In the 1980s, Ricky Gervais wanted to become a pop star in music – he only had success in one country.
Comedian’s dramedy “After Life” returns to Netflix this Friday, January 14th. There are six new episodes.
Ricky Gervais formed the band with his best friend.
Ricky Gervais’ comedy drama “After Life” is back on Netflix this Friday, January 14th. The third and final season has six new episodes. That ends the story of Tony, a reporter for a local newspaper who lives in constant misery after the death of his wife – but finds solace in the conversations and interactions he has every day.
Long before Gervais became a famous comedian – and became a star with “The Office” in 2001 – the Briton pursued a music career. Many fans may not know this facet of the comedian.
That was 1982. Ricky Gervais was 21 years old, wore mascara, had a disrespectful hairstyle and was significantly thinner. It was in June when Gervais formed a new wave band with his then best friend, Bill Macrae, in his senior year at University College London.
The name? Dancing seona. Macrae played the synthesizers, Gervais sang. They had a highly stylized, free and even queer aesthetic that contrasted with the conservatism of the society then led by Margaret Thatcher. And they got a deal with a label called London Records, which released the duo’s only two singles – “More to Lose” and “Bitter Heart”.
The songs did not achieve the expected success, and Seona Dancing was viewed by many as a David Bowie imitator, with little else to add. Even so, the duo took part in some television programs, performed in concerts and had some visibility. They decided to finish the project in 1984 realizing that Seona Dancing didn’t have a great future. However, Ricky Gervais continued to work in the music business for some time, directing artists like Suede – before they became well known.
Seona Dancing was founded in 1982.
Ten thousand kilometers away, in the Philippines, an unlikely phenomenon occurred. The archipelago was on the verge of a revolutionary period when a people’s coup overturned the authoritarian president who had ruled the country for two decades. Back then, western pop culture was particularly present among the younger generation.
Filipinos were mainly listeners to New Wave groups – and bands like the Pet Shop Boys or Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark achieved cult status in the Asian country. In between, Seona Dancing’s song “More to Lose” became a hit.
So much so that the radio DJ who started playing the track in 1985 didn’t reveal the true title of the song or the name of the band. Said it was called “Fade” and was Medium. But there were also occasions when it changed its name, claiming that it was called “Medium” and that it was composed by the Fade. The goal was for rival radio stations not to find out what the song was so they couldn’t play it.
Over time, this effort proved futile. “More to Lose” became a national hit and everyone got to know the subject. So much so that the song stayed on the country’s radio playlists for years.
“It has become a popular topic for young people in the Philippines focusing on this type of music – a compulsory track at so-called new wave parties that were held in upper class homes in Manila. Somehow the song gave the children a reason to be happy in the midst of the political and economic crisis, ”Filipino music critic Pocholo Concepcion told Time Magazine about the phenomenon.
When the Filipino Daily Inquirer got an interview with Ricky Gervais in 2014, neither comedy nor his television projects were the central topic. The conversation was based mostly on his career in music.
“We released a couple of singles. They failed and that was the end. Now that I’m famous in another field, people always find these pictures of me when I looked young and thin. It’s awful, isn’t it? She had a chin and nice, thick hair, “Gervais told the publication.” I’m almost glad it didn’t work out. Now I’d be dead, “joked the comedian about the hypothesis that she could have become a music pop star .
Still, Ricky Gervais never gave up music entirely. Over the years he composed a theme for “The Simpsons”, worked with David Bowie on a song for the “Extras” series and even toured as David Brent with Foregone Conclusio – the fictional band of the character in “The Office”.
In “After Life”, a series designed entirely by Gervais, the soundtrack was carefully selected. “I’ve never had such a budget [para a banda sonora], so I did crazy things, ”he revealed in an interview. “Usually the budget is made with what’s left, especially on TV, and we end up using generic music. This time I chose the greatest artists and my favorite songs. I had already tried that, but I could never find the money for everything. “
The ability to choose themes individually meant that each scene had the right ballad and text. “I even wrote everything into the script so that the montages fit the songs and are really moving subjects. Bring scenes to life. There is very little that beats music. It’s like downloading emotions. “
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