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The Bolshoi

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The British band the Bolshoi flirted with gothic rock without succumbing to the genre's limitations. The group formed in 1984 after Trevor Tanner (vocals, guitar) and Jan Kalicki (drums) hitchhiked to Woolwich, England, to find stardom. With the addition of bassist Nick Chown, the Bolshoi opened up for bands such as the Cult, the Lords of the New Church, Wall of Voodoo, and the March Violets. In 1985, the Bolshoi released the EP Giants, and songs like "Happy Boy" and "Fly" defined the group's early sound — stark, ominous guitars and morose narratives. Keyboardist Paul Clark joined the band before they recorded their first album, Friends, for Beggars Banquet in 1986. Distributed in America by I.R.S., the soaring single "A Way" garnered the band a loyal following on college stations and it was a hit in dance clubs as well. A year later a remixed version of "A Way" was included on the soundtrack of Something Wild. The Bolshoi toured with Peter Murphy and Spear of Destiny and then recorded their second album, Lindy's Party. With radio-friendly tracks such as "Please" and "T.V. Man," Lindy's Party enjoyed more airplay than the Bolshoi's previous efforts. In addition, Lindy's Party sheared the group's gothic leanings, opting for synth-driven pop that would expand their commercial appeal, but English critics continued to praise Tanner's taut songwriting. Nevertheless, deciding it was no longer fun working together, the band broke up shortly after its release. Clark moved to Seattle and became involved in electronic music. After a lengthy hiatus, Tanner returned to the studio to record Master of the World in 1998. Tanner reunited with Clark on the track "Majorette," and "Master of the World" was featured on Away...Best of the Bolshoi, a retrospective of the group's career, in 1999.