Reunion for Little Angels?

HOPES are high among fans of one of Scarborough’s most successful rock bands that a reunion could be on the cards after rumours surfaced on the internet.

The Little Angels were a hard rock band from the late 1980s who toured with some of the biggest names before their eventual split in July 1994.

Rumours of possible reunions have persisted since then but things looked more promising following the release of a statement by former member keyboard player Jim Dickinson.

He now teaches music at the School of Music and Performing Arts, at Bath Spa University, and the statement was published on the university’s website as part of his biography.

It read: “Regarding my commercial music, this year will see me recording new material with The Little Angels, with a scheduled release for 2012 alongside an appearance at a major UK Rock festival.”

When the Evening News approached former Little Angels vocalist Toby Jepson, who is currently touring in the US, he played down the rumours.

He said: “I don’t know where you got any of that information from at all. Chinese whispers I’m afraid.”

The band formed in Scarborough in 1984, when they were known as Mr Thrud, and the original line up included Toby Jepson on vocals, bassist Mark Plunkett, Dave Hopper on drums, Bruce Dickinson on guitar and his brother Jimmy on keyboards.

The band changed their name to Little Angels around 1987 and Michael Lee was brought in to replace the drummer – the same year that they were one of the last bands to give a concert in Scarborough’s Royal Opera House before an audience of 900.

They eventually signed to Polydor Records in 1988 with a deal that was supposedly signed at London’s Marquee Club – a legendary venue on the rock circuit.

Mark Richardson replaced Lee behind the drums after he was sacked when it was discovered that he had secretly auditioned for The Cult.

While the band was together they toured with the likes of Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Guns n’ Roses and Saxon.

They had a No 1 album, called Jam, in 1992 and 10 top-40 singles between 1990 and 1994 – their high point in the charts was a No 12 spot with Womankind in January 1993.

After the announcement that the band would split they played a sold-out six-date farewell tour which culminated in an appearance at the Royal Albert Hall.

At the time they said they were splitting so they could pursue their individual careers:

• bassist Mark Plunkett went on to manage Ronan Keating

• vocalist Toby Jepson has sung on solo projects and a number of bands

• lead guitarist Bruce Dickinson was one of four directors at the acclaimed Brighton Institute of Modern Music

• drummer Mark Richardson has since played with bands including Skunk Anansie and Feeder

• drummer Michael Lee played with the Cult before later working with ex-Led Zeppelin stars Robert Plant and Jimmy Page

• original drummer Dave Hopper worked for the National Trust at Kew Gardens in London

• keyboard player Jim Dickinson was a member of the Younger Younger 28s before teaching music students at the Westwood campus of Yorkshire Coast College – he has recently moved to Brighton to teach at the university.