Graeme Clark is a musician, song-writer and record producer. He came to prominence as bass player, founder member and song-writer from the famous pop/soul band Wet Wet Wet - the band he formed with friends and fellow band members Neil Mitchell, Tommy Cunningham and Marti Pellow whilst attending Clydebank High School.
The band signed to Polygram Records in 1985 and their debut single - "Wishing I was Lucky" was an immediate hit along with the album "Popped In Souled Out".
Graeme also performs as a solo artist. He released his debut album (Mr Understanding) in 2012 and has released a further 2 ep's (Solitary Soul and Catching Fire). In recent years Graeme has toured extensively playing solo acoustic shows around the UK to an ever growing audience.
Wet Wet Wet Summary
The Wets released a series of 30 hit singles, including 3 number 1s, and have released 8 albums to date.
Wet Wet Wet had a well-documented break-up in 1999 when Marti Pellow and Tommy Cunningham both left the band for different reasons. These events were the initial drivers for Clark to begin working without his fellow band members.
The Wets have since resolved their differences and continue to tour and work together from time to time.
Graeme Clark's Background
Graeme Clark was born in a suburb of Clydebank on 15 April 1965. Previously a thriving manufacturing hub on the River Clyde, the town had been the target of a German bomb attack (The Clydebank Blitz) in 1941. Clydebank was largely destroyed during the air-raid but by the 1960s Clydebank was gradually being rebuilt. New housing estates were creating green suburbs to replace the tenements and social housing which had been the hallmark of such a working class town. Within this backdrop working-class families used their ambition and initiative to find a future for their children and Graeme's family was no different.
Much has been said of the quote suggesting that the only choices were "music, the dole or crime" underplays the determination and character of the people of Clydebank. The remark also ignores Clydbank's famous manufacturing history with John Brown's ship yard and Singer Sewing machines both being at the heart of Clydebank, employing large proportions of the population. But the 70s and 80s was a period when there was no longer an expectation that young men would walk out the school gates and into the shipyards.
The Thatcher years saw further decline for Clydebank as both John Brown's and Singers closed as the town suffered along with many other key manufacturing areas of the country.
But, it would take more than a war and economic decline to destroy the resolve of people from this area. Clydebank tried to reinvent itself and while others found themselves a trade, started up as entrepreneurs, or headed to university, Graeme saw his future in music.
Graeme Clark's Musical Career
Graeme got his first electric guitar at the age of 10 but admits that his first and abiding interest was in bass playing citing the music of West Side Story along with Simon and Garfunkel among his early musical memories.
During his teenage years Graeme grew to love the music of The Beatles, The Clash, Simon and Garfunkel and then fell for Memphis & Philadelphia soul with the work of Teddy Predergast, The O'Jays and The Isley Brothers all having a special focus. Along the way this lead to the work of Chic and a Wet Wet Wet collaboration with Nile Rodgers.
Throughout the lifespan of Wet Wet Wet Clark was heavily involved not just in writing and performing, but in the production of Wet Wet Wet music and the influences are clear. The life of Wet Wet Wet is well documented in many publications and won't be addressed in this article.
Following the departure of Pellow and Cunningham, Graeme completed a Wet Wet Wet project single-handed writing some music for a film - Shoreditch ( Malcolm Needs, 2002) starring amongst others, Shane Ritchie. Although not a box office success, it allowed Clark to spread his wings and demonstrate his versatility.
Under his own name Graeme wrote 2 songs for a Bollywood movie soundtrack - American Daylight (Roger Christian, 2004).
Graeme produced a version of Makin' Whoopee for Elton John in 2003.
During 2004 collaborated with James Fox although none of the work was released.
Shortly after this Wet Wet Wet put their differences behind them and spent some time in the studio releasing a Greatest Hits album with 4 new tracks. This was followed by a UK tour.
Further collaborations were explored by Clark over the next few years and a short spell in Nashville followed along with ad-hoc Wet Wet Wet shows.
In 2010 Graeme began working on new songs for his own use and in July 2011 Graeme released his first solo EP - Solitary Soul, recorded both at his home studio and at the Foundry Music Lab outside Glasgow. At this time Graeme also played his first solo show in Oran Mor, Glasgow along with shows at a number of UK cities later in the year.
Graeme's first Album, Mr Understanding, was released in February 2012 and another tour followed in April. Since this time, Graeme has been playing acoustic shows up and down the country and his growing fan base enjoy the stripped down environment where his songs can be heard live and without any musical cosmetics.