IAN PROWSE & AMSTERDAM
Ian Prowse is a singer/songwriter from Merseyside, England who has formed two bands, Pele, and Amsterdam.
Pele were a 5 piece formed by Prowse on Merseyside in 1990 following the demise of his first schoolboy bands When in Rome/Joseph Groome Towers in Ellesmere Port. Signed by Michael Levy in March 1991 Pele released 3 albums on Polydor/M&G Records. Six singles troubled the lower ends of the UK charts but abroad they scored hits in Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Holland and most notably a Number One in South Africa with ‘Megalomania’. Pele were a noted live act completing nine tours of the U.K. in their 6 year existence. It was often remarked that Pele sold more of their striking primary colour t-shirts than they did records. Despite Levy picking up the option to make a 3rd studio album the label now wished to market Prowse as a solo singer. This was resisted by the singer which led to a breakdown in the relationship. Pele split in 1996.
He formed Amsterdam in 1999 with cousin Johnny Barlow and former Blow Monkeys drummer Tony Kiley but didn’t secure a record deal until September 2004 when the band were signed to new label Beat Crazy. During this time Amsterdam struck up a friendship with Elvis Costello who used Amsterdam as his backing band on the Jonathan Ross television show as well as opening act on several occasions. The relationship was blessed on record when Prowse performed a duet with Costello on a cover of The Searchers 1964 hit ‘Don’t throw your love away’ for the Liverpool Number Ones Project on EMI Records in 2008.
The band’s first single for Beat Crazy was a UK top 40 single with ‘The Journey’ in February 2005. Follow up single ‘Does this train stop on Merseyside’ also hit the UK Charts. The song regularly elicited an emotional response from Radio 1 DJ John Peel. Peel’s widow Sheila Ravenscroft went on the station after the DJ’s death and confirmed that ‘He was not capable of playing it without crying’.
The band left Beat Crazy by mutual consent in 2006 and signed to The Stranglers management company CIA Recordings. The subsequent Amsterdam album Arm in Arm was voted 14th best album of all time out of Liverpool by the readers of Liverpool.com in Dec 2008. Christy Moore also released his version of “Does This Train Stop on Merseyside?” on Sony Records album Listen on April 17, 2009.
Amsterdam also appeared on the compilation album Mersey Boys and Liverpool Girls with their song “And It Hurts”