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Friday, December 3, 2004
It must be nice to be able to count Madonna and Sir Elton John among your fans. There’s a chance to find out what makes Groove Armada so special when the group bring their greatest hits tour to Norwich UEA this week. Emma Lee grabbed a few minutes with one of the founders, Tom Findlay.
I think it's like the end of an era, says Groove Armada founder Tom Findlay, talking about the release of the band's greatest hits album.
You may not realise it, but you probably know more Groove Armada tracks than you think.
Most famous for I See You, a song about shaking a certain part of your anatomy, the remix of which was used on a car commercial, their tracks have been used to advertise a host of products from fizzy drinks to sportswear.
That song has been very good to us. It's made us quite a bit of money, Tom says of I See You.
Since Tom hooked up fellow jazz, funk, disco and house fan Andy Cato 10 years ago, Groove Armada have scored a host of chart hits including the blissed-out At the River, uplifting dancefloor anthem Superstylin and If Everybody Looked the Same.
They have sold more than 500,000 albums in the UK and 1.5m worldwide.
Tom says he couldn't think of a better career to have.
I'm living my dream. I'm very much enjoying my life, he says.
After the tour, Groove Armada are taking a break while Tom and Andy work on different projects. But it does not spell the end of the band.
Me and Andy have been doing Groove Armada for 10 years so it's good to do something different.
I'm currently remixing a track for [former Stone Roses frontman] Ian Brown. I'm doing it under an alias, but I can't tell you what it is. I'm like Zorro at the moment. I DJ at weekends. DJing keeps you on top of the scene.
We are taking a break but we are already talking about dates and getting into the studio, he says.
He is drawing up a wishlist of people he wants to work with including Andre 3000 from OutKast and REM frontman Michael Stipe.
And what of their famous fans? The group has recently done a remix for Madonna and played at the American magazine Interview's 30th birthday party, attended by the likes of Johnny Depp, Calvin Klein, P Diddy and Jon Bon Jovi at the invitation of Sir Elton John.
Everyone at a certain stage of their career gets asked to remix a Madonna track. It's like a rite of passage, he says.
Tom says he's looking forward to going out on the road.
I think the band are certainly playing as well as they have ever, he says. We have been to Australia, all over Europe, they are really tight at the moment. It is the best live show we have ever done. I can go out there and enjoy it.
So are there any venues in particular he likes to play?
Glastonbury, Brixton, oh, and Norwich of course, he says diplomatically.
t Groove Armada play Norwich UEA on Tuesday December 7. Doors 7.30pm, Try 01603 508050 for returns.