This group was formed in Yorkshire, England, in 1981 by Paul McBride (vocals), Paul Solynskyj (b. 27 October 1966, England; guitar), Martin Hawthorn (bass), and Mick Dobson (drums). The band was formed while they were still schoolboys and they would reportedly fall asleep in class after a heavy night’s gigging. On finishing school, Excalibur continued to tour heavily, while the members also attempted to hold down day jobs. Conquest Records signed the band in 1985 after an employee heard Excalibur by chance one night. The Bitter End mini-album was released in 1985, containing slightly predictable but melodic heavy metal. In 1986 Excalibur expanded to a five-piece with the addition of Steve Blades (b. 20 May 1968, Scotland; guitar, keyboards). This was followed by a session for BBC Radio 1’s Friday Rock Show, which was broadcast in July 1986 and again in September. The four tracks that the band recorded were later released by Clay Records as the Hot For Love EP in 1988. That year saw Excalibur appear on a BBC television programme, On A Personal Note, where they performed ‘Hot For Love’ and ‘Running Scared’ alongside slots from Def Leppard and Little Angels. Before the year’s end, Dobson was replaced by Dave Sykes on drums, while the group supported Uriah Heep for most of their UK tour. In 1989 the band signed to Active Records and immediately began recording a debut album. The first taster was a track entitled ‘Carole Ann’, an acoustic number that drew comparisons to Bon Jovi. After One Strange Night was released to critical acclaim, Excalibur embarked on their first full headlining tour of the UK in February 1990. They supported Saxon on UK and European dates, though there were further personnel changes to endure. Livermore had replaced Martin Hawthorn in 1989, and he now left to make way for Dean Wilson (b. 5 March 1966, England). In 1991 Excalibur were in the studio recording their follow-up album, when Paul McBride announced that he was leaving the band, placing their career on hold.
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