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When the panto run was over I returned to London and picked up where I left off with my singing and piano lessons whilst songwriting anywhere and everywhere I could......I used to carry a portable tape around with me and record any ounce of an idea (I still do), I scribbled notes about lyrics and listened to a lot of different music.

Limahl - 'Angel' front coverAround this time I also entered a few 'talent contests' in various pubs/clubs for the experience and fun, plus there was always the chance somebody important might be out there in the audience. One night after a north London pub contest, I met two budding songwriters who invited me to record some of their stuff. It was really interesting recording other people's songs, collaborating, working things out together in the studio, it's a process which really satisfies creatively and at the end of this recording session, we'd completed 2 more good demos. One of them, 'Good Night's Sleep' eventually became the B Side to 'Angel' which was one of the first Chris Hamill releases on a small, independent record label.

Later that Summer I auditioned and got the part of Benjamin in 'Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' which was going on a UK tour. Again it Limahl - as Chris Hamill - Cast of 'Joseph' UK tour 1979was another chance to learn and grow but unlike Panto this really was a singers show.....after this tour I said for many years that my time performing in 'Joseph' really was the best singing lesson I ever had......singing everyday and sometimes twice a day, the brothers actually sing more than the lead part most of the time, it's vocally very demanding.

The stage part of Benjamin in 'Joseph' was offered to me again later that year in Plymouth (south west of UK) at the Hoe Theatre who were putting on the production instead of a Panto for the Christmas season. Whilst in Plymouth I traveled to a town nearby Torquay where there was a small studio to record some more demos. It was during the Plymouth run that fellow actor/singer Tim Bentinck offered me one of his own compositions 'Who shall I be today' which we recorded a few months later in London. This demo turned out to be one of my strongest which was important then because I really needed to play some demos back and feel vaguely satisfied..... at such an early stage I was full of doubt......I Limahl - as Chris Hamill - 'Joseph' Brother 'Benjamin'was constantly wondering if my voice would appeal to anyone, was it good enough, etc, little did I know that a good recording depended on many other factors and not JUST the voice.

After Plymouth I returned to London and joined a band whose advert I saw in the Melody Maker magazine and we named ourselves 'Crossword' but after a few songwriting sessions and gigs it sort of fell apart. I can't remember exactly why, I think the drummer got his girlfriend pregnant or something.....

Continued......

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