On their 2000 album Trouble Over Bridgwater, Half Man Half Biscuit speculated about what had become of them in the 1990s. In the song The Ballad Of Climie Fisher, Half Man Half Biscuit asserted that “Fisher went to work as a researcher for the BBC Education Department; rented a flat in Norbury, South London. Climie moved into the gravel business, with his brother.” But further on in this “story that’s never been told,” the group revealed that Fisher decided to get a new band together, and “so it passed that on October the 3rd 1995, he took to the stage at the Duke Of Marlborough pub in Amesbury, on the south-eastern edge of Salisbury Plain. Well of course Climie had somehow found out about all this, and was standing right in front of Fisher with pockets full of gravel. Thirty seconds into the first song and he’s raining his stones down at Fisher’s feet. Well the music stops. Fisher goes berserk. Mayhem. Police cars.”
In fact, both remained very active in the music industry, but it was as songwriters (working separately) that they would achieve the most notable results. Rob Fisher had found himself back in the higher reaches of the singles chart barely weeks after the demise of Climie Fisher. With Rick Astley, he co-wrote Cry For Help which became Astley’s eighth consecutive Top 10 hit at the beginning of 1991. (This made the start to Astley’s chart career one of the strongest ever for a solo artist.) He would write several other songs with Astley in the first half of the 1990s, a couple more of them being hit singles. He also performed keyboards on some tracks for Astley and a number of other artists. Towards the end of the decade, he was back working with his former band mate in his pre-Climie Fisher group Naked Eyes, Pete Byrne. Fisher’s untimely death in 1999 meant there was no new Naked Eyes album, but Byrne included one of the songs they had been working on on his 2001 album. Simon Climie’s excellent solo album, Soul Inspiration, due in 1992, eventually appeared early the following year. The beautiful title track was a minor hit single on its first release but it flopped when re-issued with the new title Shine A Light, as did the album and its other singles. But he hadn’t lost his ability to write a commercial song. For example, one of his songs was recorded by ex-Eternal singer Louise Redknapp for her 1997 album Woman In Me (he also programmed the keyboards and performed backing vocals on another track), and in 2000, he co-wrote Boyzone member Stephen Gately’s debut solo single New Beginning, which reached #3.
NEW SINGLES on sale from Dec. 12
Gary NUMAN The Wreckage (Beggars Banquet BEG50)
CLIMIE FISHER Love Like A River (EMI EM81)
Sydney YOUNGBLOOD Congratulations (Circa YR22)