Roland’s gift

Local hero returns for small stage gig.

The acclaimed soul-pop singer and actor Roland Gift is to play a rare and intimate show at Birmingham’s Hare & Hounds on Wednesday 3rd September.

The frontman, who saw major global success throughout the 1980s and 1990s, heads to the city to perform FYC classics along with new songs from forthcoming album and film Return To Vegas, backed by a six-piece band.

Following a 65-date UK tour as guest vocalist with Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, the Birmingham-born star is showcasing new songs and performing classics from the FYC canon at just a handful of selected dates around the country including Hull Freedom Festival, Gateshead Sage and Raindance Film Festival at London’s Café De Paris.

He explained, “Each date on this outing has a particular significance. Birmingham is where I was born, Hull where I moved to and started playing music, Gateshead is across the river from where FYC got our break on Tyne Tees TV’s The Tube, and London is where I now live. Playing the Hare and Hounds is like coming back to my roots.”

Roland Gift came to national attention after forming the Fine Young Cannibals in Birmingham with Andy Cox and David Steele of The Beat. He grew up in Sparkhill and with the FYC went on to become one of the defining voices of the late 1980s, enjoying worldwide success with the smash hit singles She Drives Me Crazy and Goodthing both topping the US charts along with album The Raw & the Cooked which held the number one position there for three months.

The former cover star of Rolling Stone and one of People magazine’s ’50 Most Beautiful People’ in the world has also realised a love of theatre and film, appearing in the Hanif Kureishi penned British movie Sammy & Rosie Get Laid, acting with the Hull Truck Theatre Company and appearing in and writing music for the Barry Levinson US movie Tin Men.

The enduring influence of Roland’s distinctive searing high vocals can be heard on a myriad of new artists today, including John Newman and Sam Smith.

Tickets for the Hare & Hounds, priced £15, are available from