Before forming the Clang Group in 2014, Clive Langer already had a long and impressive career in music.
Starting off in the early '70s as a guitarist in the art rock cabaret band Deaf School and then in the legendary Liverpudlian punk band Big in Vegas, Langer transitioned to a producer when he discovered the band Madness in the late '70s and helped them record their first single. Teaming with producing partner Alan Winstanley, he worked with Madness on their first album, 1979's One Step Beyond, while also forming a new band, Clive Langer & the Boxes, which released a 1979 EP, I Want the Whole World, and a 1980 album, Splash! His production work was a much more successful proposition, though, and Langer focused his attention there in the '80s, working on landmark songs like Robert Wyatt's classic version of "Shipbuilding" (which was co-written by Langer and Elvis Costello) and David Bowie's "Absolute Beginners," and important albums like Dexys Midnight Runners' Too-Rye-Ay, Teardrop Explodes' Wilder, and The Rise & Fall by Madness. The team of Langer and Winstanley became known for getting strong performances out of their bands and a big, clear pop sound that helped define the decade. Unlike many producers during that era, they were able to change with the times and in the '90s, working with artists both huge (Morrissey's Kill Uncle), on their way to being huge (Bush's Sixteen Stone), and those who should have been huge (They Might Be Giants' Flood). Along the way, they continued to work steadily with Madness, and in the 2000s produced albums by groups who were influenced by the albums the duo had produced in the '80s, namely Dogs Die in Hot Cars' Please Describe Yourself and the Holloways' So This Is Great Britain. As the decade wore down, Langer turned back to performing and Deaf School started playing live again and released a mini-album in 2001. At the same time, Langer started writing songs that he decided he would keep for himself and maybe use some day. At a 2014 dinner with drummer Gregg Braden, the two men decided to start a new band as an outlet for the songs and the Clang Group was born. Rounded out by Roxy Music's Andy Mackay on sax, Malcolm Lunan on bass, and keyboardist John Wood, the band signed to Domino Records and in February of 2015, released a self-titled four-song EP that included a version of "Shipbuilding" and sounded very much like a modern update on the Langer and Winstanley sound. Their debut album, Practice, was released late in 2016 by Domino and featured a guest vocal by Langer's longtime mate Suggs of Madness. ~ Tim Sendra, Rovi