work and pressure, which led to him being, in effect, sacked by the other members of the band. With the loss of the band’s frontman and main songwriter, Fox took over vocal duties and the band continued to write material themselves (several B-sides during Heyward’s tenure had been credited to the whole band). The band left Arista and signed with Polydor Records, but further singles by this line-up failed to reach the UK Top 40 and their follow-up album, Paint and Paint (1984) failed to chart. The band split up soon after. Heyward, however, embarked on a successful solo career in 1983, and scored several chart hits (including the aforementioned song “Whistle Down the Wind”, which was his first solo release in March 1983) and a Top 10 album, North of a Miracle.
- Nick Heyward (born 20 May 1961, Beckenham, Kent) – lead vocals, guitar (1981–1983, 2004, 2009–2013)
- Les Nemes (born 5 December 1960, Croydon, Surrey) – bass (1981–1984, 2004, 2009–2013)
- Graham Jones (born 8 July 1961, Bridlington, East Yorkshire) – guitar (1981–1984, 2004, 2009–2013)
- Patrick Hunt (born in Shaftesbury, Dorset) – drums (1981)
- Phil Smith (born 1 May 1959, Redbridge, Essex) – saxophone (1981–1984, 2004, 2009–2013)
- Marc Fox (born 13 February 1958) – percussion, vocals (1981–1984, 2004, 2009–2013)
- Blair Cunningham (born 11 October 1957, Harlem, New York City) – drums (1981–1984, 2004, 2009–2013)
80s Studio Albums