I like this early Chris Hamill demo and I wanted to share it with you…..

In June 1979 with my fellow budding singer Christine Panayi, who later married and moved overseas (I think it was Greece) but a couple of years ago we made contact again and met for lunch in Belsize Park (north London), it was nostalgic and really great to see each other after losing touch all those years ago, she could still turn heads……we can all thank Christine too for being able to hear this early demo, I lost my copy years ago but amazingly Christine still had hers…… good on yer girl!

It captures a moment of my own personal journey that fills me with nice memories and nostalgia, back to those late teenage, musical hopes and dreams.

A couple of years after moving to London in about 1979 (which was life changing in itself), I hired a small recording studio in Battersea (South London) to record one of my new songs. A few weeks later the recording engineer called me and asked if I was interested in performing on a duet with another girl singer Christine Panayi (see photo) for a possible UK song selection/entry to the ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ that year.

The song ‘Strange kinda love’ was written by the producers Mike Karniris and Alan Fisher. I was flattered, it was a big compliment that they’d even asked me, after all I was only just starting out in the business so it seemed like a good opportunity.

I took the underground to ‘Kingley Studios’ near Regent Street (central London) where I met Christine and our photo were taken together just outside the studio building. The recording session was fun, I liked the song and learned it pretty fast but one small thing bothered me……they told me I was singing too “proper”!!

In their opinion the voice training and theatre stuff had perhaps steered me too much in the direction of a theatre style voice and I was quite secretly upset by this observation (although I didn’t show it). Thankfully they persisted in pushing me in the direction of a more contemporary sound which finally came and I was relieved to say the least.

Anyway, finally after 25 years gathering dust on a shelf somewhere, here are the fruits of that day from way back when……it seemed so exciting at the time and I smile now as I recall how we came up with the idea to call the duo ‘Kris’ coz my real name was Chris and she was Christine!! (putting the letter ‘K’ in Kris and dropping the letter ‘H’ made it seem a little more interesting and arty).

I think it captures beautifully that late 70’s guitar sound which had obviously influenced the producers (The Carpenters, etc.). Real Limahl fans will hopefully detect the 20 year old Chris Hamill voice in its infancy a few years before Kajagoogoo or indeed my later stage name Limahl. At the time I thought Christine sang infinitely better than me (such was my own self confidence) but now it doesn’t seem so bad (if a little rigid perhaps, vocally).

Needless to say, the song did not get selected for the ‘Eurovision’ that year and we all went our separate ways. I lost touch with the producers but a few years ago I met Christine for lunch in North London and she kindly sent me this copy of the song (I had sadly lost my own copy).  Isn’t it great that she kept it all these years……we’ve all got Christine to thank.

  • Strange Kinda Love

So, sit back, relax and get ready to be transported back to 1979.