Where is Fine Young Cannibals singer Roland Gift now?

1 July 2020, 16:39

Fine Young Cannibals
Fine Young Cannibals. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

The Fine Young Cannibals were one of the biggest groups around in the mid-to-late 1980s.

Thanks to their collection of catchy brand of alternative pop-rock, they scored several massive hits around the world, including two number ones in the USA.

But what happened to the band and its charismatic lead singer Roland Gift now?

  1. Who were the Fine Young Cannibals and why were they called that?

    The Fine Young Cannibals were a British rock band formed in Birmingham in 1984.

    They consisted of bassist David Steele, guitarist Andy Cox (both previously in The Beat), and singer Roland Gift.

    The group were created after The Beat came to an end. The duo of Steele and Cox spent eight months listening to over 500 cassettes of new singers, before picking Gift.

    In 1990, the band won two Brit Awards: Best British Group, and Best British Album (for The Raw & the Cooked).

    Their name came from the 1960 film All the Fine Young Cannibals starring Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood.

    "We all shared a love of the Stax sound in the Cannibals," Gift said in 2017. "That was the thing that brought us together and Otis [Redding] was probably my favorite singer, and he still is, so those influences will definitely be there."

  2. What were their biggest songs?

    Their self-titled 1985 debut album featured the hits 'Johnny Come Home' and a cover of 'Suspicious Minds'.

    Their 1989 album The Raw & the Cooked, topped the UK and US album charts, and contained their two US number one singles: 'She Drives Me Crazy' and 'Good Thing'.

    They also scored a UK top 10 hit with a cover of 'Ever Fallen in Love', taken from the Something Wild film soundtrack.

  3. When did they break up?

    After releasing two successful albums, by 1990 the group came to an abrupt halt.

    Steele and Cox had become part of the house scene, and released an instrumental single under the moniker 'Two Men, a Drum Machine and a Trumpet'.

    The trio unofficially called it a day, and went their separate ways. Aside from a one-off single 'The Flame' from their Finest compilation in 1996, they have not worked together since.

  4. Where is Roland Gift now?

    Roland Gift in 2015
    Roland Gift in 2015. Picture: Getty

    Gift released his self-titled solo debut album in 2002.

    At the same time, Gift reactivated the band name and toured as Roland Gift and the Fine Young Cannibals.

    Gift still performs regularly, and in 2017 went on a UK tour, performing FYC classics.

    In 2014, Gift said: “I fully expected the band to carry on and make a few more albums, but to be honest, I’m not sure what happened. We just stopped functioning as a band. It was sad, really.

    "There was a lot of pressure from people around us to sell more and more records, but music doesn’t work like that."

    Steele went on to produce Gabrielle's 1993 album Find A Way as well as a couple of solo albums in the 2000s.

    Cox formed the band Cribabi with Japanese singer Yukari Fujiu.