Geisha are an Australian pop rock band, which formed in 1983 as Geisha Detail with founding mainstay Chris Doheny on lead vocals and guitar (later also on bass guitar). Their highest charting single, "Part Time Love Affair" (1986), peaked at No. 24 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart. They issued two albums, Geisha (October 1985) and Midnight to Dawn (October 1987), before disbanding in April 1988. Geisha briefly reformed in April 1998 and released a compilation album, The Very Best of Geisha, late that year. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described their style as "1970s glam rock and early 1980s English New Romantic bands such as Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet". Another version of Geisha was established by Doheny in 2007.
In 1983 Geisha were formed in Melbourne as Geisha Detail with Chris Doheny on lead guitar and vocals; his younger brother, Donoghue Doheny, on bass guitar and backing vocals; John Nyman on keyboards; Peter Robertson on drums; and Ken Sheppard on guitar. They shortened their name to Geisha and signed with EMI Records. In April 1985 the group released their debut, "Fool's Way", which appeared on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart. It was produced by Dave Marett (The Exponents) and was written by Chris Doheny.
Later that year they had two more charting singles, "Rainy Day" (July) and "Kabuki" (September). Their singles sold well in the local market - "Kabuki" reached No. 20 on the Melbourne charts - as they had developed popularity on the suburban pub circuit. Nationally they had less chart success, where "Kabuki" reached the top 50. Their debut self-titled album appeared in October 1985, other than "Fool's Way", it had been recorded from May to June with Peter Dawkins (Dragon, Australian Crawl and Air Supply) producing and Richard Lush engineering. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described their style as "1970s glam rock and early 1980s English New Romantic bands such as Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet".
In March 1986 Geisha re-released "Rainy Day" and followed with "Part Time Love Affair" in August, which reached No. 24 on the Kent Music Report and No. 3 on the Melbourne charts. Another single was issued, "Girl Like You", which also charted nationally. However by the end of the year they had become a three-piece with Chris Doheny and Sheppard joined by Brett Luton on drums. In 1987 Geisha's line-up was Doheny joined by Steve Carter on bass guitar; Rob Dean on guitar (ex-Japan); Tommy Hosie on drums (James Freud's Berlin) and Laurence Maddick on keyboards (ex-Strange Tenants). In August they issued another single, "Calling Your Name", which reached the top 100. They followed in October with their second album, Midnight to Dawn, and another charting single, "Normal People". The album's tracks were produced by David Courtney except "Normal People" by Kevin Beamish and "Part Time Love Affair" by band members. Geisha broke up in April 1988.
After Geisha disbanded Chris Doheny played in cover bands: Diamond Dogs, All the Young Dudes and Dragonfly. All the Young Dudes released a mini-album in 1991. In 1993 his hard rock project, Dragonfly, with Craig Harnath (ex-Kids in the Kitchen, Chocolate Starfish), released two extended plays, River of Love and Black Money. In 1994 Doheny provided lead vocals for "More Than a Game", the opening theme song for Nine Network TV program, The Footy Show, which charted in the top 60 of the ARIA Singles Chart, becoming his first appearance on Australian charts as a solo artist. In September 1997 he released a solo single, "Can You Hear the Rain" (Roadshow Music). In April 1998 Geisha temporarily reformed with the 1983 line-up: Chris and Donoghue Doheny, Nyman, Robertson and Sheppard; for a live performance and EMI Records released a compilation album, The Very Best of Geisha, in August.
In 2005 Chris Doheny performed acoustic versions of Geisha material on Chart Busting 80s on Melbourne TV station, Channel 31. From February in the following year he began work on an album, Acoustic Memoirs of Geisha, at his own Dragon Lair Studio. It was produced and mixed at Lincoln Road Studios by Bill Kio. The album appeared in September on Doheny's independent label, Diamond Dog Records, and in the US on Almacantar Records. The next month Chris Doheny and Friends performed Geisha material. In the same year Doheny supervised the release of another Geisha album, No Second Prize, which had been recorded in the late 1980s. In 2007, he formed a new line-up of Geisha with Joe Matera on guitar.I Heart Guitar 's Peter Hodgson reviewed a March 2010 gig, "Matera's playing is obviously informed by the great 70s guitar gods" whereas "Doheny's tone delved a little further back in music history, to London in the 60s" and Hodgson was "particularly impressed by Doheny's vocal power".
In January 2010 Geisha released another compilation album, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, which provided two singles, "Birthday" (previously an iTunes release), and the double-A sided "Mystery Writer" / "Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band". Two additional tracks are cover versions of Small Faces' "Tin Soldier" and The Beatles' "Come Together". In late 2010 Matera left the group to focus on his solo career. In 2011 the Geisha line-up of Doheny on vocals, guitar and bass guitar; Tom Hosie on drums (previously in the 1987 line-up); and Alby Stefani on bass guitar, guitar and keyboards; recorded material for a proposed new studio album, Dysphasia. The lead single, "Sailing", was issued in July 2011. According to Chris Doheny's website the album was due before Christmas in 2011. Early in 2012 Doheny released a solo single, a cover of Foo Fighters' "Times Like These".
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