Vocalist and songwriter Martin Brammer (b. 13 May 1957, Easington, County Durham, England) and multi-instrumentalist Dave Brewis (b. 3 June 1957, Sunderland, England) met at school in the northeast town of Seaham, County Durham, England. Teaming up with Paul Woods (b. 28 May 1956, Seaham, County Durham, England; vocals), the trio developed a liking for 60s/70s soul, funk and R&B which led them through several bands before forming the Kane Gang in late 1982. ‘Brother Brother’ was planned as their first single on Candle Records, a joint venture with friend Paddy McAloon of Prefab Sprout, but both bands were soon signed to new Newcastle label, Kitchenware. In 1984, the company licensed ‘Brother Brother’ to London Records, which signed the band, releasing their attack at the north-south divide, ‘Smalltown Creed’ (1984), produced by Pete Wingfield. In contrast, ‘Closest Thing To Heaven’ was a smooth ballad, and secured the Kane Gang a UK Top 20 chart hit. Further success followed that same year with a faithful cover version of the Staple Singers’ ‘Respect Yourself’, a song which featured soul veteran P.P. Arnold on backing vocals. The Bad And Lowdown World Of The Kane Gang in early 1985 effectively summarized the band’s progress (and featured guest musicians included Sam Brown).
A two-year hiatus was broken by the release of the single ‘Motortown’, which brought another Top 40 hit and was followed by a second album. Sporting a slicker, more sophisticated production, Miracle also spawned ‘What Time Is It’, and then a cover version of Dennis Edwards’ ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ (1988), the latter reaching number 1 in the US dance chart. In 1991, vocalist Paul Woods departed to concentrate on a solo career. Brammer and Brewis attempted to record a new album before pulling the plug on the Kane Gang. Brammer went on to enjoy success as a songwriter, composing songs for the likes of Tina Turner, Beverley Knight, the Lighthouse Family, and James Morrison.~ Rovi