The following biography and timeline appeared in the press package pieced together for the release of Songs for a Nervous World in 1988. Melody Maker interludes from Colin Irwin.
The Biography When placing the Technos’ single in his Top Twelve records in Music Week, reviewer Tony Jasper coined the phrase “this brilliant duo” to describe the Technos… Bev Sage and Steve Fairnie. Their successful career, steeped in art and music, will claim another triumph this year as Fairnie and Sage see the completion of their step into music as a duo, as the Technos begin to break all over the world. Their understanding of new music, which has resulted in recent successes in clubland… Foreign Land being in the Boystown Top Ten for six consecutive weeks and topping the Record Pool Chart of the Californian Association of Spinners, is combined with a debt that comes from having their finger on the pulse of late eighties music.
The Band The Technos are Bev Sage and Steve Fairnie. Originally conceived as a keyboard band, their recent adventures into guitar-based music have added a further dimension to Techno Music. The Technos have never been afraid to try something different. When they first separated from Writz, they decided to combine the songs of yesteryear with contemporary electronic sounds. This resulted in their first single for PRT… their quirky version of Falling In Love Again. It received unanimous acclaim from both press and radio stations, but remarkably failed to reach the Top Thirty. They then recorded an album along the same lines called Technostalgia, an electronic blend of self-penned songs and 30s-40s tunes. Probably best-known for their 30s-40s revival phase, ’88 sees them now presenting their own material to the public.
The Songs ’88 promises to be the vintage year for Techno Songs. The Technos, having combined with the production talents of Anne Dudley, well-known for her work on Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Art of Noise and Malcolm McClaren, and also bright up-and-coming producer Phil Harding, well-respected for his work on Matt Bianco… are now defining their own sound to be heard on their second album Songs for a Nervous World, produced by New York producer Joey Powers.
The Album Coming from a background steeped in art and music, the Technos are purveyors of fine songs. From the bizarre imagery of Mechanical Ballet through the social comments of War: One Voice and the classic song style Beat the Wings of Love, the Technos have combined their wildest lyrical visions with good hard American music. Once being described as a band who produced pictures to dance to, the listener will be presented on all levels with the results of two creative musical talents. The Technos have yet again produced songs and pictures to dance to.
Oct 1981 Bev and Steve release Falling in Love Again (a track they recorded with two friends just to see what happened). The Technos, then known as the Techno Twins are born.
Nov 1981 Bev on loan to Modern Romance as Queen of the Rapping Scene.
Dec 1981 – Jan 1982 Bev tours New York with Modern Romance.
Jan 1982 Falling in Love hits Top 70. Technos record for Tyne Tees Razzmatazz.
Feb 1982 Technos record Mechanical Ballet video in Wales.
10 Feb 1982 Bev appears on Top of the Pops as Queen of the Rapping Scene. Techno-related performances at The Venue, Heaven, Embassy and Club For Heroes.
Colin Irwin – The Scene:’Top of the Pops’. Modern Romance playing their new hit single ‘Queen Of The Rapping Scene’. It’s garbage of course – its sole saving grace is the appearance of a flamboyant red-head with the French accent and the haughty glances who comes in for the final rap. Her name is Bev Sage. Modern Romance take her with them when they tour America. She enjoys the experience, but it’s not what she wants to do. She wants to be a Techno Twin.
March 1982 Steve Fairnie runs club at Gossips: The Wedding Reception. Casual Tease album completed with John du Prez and Simon Humphries at Rick Parfitt’s studio in Surrey.
Apr 1982 Steve begins working on an idea for a Rock’n’Roll board game, later known as Hype. Bev leaves for American tour with Modern Romance. Can’t Help Falling in Love released. Bev records vocals for Monty Python film The Meaning of Life. The Technos tour the radio stations. Promotional tour sees them riding speedway bikes in Ipswich one day, then riding Robert Bros elephants through the centre of Bristol the next!
Colin Irwin – The Scene: A recording studio in North London. A white-faced shaken publicist, a brandy-sodden journalist, and two exotic exuberant characters who call themselves the Techno Twins. “We came back from Israel,” says Steve, “and we realized that in five years in the music business all we’d had out was two singles. And so we decided to cut the live performing just to get our style sorted out. We thought that if we put as much energy into recording as we always did on stage it could only be good for us.” The direction of the Techno Twins was partially inspired by their appearance in Dennis Potter’s television play ‘Cream In My Coffee’, where they appeared playing Thirties songs. It led to their first single, a florid electronic treatment of the Dietrich number, ‘Falling In Love Again’, which flirted with the outskirts of the charts. The new one, a similarly flash version of the Presley hit ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, threatens to go one better. They’ve also got a great version of Sonny & Cher’s ‘I’ve Got You Babe’ and have just finished a startling Glenn Miller medley; but most of the forthcoming album will be of original material. And when that takes off, then they can get down to the serious business of gigging. For these people are desperate to get on stage again. So desperate are they to perform that they’ll frequently be seen in restaurants just getting up and doing a mime or sketch. And they’ve formed an alter-ego band, Casual Tease, as an occasional work-out. Steve: “The difficult thing is that people think of the Techno Tinws as all dressed up, y’know, like poodles… Cruftsrock… whereas in fact we’re desperately serious about the music. That’s the real joke.”
May 1982 Can’t Help Falling in Love reaches n°13 in Sounds Dancefloor Charts. Technos take a trip to Malta. Record video material during carnival.
June 1982 Techno gig – Royal College of Art. Photos for Swing Together – Miller (Fairnie), Monroe (Sage).
Colin Irwin – The Scene: A recording studio in North London. A lady, newly blonde, draped in a strange purple knickerbocker costume, stands in the control room listening to her own voice. Her name is Beverley Sage. Her partner, black-haired, moustached and aristocratic, frowns in concentration, listening hard, watching closely. He so closely resembles Charlie Chaplin that he’s on the books of an agency as their offical rent-a-Chaplin. His name is Steve Fairnie. The track they’re listening to is called ‘Beautiful Women & Bermuda Shorts’, a kind of electronic calypso. In a couple of months it will appear on an album called ‘Technostalgia’, the first LP made together by Bev and Steve. They call themselves the Techno Twins. At that moment Fiona, a publicist, and Colin, a journalist, arrive at the studio. Fiona opens the front door, chats lightly over her shoulder and… disappears. She hurtles down two flights of stairs, bouncing on hips and shoulders, and flies head-first into the middle of Gus’s drum-kit, scattering Gus and equipment across the studio. Gus sits her up. Bev comes dashing in with a glass of brandy. Steve gapes in awe and amazement. “Wow”, he says, mightily impressed by the drama. “That was some entrance.”
Aug 1982 Technos release Casual Tease. Support Imagination at Edinburgh Festival. Technostalgia released.
Oct 1982 Appear on Razzmatazz. European tour – Brussels, Rotterdam, Lille, Paris, Strasbourg, Lausanne.
22 Dec 1982 Sign recording deal with PRT Records.
Feb 1983 Barbados House – Techno Arts Festival. Record Foreign Land: Gospel 30-piece choir in studio (PRT).
Apr 1983 Virgin sign Hype concept. Joe Glassman produces Foreign Land.
July 1983 Foreign Land goes Top 100. Tops Boystown Chart.
Nov 1983 Technos begin working with Anne Dudley.
Dec 1983 Technos recording album in AIR Studios.
Jan 1984 Technos sign to Warner Brothers for worldwide publishing.
Feb 1984 Hype. Technos Rock’n’Roll board game released on Virgin Games. Nightime Heaven released with nationwide club and radio tour support. Top 100 UK Charts.
Apr 1984 Steve Fairnie films for Tyne Tees Television (home of The Tube) and appears on The Tube’s Midsummer Night Special.
July 1984 Steve Fairnie makes film with Gavin Taylor for Tyne Tees.
Aug 1984 Spirit of the Thing released on PRT.
1985 Foreign Land released. Support gig for Philip Bailey August 1985, 12-piece band. Silent comedy film for BBC.
1988 Make documentary film for Boy George.