November 29, 2004

SJP


Artist: Parachute Club



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Lorraine Segato (vocals, guitar, percussion)
Julie Masi (timbales, percussion, support vocals)
Dave Gray (guitar)
Lauri Conger (keyboards, synthesizers, support vocals)
Margo Davidson (congas, saxophone, percussion, support vocals)
Billy Bryans (drums, percussion, Sincussions)
Steve Webster (bass)
Russ Boswell (bass; replaced Webster)
Keir Brownstone (bass; replaced Boswell)

This Toronto politico-musical troupe had its beginnings back in 1977 when Lorraine Segato, Lauri Conger and Billy Bryans became fixtures on Toronto's Queen Street circuit as part of a six-piece band called Mama Quilla II. The group released one 12" EP, produced by yet-to-be legendary Daniel Lanois before evolving into V which was a reggae-pop-funk collective that played around Toronto in 1981-82.

The act was unable to fulfill an appearance at Toronto's 'Festival Of Festivals' so Segato and Bryans quickly organized a band of musicians, including Lauri Conger, Steve Webster and Margo Davidson, under the name The Parachute Club. In short time they landed a deal with the newly created Gerry Young Management Co. and its offshoot label Current Records.

Later that year Winnipeg native Julie Masi joined followed by guitarist Dave Gray who was added during the recording of The Parachute Club's 1983 eponymous debut which was produced and engineered by Daniel Lanois.

The first single/video "Rise Up" became a statement of sexual and racial harmony. Parachute Club wore their politically correct vision on their sleeves with hit singles like "Alienation" and "Boy's Club" screaming out their message. "Rise Up" won a Juno Award for 'Single Of The Year'. Steve Webster departed to join Billy Idol’s touring band and was replaced temporarily by Russ Boswell.

For their second album, "At The Feet Of The Moon", they added new bassist Keir Brownstone and charted with the title track that was bolstered by a 12” EP featuring a dance remix and several versions of their previous hit “Rise Up”. They were nominated in CFNY-FM's U-KNOW Awards for 'Album Of The Year', 'Group Of The Year', and 'Female Vocalist Of The Year' (Lorraine Segato). That same year they won a Juno Award for 'Group Of The Year'.

With the production help of Hall & Oates' John Oates, the group released 'Small Victories' in 1986 which featured a duet with the singer and Lorraine Segato on the album's first single "Love Is Fire". The song gave the band an international profile. Julie Masi left the band following their initial Canadian tour for the LP.

In Mid-1987 Lauri Conger also left for registered massage training in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Parachute Club continued on with Manteca’s Aaron Davis through 1988 (with Conger filling in for an ailing Davis during an appearance at Ontario Place during the summer of 1988).

The Parachute Club decided they’d achieved their collective goals and retired the act in 1989. Segato moved onto a solo career which continues today; Bryans began doing session work for other recording acts, producing and is currently running a music promotion company that helps international music from the Far-East, Africa and Europe gain exposure in North America; Conger, with the approval of a Canada Council “Arts B” grant application, returned to Canada in 1998 to pursue a musical focus in First Nations music/rhythms; Davidson had left the music industry to work with not-for-profit and advocacy groups before dying unexpectedly from undisclosed causes May 17, 2008.

The Parachute Club's "Rise Up" was used as the theme song to a 2-part CBC documentary series that focused on Canadian music of the 1980s.

With notes from Lorraine Segato, Lauri Conger, and Kevin Shea.




Singles
1983 Rise Up (Current/RCA)
1984 Alienation (Current/RCA)
1984 Alienation (extended club version/Alienation (version) [12"] (Current/RCA)
1984 Boy's Club (Current/RCA)
1985 At The Feet Of The Moon [edit]/Walls And Laws (Current/RCA)
1985 Act Of An Innocent (Current/RCA)
1985 Sexual Intelligence/Equal/Equality
1986 Love Is Fire/Waves (Current/RCA)
1987 Love And Compassion/Secret Heart (Wild Zone) (Current/RCA)
1987 Walk To The Rhythm (Current/RCA)
1988 Introduction To The Big World/Big Big World [edit]//Big Big World (Current/RCA)

Albums
1983 The Parachute Club (Current/RCA)
1984 At The Feet Of The Moon (Current/RCA)
1985 Moving Thru The Moonlight (Current/RCA)
1986 Small Victories (Current/RCA)
1992 Wild Zone: The Essential Parachute Club (BMG)

Video


Compilation Tracks






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