dimanche, février 27, 2005

Edwyn Collins

Singer seriously ill after brain haemorrhage

By Danielle Demetriou

Edwyn Collins, the singer and record producer who fronted the rock band Orange Juice, is seriously ill in hospital after suffering a brain haemorrhage.

The Scottish musician, a pioneer of the Glasgow indie pop scene with hit songs such as "Rip It Up", was taken to hospital six days ago after suddenly falling ill, it was revealed yesterday. Collins, 45, who lives in London, was working as a producer on the debut album from the blues-soul three-piece band Little Barrie when he suffered the haemorrhage.

His management team said: "Edwyn Collins suffered a cerebral haemorrhage on Sunday night and has been in hospital since, where doctors are trying to stabilise his condition."

Collins' wife, Grace, described her husband's condition yesterday on his website, which was inundated with messages from concerned friends and fans. "He is being well looked after in hospital," said Grace, with whom the musician has a son William. "When there is more to report I'll let you all know."

It was in 1976 that the Edinburgh-born singer and guitarist formed the Nu-Sonics, which was reformed three years later as Orange Juice. The band defined the neo-pop scene in Glasgow and acquired a devoted cult following, scoring a number three hit with "Rip It Up" in 1983.

The singer, who is famous for his trademark soulful baritone and quirky retro-rock sound, went on to launch a solo career and was briefly signed with Alan McGee's Elevation in 1986.

During the 1990s he signed with the small UK independent label Setanta. The track "A Girl Like You", which appeared on his album Gorgeous George, became a huge international hit in 1995. It entered the top 10 in seven countries, including Australia, France and the UK, and broke into the US Top 40, making it the most commercially successful single of his 15-year recording career.

Three years later, Collins confirmed his status as a fiercely independent mover in the music industry with the release of the album I'm Not Following You. After a lengthy break, Collins then turned his hand to attempting a new slick soul sound with the release of the album Doctor Syntax.

But his efforts have not been confined to performing. Six years ago, he created and starred in the Channel 4 sitcom West Heath Yard, which featured cameo performances from singers such as Jarvis Cocker and Natalie Imbruglia. He even recorded two tracks with Rolf Harris after the Animal Hospital presenter performed "A Girl Like You" during his live shows.More recently he has concentrated on producing other artists, including Sons and Daughters and The Cribs..

© 2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.