This Day in 1983: Everything But The Girl’s Live Debut

Thursday, January 5, 2017
This Day in 1983: Everything But The Girl’s Live Debut

33 years ago today, Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt – the duo known collectively as Everything But the Girl – made their live debut.

When Thorn and Watt first met, they were both students at the University of Hull, and if they weren’t officially recording artists in their own right quite yet, then they would be soon enough: Thorn, a member of a trio called the Marine Girls, released a solo album entitled A DISTANT SHORE, in 1982, while Watt released an EP of his own, SUMMER INTO WINTER, the same year. It was also in ’82 that they issued their first single as Everything But The Girl, a cover of Cole Porter’s “Night and Day,” but their first live performance – or certainly the one that truly put them on the map, anyway – took place at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) in London.

Thorn and Watt were real up-and-comers, to be sure, but there was an equally historic event going on at their show: they talked Paul Weller, then late of The Jam but not yet fronting The Style Council, into making it a joint show. Needless to say, it was always going to be a big deal whether Everything But The Girl performed or not, but perform they did, and they made a big splash in the process. Come the following year, they’d released their debut album, EDEN, and found themselves sitting in the top 15 of the UK Album chart, kicking off a career which would take them all the way through to the year 2000.