The Real People formed in 1987 by siblings Anthony and Christopher Griffiths. The band are seen as one of the first bands to play what would become known around the world as Britpop.
Chris (guitar/vocals) and Tony Griffiths (bass guitar/vocals) invited into the band Sean Simpson (guitar) and Tony Elson (drums) and cited early influences as being the Mersey sound of the 1960’s along with contemporaries such as The Stone Roses and Inspiral Carpets.
There have been various line-up changes made during the bands existence with Simpson replaced by Alan Gillibrand in 1995 while at about the same time Tony Elson was replaced by Garry Ford.
The band began their existence playing the clubs around Liverpool and by 1988 had signed a one single deal with Polydor Records in 1988 to release the song One by One, production of the song being controlled by Eddie Lundon of China Crisis.
The song convinced Polygram Records to offer the band a publishing deal and in 1989 the band had signed a recording contract with CBS, a subsidiary of Columbia Records, releasing their first album the self titled The Real People in 1991.
The album reached the top 40 in the UK album chart with the singles Window Pane (#60), Truth (#41) and Open Up Your Mind (Let me In) (#70) enjoying modest chart success.
However disaster struck the band were preparing to release their second album Marshmellow Lane when the CBS label was taken over by Sony Records.
The band had already released Believer from the album with the single reaching #38 in the UK singles chart but the band suffered from the Sony cull and left the label with the Marshmellow Lane LP sat on the shelf (Two tracks from the album would be featured on the 1996 compilation CD Liverpool – The Calm Before the Storm).
What’s On The Outside
The band pressed on and in 1995 recorded their third album on the independent label MGL Records with the album released in November 1996.
The band supplemented the album What’s on the Outside with several independent single releases on their own label Egg Records.
These singles included Bring You Down (a top ten hit in the independent singles chart) and Rayners Lane (Top 100 in the UK singles chart).
However in 1996 another blow was felt when MGL Records folded and the band once again found themselves without a record deal.
This coincided with an unexpected turn of events as a rejuvenation in the Griffiths brothers fortunes occurred. The Internationally renowned recording artist Cher recorded a cover of the early Griffiths brothers composition One by One and the record went on to sell over six million records worldwide.
This gave the brothers the capital to set up their own studio in Birkenhead and set about recording their fourth album although a new record deal was proving elusive.
The band will likely be forever known as being a precursor to the Britpop era of the 1990’s and along with The La’s and The Stone Roses have been cited by Oasis as being a major influence.
However Tony and Chris Griffiths also had a hand in crafting Oasis’ early material, much of which would appear on their debut release Definitely Maybe.
Songs like Rock ‘n’ Roll Star, Married With Children and Columbia where initially recorded by Tony and Chris at their studio on the dock road.
In all eight songs were recorded and armed with this demo Oasis managed to get the record deal that would set them on the path to superstardom.
Griffiths brothers Produce and writing songs
However the Griffiths brothers have enjoyed success producing and writing songs for various artists including Ocean Colour Scene, BB Mak and Atomic Kitten.
The two also enjoyed a top twenty writing credit with Icelandic group Nylon while the same group covered The Real People song Closer with both songs becoming #1 hits in Iceland.
The band released their fourth album Think Positive on 6 December 2010 and the band have gigged consistently with their current line-up (Chris Griffiths, Tony Griffiths, Martin Lappin (guitar) and Tony McGuigan (drums)). The band have so far failed to find a suitable record label to release their material but they are selling the album via download and directly at gigs.