Released today in 1985: Touch Too Much

Jive JIVE91

Jive JIVE91

Steve Lambert came to join Roman Holliday when he answered an advert in a newspaper placed by founding member Brain Bonhomme, who needed a singer at a time when his band was “looking for [a] new direction”. At the time of this ad, Bonhomme described the type of music that Roman Holliday were playing as ‘pop/rock’, but the influences had expanded rather when he and the rest of the group were interviewed in Smash Hits shortly before the release of their October ’83 album, Cookin’ On The Roof. “Early ‘50s Bebop, R&B and Rockabilly fused with ‘60s type pop songs and ‘80s production,” he said, in reference to having a 7-piece band with a drummer into funk, a brass section dedicated to swing, and himself and the others favouring rock ‘n’ roll. (Lambert listed John Foxx-era Ultravox, another Midge Ure band Rich Kids, and Buzzcocks as his musical heroes.) “We’ve just got to find some common ground,” Bonhomme admitted. And for a while, they did. Their single Don’t Try To Stop It was a hit in the UK and the US in 1983.

How long it could last was the question. They had already dropped the sailor caps they all wore at early gigs, realizing that they seemed gimmicky; their musical style was also subject to the same charge. What they would do next though was up for debate. “I know what’s going to happen. Steve’s gonna leave and form a supergroup with Limahl and Nick Heyward,” Bonhomme speculated in the same interview, in reference to Limahl’s sacking from Kajagoogoo and Heyward’s departure from Haircut One Hundred.

He was joking of course, but in fact he wasn’t wide off the mark: Lambert did go on to work with another well-known name. Roman Holliday, as it happened, lasted another two years and Touch Too Much turned out to be their last single. When the group split, Lambert teamed up with Jon Moss, soon also to be out of a job with the collapse of Culture Club. They formed Heartbeat UK but unfortunately that project lasted just one single in 1987. Lambert moved to the US and for some time gave up any ambitions in pop music at all.

NEW SINGLES on sale from May. 28
BOW WOW WOW (Annabella Lwin) I Want Candy (RCA RCA238)
WHAM! Wham Rap! (Inner Vision IVLA2442)
MADONNA Crazy For You (Geffen A6323)
ROMAN HOLLIDAY (Steve Lambert) Touch Too Much (Jive JIVE91)


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