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1980's Belfast band, recorded 3 albums

About Silent Running


Silent Running are a Northern Irish rock band, who emerged from the Belfast punk scene and were originally called The Setz, before changing musical direction in 1982. The original band members were Richard Collett (bass, born 31 March 1960), Peter Gamble (vocals, born 24 November 1960), Tony Scott (guitars) and Ian Gault (drums). Prior to signing to EMI, the band recruited George Beavis on keyboards. The current line up has Gary Kirby on drums and Paul Rocks on keyboards.


The first single recorded, "All the King's Men"/"When the Twelfth of Never Comes", was a 300-copy promotional only release which led to a session for BBC Radio 1 following interest from Peter Powell.

Shortly afterwards, the band signed with EMI Records.

Shades of Liberty[edit]

The band recorded tracks such as "Speed of Life" for the proposed first album, although Beavis was subsequently dismissed and replaced with Alex White. The resulting album was Shades of Liberty which received a five star review in Melody Maker headlined "Silent Classic". Singles such as "Young Hearts" and "Sticks and Stones" both failed to reach the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart, and the band never achieved the desired breakthrough.

Second album[edit]

The second album on EMI was prefaced with the release of the double A-side single "No Faith Is Blind"/"Business as Usual". Despite airplay and appearances on television shows across the musical spectrum (including Cheggers Plays Pop), the single only charted at No. 85 in the UK resulting in the band being dropped by EMI. This led to the situation of their second album on EMI getting cancelled before its designated release date.

In a major coup, the band were subsequently picked up by Atlantic Records, becoming the first Irish act to join the roster of this American record label.

White left in 1985 to work with Joan Armatrading, resulting in the band relying on session musicians such as Adrian Lee (Mike + The Mechanics), Clive Gates (New Musik) and Ian Curnow (Talk Talk; he was not really a stranger to the band, since he had already played keyboards on their 1983 debut single) to record the next two albums (Walk on Fire and Deep).


The first album on Atlantic (Walk on Fire) spawned a minor US hit "Sanctuary", but again the band could not make the elusive breakthrough.

Gault departed the band after the initial recording of the third and final album, Deep in 1988 (demos for the unreleased fourth album are widely available), and was replaced by Gary Kirby. Paul Rocks joined the band at this time on keyboards, and the band finished recording the album with Frankie LaRocka in New York. They toured extensively after the album's release, but split up shortly thereafter citing a lack of record company support. The band reunited for one final performance at Belfast's Empire Music Hall to a capacity crowd in 1998.

Recently, many of the band's videos, audio tracks and live performances have appeared on many social networking sites, raising expectations of a final swan song.


In January 2018, the band reunited for the first time in twenty years, augmented by Callum Collett on guitar.

In March 2019, Silent Running announced a return to the stage at Belfast venue 'Voodoo' promising songs from all three albums as well as "showcasing new material". They played to a sold out crowd in June 2019.

A few weeks later, it was announced that they would play a second gig at Voodoo Belfast on 15 November 2019.

In August the same year, the band returned to the studio for the first time in 30 years to record a brand new track titled "Lost Boy". The song was released as a digital download in October 2019.

During the November 2019 gig, the band played two new songs; "Right Time Right Place" and "Shadowland".

Both shows were filmed and are available to watch on the band's YouTube channel.


Silent Running supported John Foxx in 1983, Simple Minds on their UK tour in early 1984, and also toured with Robert Palmer and Talk Talk. During September 1984, they performed live on the Channel 4 music show The Tube. The band toured the UK during late 1985 and played live on BBC Radio 1 for the Radiothon appeal at the Birmingham Powerhouse.

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