The front room of a house in Edmonton (suburban North London) is hardly the best setting for any group, but Hello’s performance in their drummer Jeff Allen’s home was enough to convince Russ Ballard of Argent that they had something special to offer.
And so it was that he began writing and producing for the group. Ballard wrote You Move Me (a single that received a lot of airplay), especially for them.
David Blaylock, previously with Chappell’s, the music publishers, was also present on that occasion and went on to manage the group.
Explaining his reasons for banking his hopes on Hello (originally a trio known as The Age), Blaylock said at the time: “They’re not a commercial pop group. They’ve played colleges, but there’s no doubt at all that they have a tremendous appeal for teenyboppers.”
It was from their manager’s record collection that the group extracted some of the rock & roll numbers they began to feature on stage.
The group’s appeal was easy to see. They were all only 16 themselves, and not only did they play a good variety of music with considerable guts, but Jeff Allen (drums), Keef Marshall (guitar and vocals), Vic Faulkner (bass) and Bob Bradbury (guitar and vocals) also had flair on stage.
The band got their first big break in 1973 when Gary Glitter invited Hello on his British tour.
Hello spent most of 1974 on the road, both at home and across western Europe and Scandinavia and they looked as great as they sounded.
Developing their stage image in the years before they were signed and predating any common notions of Glam Rock by six months, Hello’s original garb of crushed velvet or satin trousers, Grandad vests and Bob Bradbury’s omnipresent top hat had now given way to cut off denim jackets, jeans, patches and badges.
By the end of the year, the group had built up sufficient acclaim to take seventh place in the New Musical Express Best New Band readers poll.
It was producer Mike Leander’s idea that Hello re-record one of the better cuts on the Glitter Band‘s first album, the old Exciters hit Tell Him. The single reached #6 during a three-month chart run and also became the band’s first hit in Germany.
Subsequent hits evaded Hello until New York Groove (a Russ Ballard composition) became a Top Ten hit in the autumn of 1975. Ace Frehley of KISS scored a US Top 40 solo hit with his rendition of the track in 1979.
Debut album, Keeps Us off the Streets, appeared in late 1975 but failed to make a dent in the album charts. The second Hello LP, Shine on Silver Light (1977), was issued only in Japan.
A label switch to Polydor resulted in the Germany-only third album, Hello Again (1978).
The band called it a day shortly thereafter. Bob Bradbury resurfaced in the early ‘90s with an entirely new Hello line-up.