COLOURSØUND is a project created by Billy Duffy of The Cult and Mike Peters of The Alarm while Duffy was on hiatus from The Cult which spawned an album and tour. COLOURSØUND was launched at The Gathering 6 event in Llandudno, Wales on Friday 9th January 1998 consisting of Mike Peters (Vocals & Guitar), Billy Duffy (Guitar) Craig Adams (Bass) and Johnny Donnelly (Drums). At the event no-one knew that this new project existed until they took to the main-stage after Mike had performed his traditional acoustic set in the round. In 1999 they went into the studio to record and release an eponymous album which featured 11 self-penned songs released on 11th October 1999. Subsequent releases included two additional live recording that represented The Cult (“She Sells Sanctuary”) and The Alarm (“Strength”). A three disc expanded set that included the additional material, demos, acoustic and live tracks was released in 2001 after the project had been put on hiatus after Duffy had reformed The Cult with Ian Astbury. It is rumoured that The Cult reunion occurred after Astbury saw COLOURSØUND live rekindling his interest in reforming the band with Duffy.
Prior to the launch of COLOURSØUND Billy Duffy had appeared at the Gathering 5 held in January 1997, guesting on the encore of “She Sells Sanctuary”
COLOURSØUND Live and Events 1998/1999
9th January 1998 – The Gathering, North Wales Centre, Llandudno, Wales , UK – World Premier of the launch of COLOURSØUND. Performing a set of 6 songs : Under The Sun, Where Do You Want To Go?, State Of Independence, Heavy Rain, Alive, Rain
19th March 1998 – SXSW Festival, Atomic Cafe, Austin, Texas, USA – American debut of the band.
ColourSound impress the music biz: After ColorSound’s impressive showcase on Thursday at Atomic Cafe during South by Southwest in Austin, it seems just a matter of time before the supergroup – which features Mike Peters (the Alarm), Billy Duffy (the Cult), Craig Adams (Sisters of Mercy, Mission U.K.), and Johnny Donnelly (Ireland’s Saw Doctors, who are on the Guinness Fleadh dates) – inks a record deal. The house was wall- to- wall with major label A&R folk, including reps from Interscope, Columbia, and Island, as well as label heads, attorneys, and others in the know. Even without a label, the band – which has seven songs to its name at the moment – has attracted noted producer Bob Rock (the Cult, Metallica) to work the knobs on the group’s debut album, at his request. According to a source close to the band, they’re heading to Hawaii this week to record in Rock’s studio for early pre-production. “They’re doing basic tracks, working out the songs,” says the source. The three month old ColorSound, which is managed by U.K. based Ian Wilson, who used to manage the Alarm, is described as “a ’90s version of the Cult but with a better singer. They take the best elements of the Cult and the Alarm with a tighter singer.” Singer Peters and guitarist Duffy are writing the material together.
25th March 1998 – The Viper Room, Los Angeles, California, USA
6th April 6th 1998 – ColourSound Record In Hawaii with Bob Rock: Coloursound got to Hawaii to record with super-producer Bob Rock. Their first two shows had the industry buzzing, and spurred some majorlabel interest.
14th April 1998 – The Mercury Lounge, New York, USA
The A&R event of the week was the COLOURSØUND show at the Mercury Lounge. COLOURSØUND are the new band fronted by former CULT guitarist BILLY DUFFY, and the label weasels were repeatedly out in force to catch this show. The band are allegedly so hot that METALLICA producer BOB ROCK is already twiddling the knobs for their debut album- despite the fact that they’ve only got seven songs…and no record deal! At least not yet
21st July 1998 – Róisín Dubh, Galway, Republic of Ireland (Part of the Galway Festival)
26th August 1998 COLOURSØUND 4 track EP Release : Under The Sun, Alive , Heavy Rain, Fade In – Fade Out – Fade Away.
Alive In The UK Tour
20th September 1998 – University, Manchester, England
21st September 1998 – The Barfly, Camden, London NW1, England
26th September 1998 – Harley Davidson Biker Rally, Rothbury, Northumberland, England,
28th September 1998 – The Barfly, Camden, London NW1, England
29th September 1998 – The Duchess, Leeds, England,
30th September 1998 – Glow, Aberdeen, Scotland,
2nd October 1998 – King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, Scotland
5th October 1998 – The Barfly, Camden, London NW1, England
18th November 1998 – Party invite to the New York COLOURSØUND Show on to celebrate their signing to Velvel Records
29th May 1999 – Faenol Fawr, Bodelwyddan, St Asaph, Wales – COLOURSØUND DAY – Acoustic, Electric and more
9th October 1999 – The Astoria 2, London WC2, England (Album launch gig)
11th October 1999 – COLOURSØUND Album released
In 2020 Mike Peters surprised fans when Billy Duffy appeared as a guest on The Big Night In lockdown series performing a new version of “Fade In, Fade Out, Fade Away” which also featured Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard on drums and George Williams on Bass.
Fade In Fade Away – 2020 Big Night In New Recording – Video Link
A remastered version of “Coloursound” was released on limited red and blue vinyl options as well as on CD all of which also included the new version of “Fade In, Fade Out, Fade Away” rather than the original 1999 version. While a new album “Coloursound II” was recorded at The Chapel Studio in Lincolnshire between COVID-19 lockdowns with George Williams Producing as well as playing Bass and Smiley providing Drums. “Coloursound II” was again offered as blue or red vinyl options both of which contained two additional tracks (“The Wild” & “The Candle”) not featured on the CD version. The album is due for release on the 16th July 2021.
Alongside Mike and Billy other musicians have been involved in the studio and live.
Mike Peters – Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Harmonica, Drum Machine (1998-to current) – Studio and live
Billy Duffy – Lead, Acoustic & Bass Guitars (1998-to current) – Studio and live
Craig Adams – Bass Guitar, Acoustic Bass Guitar (1998/1999) – Studio and live
Johnny Donnelly – Drums (1998/1999) – Studio and live
Scott Garrett- Drums (1998/1999) – Studio
Steve Grantley – Drums (1998/1999) – Live
Mark O’Grady – Sound Effects, Programming – (1998/1999) – Studio
James Stevenson – Rhythm Guitar (1999) – Live
George Williams – Bass Guitar (2020) – Studio
Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard – Drums (2020) – Studio
(Page updated 20/06/2021)