Kimberley Rew

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About this artist

Guitarist/songwriter Kimberley Rew may not be a household name, but his contributions to the new wave movement were quite significant. First, as a member of the seminal neo-psychedelic/punk outfit the Soft Boys, Rew’s ringing, Byrdsy riffs combined with those of leader and future cult icon Robyn Hitchcock to exert a massive influence on groups like R.E.M., whose jangly guitar-pop would become one of the dominant sounds in ’80s alternative rock. When the Soft Boys disbanded, Rew formed Katrina and the Waves, best known for their one huge hit single “Walking on Sunshine”; Rew composed that song as well as “Going Down to Liverpool,” which was originally recorded by the Waves but achieved greater recognition after being covered by the Bangles. As a solo artist, Rew’s only release for years remained the 1982 compilation The Bible of Bop, which featured Rew’s performances backed by the Soft Boys, Katrina and the Waves, and the dB's. That all changed in 2000, when after years of silence he released his proper solo debut, Tunnel Into Summer. In 2001, to the surprise of many, Rew and Robyn Hitchcock opted to reunite The Soft Boys for a riotously received concert tour; after getting off the road, The Soft Boys cut a new album, Nextdoorland, which appeared in 2002. That same year, Rew returned to the studio as a solo act, and released Great Central Revisited. The Soft Boys reunion proved to be short lived, with Hitchcock disbanding the group in 2003; Rew responded by returning to the studio, and completing a fourth solo set, Essex Hideaway, which appeared in 2005. ~ Steve Huey