The young Herbie Armstrong spent his teens and early twenties touring Ireland and the North of England with Irish show bands, and also worked for six months in late 1967 as the lead guitarist in Screaming Lord Sutch’s backing band.
In the early 1970s, after a period living abroad in Portugal in which he ran a riding school, Armstrong founded in London the pop band Fox, with the American songwriter and musician Kenny Young (who had written the 1964 hit, ‘Under the Boardwalk’, for the Drifters) and Australian singer Noosha Fox. Fox had two major chart hits, 1974’s ‘Only You Can’ and 1976’s ‘S-S-S Single Bed’, both of which sold over 200,000 copies. While ‘Only You Can’ reached number three in the UK charts, ‘S-S-S Single Bed’ stalled at number four, but was also a number one hit in Australia. There were also three Fox albums, ‘Fox’ (1975), ‘Tails of Illusion’ (1975) and ‘Blue Hotel’ (1977).
When Noosha left Fox after ‘Blue Hotel’, Armstrong and Young maintained their song writing partnership and formed new wave act Yellow Dog. Yellow Dog released three albums, ‘Yellow Dog’(1977), ‘Beware of the Dog’(1978) and ‘Strangers in Paradise’(1981), and in 1978 had two chart singles, ‘Just One More Night’ and ‘Wait Until Midnight’ (the latter of which was the first single that this writer bought as a twelve year old).
Herbie Armstrong spent the late 1970s and early 1980s touring the world with his childhood friend Van Morrison, and played lead guitar on four of his albums, ‘Wavelength’(1978), ‘Into the Music’(1979), ‘Common One’(1980) and ‘Beautiful Vision’(1982). He then embarked on a solo career, which saw him release one album, ‘Back Against the Wall’, in 1983 on the short-lived Making Waves label, before he moved on from music to take up a career in management in the licensed trades.
He ran in London for a while Armstrong’s, a restaurant, whose regular customers included Yellow Dog’s old label boss Richard Branson at Virgin Records and the comedian Kenny Everett, for whom Fox had written his TV theme tune. Armstrong then went on to open two live venues in Sheffield including the renowned Boardwalk, and now runs The Fountain, an inn, live venue and restaurant in the village of Rowland’s Castle near Portsmouth. (by John Clarkson)
And here´s his first solo ablum … and it´s a superb album … This should have been so much more successful … if you like Van Morrison … than is this album a must.
A forgot hewel in the history of Irish rock, including a great band (Pee Wee Ellis !).
Herbie Armstrong + rare single
Herbie Armstrong (guitar, vocals)
Mitch Dalton (guitar)
Pee Wee Ellis (saxophone)
Peter Van Hooke (drums, percussion)
Mark Isham (bass, keyboards, saxophone)
Patrick O’Hearn (bass, synthesizer)
Phil Palmer (guitar)
Linda Taylor – Sharon Campbell
01. Losing You (Armsrong) 4.34
02. Horses Of Steam (Kelly/Richmond) 5.04
03. You Take Me Up (Armstrong) 4.08
04. Friday’s Child (Morrison)
05. Back Against The Wall (Armstrong) 3.55
06. Heaven Only Knows (Armstrong/Platania) 3.48
07. Josie (Armstrong) 5.17
08. Let It Run (Armstrong) 3.33
09. Save The Last Dance (Pomus/Shuman) 4.14
10. Coming In From The Rain (Armstrong) 4.38
Herbie Armstrong in 2011