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Ian Prowse is a musician, singer, songwriter who wears his heart on his sleeve and writes straight from the cuff. He’s the frontman of Amsterdam and previously of indie cult band Pele. Thankfully for his fans across the world, it’s all the same thing.
2020 is a big year, he’s supporting Elvis Costello on all the dates of his UK Tour and releasing ‘The story of Ian Prowse’ a retrospective collection of his 30 year career supported by a mammoth British acoustic tour as well.
Raised on the rallying cry of protest songs, influenced by the Celtic sounds that make Liverpool so unique and inspired by the songwriting craftsmanship of Paul Weller, Mike Scott and Bruce Springsteen, it was no surprise, at the start of the 90s, when the rest of Britain was swaggering along to the baggy sound of The Stone Roses, Ian put together a band that marched to their own beat.
The result was Pele, a five piece alternative rock ‘n’ pop band with an infusion of Celtic sounds, and a live show that became stuff of legend. They released 2 studio albums, 1 live album and 6 singles that lit up the bottom end of the UK charts, but literally exploded like fireworks all over the world.
The band split in 1996. Three years later Ian formed Amsterdam, it was to take another 5 years until they were signed to an independent label. During this time the band struck up a friendship with Elvis Costello, which saw them playing as his band on the Jonathan Ross Show, supporting his live shows and eventually recording a duet of ‘Don’t throw your love away’, originally a hit by the Searchers.
Amsterdam saw some success with their first single ‘The Journey’ but it’s their song ‘Does This Train Stop on Merseyside?’ that cemented Ian’s place in the hearts of DJs, songwriters and music fans alike. Radio 1 DJ John Peel was reduced to tears every time he put it on, openly crying live on air because of its connection with Liverpool, the city he loved. Irish legend Christy Moore then took the song on in 2009 making it the centrepiece of his album ‘Listen’.
After releasing a best of album ‘Does This Train Stop on Merseyside: The Very Best of Ian Prowse’ and two more solo albums ‘Who Loves Ya Baby’ and ‘Companeros’, Ian then spent his time remastering and re-releasing his first two classic Pele albums ‘Fireworks’ and ‘Sport of Kings’ to celebrate their 25th anniversaries.
In between these shows, Ian and producer Tony Kiley worked on ‘Here I Lie’, an album of songs that tackle life, love, loss, death and Liverpool. Since being released in April 2019 on Kitchen Disco Records, ‘Here I Lie’ has racked up an impressive array of plaudits from fellow songwriters like Elvis Costello, Baz Warne from The Stranglers, Miles Hunt of The Wonder Stuff and Damien Dempsey. It has also amassed top reviews from the Daily Mirror, The Skinny, R2 and Louder Than War.
In fact Elvis Costello was so impressed with ‘Here I Lie’ and armed with the personal experience that his live show was nothing short of outstanding, he quickly invited Ian to support Elvis and the Imposters for every date on his British Tour.
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