|Biography : IQ|
|IQ were formed in Southampton, England, in 1981. Relocating to London in early 1982, the band gigged relentlessly throughout the UK and released their debut cassette album Seven Stories Into Eight in October of that year. Their powerful and melodic music, coupled with outstanding musicianship and a theatrical live presentation, quickly earned them a dedicated following and a series of headline appearances at London's legendary Marquee club.
IQ's first vinyl album Tales From The Lush Attic, released independently in 1983, was described by Sounds as "an album which dazzles with its dexterity". To promote it, the band played countless concerts throughout the UK and recorded a radio session for the BBC's Friday Rock Show, which was swiftly repeated due to popular demand.
In 1985 IQ released The Wake, widely regarded as one of the classic progressive albums of the '80s. The band recorded a one-hour concert for television (subsequently released as the live album and video Living Proof) and undertook a nationwide tour of Britain with Wishbone Ash which culminated in a memorable performance at Hammersmith Odeon. HowEver, the pressures involved in writing and recording The Wake, along with playing more than 200 concerts in one year, led to tensions within the group and after the tour Peter Nicholls announced his decision to leave IQ. He went on to form his own group, Niadem's Ghost.
Recruiting new vocalist Paul Menel, IQ played at London's Piccadilly Theatre in 1986, a performance which would lead to the signing of a lucrative deal with Phonogram. A UK tour with Magnum followed and in 1987, the band's third studio album, Nomzamo, was released. It marked a change of direction and saw IQ incorporating more commercial influences into their progressive style. This period also saw the band's first live appearances in Europe, where they were enthusiastically received. Further exposure in mainland Europe ensured a loyal following. Are You Sitting Comfortably?, released in 1989, was produced by Terry Brown, notable for his previous work with Rush. The album was promoted by a full European tour with Mike And The Mechanics.
In 1990, dissatisfaction with the lack of support from Phonogram, combined with differing ideas about the band's musical direction, resulted in the departure of Menel and original bassist Tim Esau. The remaining members recruited Les 'Ledge' Marshall on bass, and a chance meeting with Peter Nicholls led to his rejoining the band. The new line-up performed only two concerts, at The Marquee club and La Cigale in Paris, before tragedy struck when Les, an old and trusted friend of the band, died suddenly and unexpectedly in the summer of that year.
This sad event served to bring the members of the band closer together and made Everyone more determined than Ever that IQ should continue. The release in 1991 of the live and rarities CD J'ai Pollette d'Arnu was a significant event in that it was the first release on Giant Electric Pea, a new label founded by members and associates of IQ. This year also saw the arrival of John Jowitt, formerly with Ark, as the new bassist. The band's triumphant concert at the Paradiso in Amsterdam that November was voted best of the year by readers of the influential Dutch SI Magazine, ahead of shows by Yes and Marillion, among others.
With a stable line-up once more, IQ resumed live work in Europe and the UK while also writing new songs. In May 1993, the band made their American debut by headlining the prestigious Progfest event in Los Angeles. They previewed material from their forthcoming album, Ever, which was released the following month. The album was launched with a sell-out show at the Stadthalle in Kleve, Germany, and was filmed and recorded for future release. Ever received worldwide critical acclaim, scooping Best Album accolades from SI Magazine and the UK's Classic Rock Society. It was supported by an extensive three-week tour of Germany and Holland, which served to re-establish IQ firmly on the live circuit.
In 1994 the band made a successful return to America, strengthening their growing popularity there. A European tour in November found IQ returning to Milan after an absence of seven years and playing to packed houses. Having regained the rights to all their albums, IQ set about re-releasing their entire back catalogue on GEP, each CD remastered and featuring extra tracks.
April 1996 saw the release of the sumptuous live double CD and video boxed set ForEver Live. This impressive package attracted excellent reviews and regular airplay from the legendary Alan 'Fluff' Freeman on Virgin Radio.
At the start of 1997, work began in earnest on what would become IQ's double concept CD, Subterranea. Released in September of that year, the album was supported by a full theatrical show, which incorporated video projections and moving lights. Hailed as the band's masterpiece, the album and show received unanimously enthusiastic responses from the music press and a rapturous response from fans around the world. Once again, IQ cleared the board at the annual Classic Rock Society awards, winning Best Album, Best Band and most of the individual musician categories.
IQ kicked off 1998 in style with a one-off showcase at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London. It was another triumphant night, which saw fans travelling from as far afield as Holland, Italy, Malta and even the USA. February found the band in the studio again, taking the unprecedented move of completely re-recording their 1982 cassette album. Seven Stories Into '98 was released in April 1998 to coincide with the band's successful two-week Subterranea tour of Europe where they performed the album in its entirety at each show. The final performance in Holland was recorded for posterity and is now available as the Subterranea: The Concert VHS video and double CD, with a DVD to follow. The band spent most of the year 2000 writing and recording the new studio album The Seventh House, which was released to wide acclaim in February 2001. This new CD has proved to be a worthy follow-up to Subterranea, combining a harder edge with IQs renowned melodic sensibilities. 2001 also saw the 20th anniversary of IQ and this was marked by a special concert to a packed audience at Londons prestigious Mean Fiddler venue, with more dates in Europe to follow in 2002.
Source : http://www.myspace.com/iquk