SMOKIE are Europe’s most successful live performing band. The band was formed by Bradford schoolfriends Terry Utley, Alan Silson and Chris Norman in 1965. They intially performed as “”The Yen””, then “”The Sphynx”” before becoming Smokie in 1974.
Smokie got their first big hit in 1975 when “”If You Think You Know How To Love Me”” peaked at number 3 in the UK charts. A sustained period of success follows with hits including “”Don’t Play Your Rock ‘n’ Roll To Me””, “”Oh Carol”” and their most successful hit “”Living Next Door To Alice””.
Smokie had had a number of line-up changes over the years. Original lead singer “”Chris Norman”” left in the early 80s to pursue a solo career. He was replaced by Alan Barton who fronted a revival of the band in the second half of the decade.
Tragedy struck Smokie in 1995 when three of the band members were involved in a tour bus crash in Germany. Lead singer Alan Barton died after five days of intensive care in hospital.
Tours and festivals were lined up so Smokie had to find a new lead singer quickly. Friend of the band Mike Craft was invited to audition, and got the job after performing one song.
The Smokie lineup has now been stable for over 20 years. They are Mike Craft (lead vocals since 1995), Mick McConnell (lead guitar since 1996), Martin Bullard (keyboards since 1986), Steve Pinnell (drums since 1986), Terry Utley (bass since 1968).
Smokie are Europe’s most successful live band and performed to huge audiences in packed stadiums around the continent. They regularly perform in Russia, Poland, Lituania, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland.
In 2018, Smokie released a three-track EP featuring new songs “”One More Miracle””, “”At The End Of The Rainbow”” and “”Love Is All We Got””.