When The Sharp Cuts formed more than 30 years ago, they were three teenagers who shared a passion for rock ‘n’ roll, swinging and jive music.
Playing high-profile concerts such as an appearance in front of Princess Diana at the London Hippodrome, and being one of the turns at a birthday party held for billionaire Richard Branson were just some of the standout moments for the group, who got together at Silverdale School in Bents Green.
The band are also immortalised by The Everly Pregnant Brothers in their song ‘Hoil Int’ Road’, that references The Sharp Cuts and their regular busking sessions in the long-gone Hole In The Road subway in Castle Square.
Now the band - John Hides on piano and vocals, Johnny Wood on double bass and Steve Delaney on guitar - are reuniting in their original form for a gig at The Greystones pub on April 9, which is already a sell-out.
Another gig is now being organised in May at the Yellow Arch Studios in Neepsend, with plans afoot for a further, bigger event at the end of the year.
Steve, who until recently ran Delaney’s Music Bar on Cemetery Road, said he was ‘amazed’ at the response, and that the new outings could be a fresh start for the band.
“We knew it was going to be popular but we didn’t think the tickets would sell so quickly,” he said. “It’s going to be great.”
Steve was 14, and John and Johnny were 15 years old when the band formed in 1983. There was a rockabilly revival in the charts at the time, but the Sharp Cuts harked back to swing, sax and jive-oriented music from the 1940s and 50s.
Their repertoire consisted of covers as well as a clutch of original compositions, and the band’s name was inspired by their smart stagewear and haircuts - courtesy of Scott’s barbers on The Wicker, a usual haunt after hunting for vinyl at the nearby Windmill Records shop.
At the peak of their popularity they came second on TV’s New Faces contest, hosted by Sheffield comedian Marti Caine.
“We lived for the band, and the music, from morning to night,” said Steve, now 47, who lives in Ranmoor.
“We travelled all over the country for rock and roll events and played at all sort of high profile industry do’s and corporate celebrations.”
The original line-up went their separate ways by the early 1990s, with Johnny, also of Ranmoor, starting a career lecturing in graphic design at Sheffield University and John moving abroad to Spain to run a bar.
However, a rehearsal has already been held, with promising results, Steve added.
“We went round to Johnny’s house and it literally all came back straight away, as if we’d never stopped playing.
“The Greystones gig is certainly not just a one-off.”