Subject:2 are Gary Starky & Sandra Tully, a UK based electronic music act with genuine Basildon heritage.
“Who is it?” asked Gary Starky: international pop nobody.
“It’s me Sandra Tully! Your comedy musical partner! Can I come in?” came the reply.
“Have you brought me any lunch?” enquired Gary rolling his eyes.
“No! Co-Op were out of your most favouritist Cheese and Onion rolls, so I bought some Taramasalata and a really prickly cucumber” Justified Sandra eagerly.
“I don’t do fishy things….can you push the cucumber through the letterbox?” Gary said in a resigned manner.
“Do you want it as crudités or slices?”
“I don’t know why I bother!” huffed Gary as he got off the sofa to reluctantly open the door.
It all began with the immortal line “I hear you can sing?” as Gary boldly approached Sandra at a house party in 1991. Obviously the answer was “Who told you that?” and the rest, as they say, is not known by anyone else……until now. The band was called Subject2Scandal at the time that Sandra came on board to add a female vocal to Gary and Gareth Hughes’ established partnership. All three attended Southend College studying Drama and Performing Arts, Sandra finished in ’91 as Gary and Gareth started. Gary and Gareth met with Sandra the next day, all the worse for wear, and played her the 3 track demo they had recorded using an old Fostex multitrack cassette recorder. Sandra felt she could enhance the band’s sound as they all had similar musical influences from the 80’s. They went on to perform their first gig as a trio at the legendary ‘Sun Rooms’ in Southend on Sea, for local promoter John Quick. Simon Fowler saw this performance and their potential and arranged for the trio to record a couple of tracks at a friends studio. The three intrepid young performers were very excited at the sound proofed shed and their first taste of a professional set up. Their last gig as a trio was, shortly after this recording session, at an Aids awareness club night, where they all got very excited again as they descended from the ceiling on a hydraulic stage! As scheduling rehearsals had become an enormous problem, the trio became a duo. More live performances followed as well as getting played on Steve Wright’s unsigned bands segment which at the time was the nations premier platform for unsigned artists. There was immediate interest from Polydor who requested a further demo but after the demo was delivered the musical tastes of the nation changed and the dream faded. Thank you Spice Girls! With the bubble burst, normality became the new buzz word. Sandra and Gary settled in to the hum drum every day living that we see all around. Sandra got married to Neil and had baby Buster and Gary settled down with Damon and became a cabinet maker….as you do! During this time Gary and Robert Marlow teamed up, with Gary behind the synths, and ‘Marlow’ was born, but that’s another story. Fast forward to 2016. Gary had had enough of the rat race and decided to give his dreams a chance, dragging a reluctant Sandra back into the studio. Sandra had not sung for 20 years and felt that she no longer had what it takes, but Gary was having none of it and took great delight in going ‘Ike’ on her. Sandra realised that Gary’s embarrassing Ike Turner impersonation was in fact doing the job and like Dorothy, came to understand her voice had been with her all along. Their first project was an entry into the first round for the UK entry into the Eurovision Song Contest, unsuccessful of course. Thank you Brexit! However they then started to write new material and revamp some old songs hence the album title ‘Forward/Return’. The songs on this album have been written by Gary in collaboration with Sandra and Gareth and also includes two covers. The first ‘Feels Like I’m in Love’ is a much loved tribute to a song written by Ray Dorset. The other is ‘Misplaced’ written by an amazingly gifted local singer/songwriter Joy Marshall. Gary and Sandra don’t take themselves too seriously and enjoy every second of what they do. They both feel that this is their time. Older, A wee bit wiser and totally bonkers they appreciate every success and want to share their joy for life and music with you! You’ve only got one life…..so why make do?!
Teaming up with Electro-shock Records for the release of their Debut album 'Forward/Return', S2 are eager to share their electro musings with the you. The album is released on 29th November 2018, with pre-sale from 1st November.