madhouse

Shy spent 1991 looking for a new vocalist. They saw a lot of vocalists and recruited John Francis , vocalist with the excellent “After Hours” band.

The band briefly renamed themselves “Black Cat” and arranged to play a gig in London. Unfortunately the gig got cancelled, as I found out when I made a 300 mile trip to see them, carrying designs for Black Cat logos/image etc. Nevermind. John Francis was let go for various reasons and the search for yet another vocalist bagan.

In 1992 Shy found the vocalist they needed, namely one John Ward, or Wardi as he’s known. Wardi was previously front man with Madame X, one of Axle Rose’s previous bands. Wardi was in L.A. when he got the call from the band. Wardi had known the rest of the band from his school days and it wasn’t hard for him to leave L.A. for Birmingham based Shy. Once in place the band started recording material for the album which was to be called Welcome To The Madhouse.

Welcome To The Madhouse was to be produced by Neil Kernon, the producer of Shy’s 1987 album “Excess All Areas”. Once again Neil Kernond proved to the right man for the job. The album itself was packed with commercial rock tunes and had a more rock n roll feeling. In fact it has to be one of Shy’s best albums with great melody, hook lines and superb production values.

The material was showcased at The Borderline Club in London under the name of “Crazy Crazy”, with Shy hoping for another big record deal. The Major deal didn’t materialise, although the album did get a major record release in Japan through Phonogram. In the U.K. the album was released through Granite, a new Birmingham based label. The band recorded the Rolling Stones cover “It’s Only Rock n Roll”., and had a very amusing video made to conincide with it’s release. The album got solidly good reviews, but the band came in for some negative reviews when they toured. Despite this the gigs were well attended, and Shy were back again playing live, and entertaining the fans with excellent aor. Wardi was in his element live and the band was a tightly knit unit again.

Stand out tracks on the album had to be opener “Parasite”, “Crazy Crazy” “Something For The Weekend” amoungst others. Distribution of the album in theU.K. didn’t go smoothly. The album was later re-released on Roy Davis’s label Pheonix, with bonus tracks and a new cover of 10 Downing street.

Review by Richy Ingham, Aorock.com

Video produced by Alan Kelly, taken from Wardi’s Youtube page

Share this

3 Responses to “Welcome to the Madhouse”

Add Comment
  1. A quality album but it really misses Tony Mills’ vocals.

  2. This is for sure your greatest album! Songs like Girls Like You, Crazy Crazy really made this album stand out from all the others!

  3. Steve took a ‘Change of Direction’ with his song writing on this album…awesome songs and personal performance as always and I think John Ward who has an amazing voice was the perfect choice…Steve wrote these songs to suit John’s vocal range. Superb!