Australian band The Venetians formed in late 1982 when vocalist Rik Swinn arrived in Australia with a 24-track master demo of a song he’d recorded in England.
He read a newspaper advert placed by two musicians looking for a lead singer and within weeks had hooked up with David Skeet (guitar), Matthew Hughes (keyboards), Peter Watson (bass) and Tim Powles (drums).
Their first single Sound On Sound (1983) failed to chart significantly, but their second single Chinese I’s generated some chart action while the band began to build their reputation as a live act.
Their debut album, Step Off the Edge (1985), was produced by Vic Coppersmith-Heaven and supplied the singles Ooh La La and Shine The Light.
The Venetians toured extensively with Split Enz, Icehouse and Nik Kershaw, and by 1985 they were a major Australian live attraction in their own right. At the end of the year, they returned to the studio (this time with producer Mark Opitz) to cut two songs, including So Much For Love which scaled the Australian singles charts, peaking at #3 in March 1986.
After recording second album Calling In The Lions, The Venetians embarked on a two-month Australian tour, with The Church, and released the singles Inspiration, and If Somebody Loves You.
Matthew Hughes departed in 1987 and The Venetians spent the next year recording their third album, Amazing World. It produced three singles, Amazing World, Bitter Tears and Must Believe, but further chart success was not forthcoming and the band broke up the following year.