SPIKE from pop group 911 was once told that he had better retire from the group for three years.
Just 27 years later and ahead of a visit to Vietnam in August – a place they are still charting – the band will perform at Square Hits in Old Market Place this weekend on Sunday May 1 with Five also in an event 90s special.
For Simon “Spike” Dawbarn, now based in Winwick, he is keen to play whenever he can at Warrington, having not done so in his prime and it plays on his mind.
“Anything to do with Warrington, I say, yeah, let’s do it,” Spike said.
“The one thing I’ve always regretted is that we never did Warrington when we were in our prime of doing arenas and traveling the world.
“We never got to do Warrington because Warrington never had anything as big as we could do.
“They have festivals now, but they didn’t go there years ago.
“I always hated that we never got to do it, so it’s only after, we’re not as energetic as we used to be, but we still love doing it.
“It’s a buzz to do it in your hometown.”
For Spike, who joked that he’s aging now for breakdancing – but not summer hopping back, he enjoys the promotional side of the music industry with Allstar Promotions, especially his involvement with the music industry. former star of Strictly Come Dancing HRVY.
High school alum William Beamont continued, “I start them from scratch and give them a strategy to get there and get record deals.
“I like that side more, to be honest.
“Promoting people gives me more buzz. I started dancing at Mr Smiths when I was 13 or 14, Jimmy and I met 30 years ago and 911 started 27 years ago. I’ve called 911 for as long as you get used to it, it’s the same.
“With other people’s promotion, it’s not in my hands, so you’re more nervous.
“When I perform, I never get nervous, but with other artists, before they go on stage, I get nervous, which is a good buzz.
“I never thought I would do it 27 years after I started, it’s crazy.”
He thinks the city is still on top of the game in the pop world.
Spike, who racked up 10 consecutive top 10 hits with 911 at his peak, including number one A Little Bit More, said: “Warrington is the best place for talent. For pop music you can’t beat Warrington as they always go to the top.
“Whether it’s determination, I don’t know.
“You can’t beat Kerry Katona for her determination. This is the hardest industry to do. The fight she had and the way she continues to win is mental.
Spike, from Orford, still intends to start an academy to continue to help develop talent in the industry.
The 47-year-old added: “It’s something I’m going to do, it’s just to make it happen. I can’t teach anymore, I’m doing fine.
“My legs are gone now, I’m not up to date. It’s fine to do 911 but to do dance lessons, my ankle would go and everything.
“Promotion is a perfect balance. With that, I can teach them how to play and there’s a lot more to it than just being a good voice.
“You must be the hardest worker of all.
“The way these kids are doing today is basically copying the strategy we had at 911. We were unemployed and didn’t have a recording contract.
“We were in the top 10 on the charts when we weren’t signed, which was unheard of in the 90s.
“This strategy is working now and you have to work hard to do it and you have to be a good salesperson as well.
“I like to find talent and then put it to use.
“That’s why I wanted an academy because I could train them as kids and mold them to do it.”
And it will show why they did it this weekend.
For tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/square-hits-the-big-90s-party-tickets-220640921937