The Kane Gang enjoyed a string of British and European hits in the 1980s, including Closest Thing To Heaven, Respect Yourself and Gun Law, as well as scoring a US pop hit with Motortown and a US dance No 1 with Don’t Look Any Further.
David Brewis and Paul Woods founded the group alongside friend Martin Brammer – and now the pair have joined forces again for a new collaboration, Autoleisureland.
Vocalist Paul and multi-instrumentalist David teamed back up four years ago and quickly started amassing new material – but their plans were put on hold due to the Covid pandemic.
Now the fruits of their labours have finally seen the light of day with the release of double A-sided single Autoleisureland and Fade Out and an album on the way.
The Kane Gang often took inspiration from their North East roots, and Autoleisureland is no different – the band’s name and debut single were inspired by a late-70s American-themed car mart in Pallion, while the new album shares its title – Infiniti Drive – with Nissan’s luxury brand.
Paul, from West Boldon, left the Kane Gang after the release of their second album and returned to his old job as a sub-editor with the Sunderland Echo before moving to the Shields Gazette.
He reckons the new material is very much a modern take on the band’s classic sound: "I left before the third album – which was never actually released,” he said.
"I think this is a development of that – it is almost like the third album has come out 20 or 30 years later.”
He and David had been inspired by a resurgence in interest in 80s music and tracks such as Blinding Lights by The Weeknd, with its Aha-like synthesizer sound: "We felt as though we were on the right track because there has been a lot of incorporation of 80s sounds coming back into fashion,” said Paul, 65.
The pair have been careful to keep things light and breezy after two years of lockdown, even if the subject matter of the songs itself is sometimes dark.
"I think we made a conscious decision to make it as poppy as we could, as upbeat as we could, even though the last four songs on the album are the darkest things I have ever written ” said Paul.
"We actually held three or four ballads back because we thought they spoiled the flow of it.”
Paul is delighted people will finally be able to hear the pair’s work after leaving his role with the Gazette to return to music, only for the pandemic to get in the way.
"I left work early to do this and it was almost finished when lockdown happened and we were just siting around for a year,” he said.
The duo have no current plans to play live, though Paul is not ruling it out long-term: “At the moment, we just don’t want to stop doing what we are doing.
"With the amount of time we’d have to take out to rehearse, we just want to get as much stuff finished as possible.”