Touch And Go is the progeny of an unholy alliance between television composer David Lowe, veteran radio presenter and music journalist Charlie Gillett and co-founder of Oval Music, Gordon Nelki.
Charlie and Gordon have wide-ranging tastes in popular music and a fondness for something just that bit different. Paul Hardcastle’s 19 was one of their earlier successes. Having worked together on the Dreamcatcher project, the trio conceived a new concept based around largely instrumental jazz-based tunes with an ‘economical’ use of lyrics — quite unconventional by today’s chart standards.
Influences for the project ranged from The Champs’ Tequila and Mongo Santamaria’s Watermelon Man to Louis Armstrong’s Dippermouth Blues. Within a few days, Dave had put together Would You…? using a sampled vocal clip and trumpet jazz licks played by James Lynch, over a Latin rhythm.
Released in October 1998, Would You…? reached number 3 in the UK charts, remained in the top ten for a month and subsequently became a hit all over Europe and many other parts of the world. The single sold half a million copies worldwide, and was included on literally hundreds of compilations whose total sales exceed ten million copies.
Touch And Go’s album, I Find You Very Attractive followed up the success of Would You…? and included three more singles Straight To Number One, So Hot, and Tango In Harlem, all of which are widely played on radio throughout Europe, especially in Eastern Europe where Touch and Go is one of the UK’s best-known acts.
About The Performers
Vanessa Lancaster, Vocalist
Vanessa Lancaster began ballet classes at the age of 4, gaining success in exams at the Royal Academy of Ballet in London. Shortly afterwards she began drama lessons in her free time and auditioned successfully for the Corona Stage School in London where she was educated until the age of 16. Vanessa completed her education at the Lucy Clayton Finishing School in London which was followed by 8 months working in the USA.
In London, Vanessa has worked as a voice-over artist for numerous UK TV commercials and has modelled both on the catwalk and for beauty products. Her other television credits include Emu’s World for ITV and the James Bond movie Octopussy.
Vanessa began singing professionally at the age of 15 when she teamed up with brother Shaz to form a band called Boys Behaving Badly whose drummer later became a member of Jamiroquai. Vanessa was, of course, the only girl member of the group! Once her vocal talents were discovered, Vanessa became a much in-demand singer on the London recording session scene, which led to a world tour with Urban Species.
Having sung on numerous jingles for producer and songwriter David Lowe, Vanessa was invited to collaborate on a new project Dave was working on which became Touch And Go, whose records have now become hits all over the world. Vanessa co-wrote the Touch And Go songs Straight To Number One, Big Beat and So Hot.
James Lynch, Trumpet
James Lynch is a former principal soprano cornet with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain where he was awarded the Newman Cup at the age of 17 for Most Improved Player and a former lead trumpet with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. He studied with ex-BBC Northern Dance Orchestra and Syd Lawrence lead trumpeter Fred Kelly at the City Of Leeds College of Music, where he gained a first-class degree in Jazz & Contemporary Music and won prizes for Outstanding Performance, Brass and Arranging.
Jim has played with all of Britain’s leading big bands including the BBC Big Band, the John Wilson Orchestra, the Don Lusher Big Band, the Syd Lawrence Orchestra and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. He has played in literally dozens of West End musicals.
In the world of pop music, Jim has played in the big bands of Robbie Williams, Rufus Wainwright and Matthew Herbert appearing with London rapper Dizzy Rascal and for Babybird, Embrace, The Freestylers, Beverly Knight and a DJ Sharky remix for Missy Elliot. He was brass arranger, contractor and first trumpet for the Spice Girls on their 1999 UK tour, which was broadcast live on Sky TV from London’s Earls Court Arena.
In light entertainment he has played for Shirley Bassey, Michael Ball, Engelbert Humperdink and Lesley Garrett and has guested as lead trumpet for lighter music programmes with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Jim was a member of the John Wilson Orchestra which performed at the 2009 BBC Proms concert A Celebration of Classic MGM Film Musicals.
Film credits include the grammy-nominated soundtrack of Beyond the Sea starring Kevin Spacey in a Bobby Darin biopic for which he wrote four arrangements and on British TV, Jim can be heard as the trumpet soloist on BBC1’s The One Show and Cash In The Attic theme tunes, both of which are David Lowe compositions.
He was invited by David to collaborate on a new project, which eventually became Touch And Go. James co-wrote the Touch And Go songs Would You…?, So Hot and Life’s A Beach.