Earlier this year a familiar face returned to our screens as a contender on BBC’s The Voice UK.
Having been around the block in the world of talent shows, Kevin Simm wowed the public and the judges with his rendition of the Sia track ‘Chandelier’, and from then on he was an odds-on favourite to go the whole way. Dedicated from the start, Kevin gave it his all – he wanted this and he was going to get it. With over six million views on YouTube, his popularity speaks for itself.
Having coming runner-up back in 2001 on ITV1’s Popstars, where he failed to land a part in Hear’Say, the Chorley singer had the last laugh when he and other runners-up signed with Sir Richard Branson’s label Virgin and became one fifth of pop band Liberty X.
Who can forget that infamous video where they portrayed thieves breaking into a giant vault, stealing a diamond, and writhing around in leather jackets and PVC catsuits? Camp. As. Tits. The group went on to have major success with a string of chart hits and three albums – and proved more popular in the long-run than the short-lived Hear’Say with their sexier, dancier sound.
What interested me more was how ripped Kevin was when he came runner up in Channel 4 celebrity sports competition The Games in 2004. Giving us guys an eyeful in tight black Speedos, we all got to see just a little bit more of sexy Simm.
Kevin was riding the crest of a wave, however seven years later in 2007, Liberty X were to disband and hang up their microphones. They all parted on good terms and remained bosom buddies – even reforming for the odd charity event.
Kevin signed a record deal to release his first solo album titled Brand New, however the album was only released overseas and until recently was not available in the UK. Despite this, however, Kevin continued gigging.
In 2013, he hit the road with The Big Reunion, which saw several 90s and 00s pop bands (among them Atomic Kitten, Blue, 911, A1, Honeyz, 5ive, and B*Witched) reform one last time for a huge tour. I had been to see Liberty X perform over the years though none of the shows was as spectacular as this. The PVC and catsuits were back – Kevin and his bandmates had never looked as hot.
And now he is offering fans just a little bit more with his new 10-track album Recover. Full of guitar-based gems, this is a departure for Kevin, but a welcome one.
First single ‘Wildfire’ is a beautiful ballad about a guy who is cheated on by his girlfriend.
The standout tracks on the album, however, are ‘Trains’ (a much more upbeat track than the first single), ‘Strangers’ (which is more rock-inspired), the delightfully chilling ‘Conquer’, and the lovely ‘Colours’ (which is dedicated to Kevin’s late grandfather, who sadly passed away during the making of this album).
There is something for everyone, as the album showcases Simm’s vocals perfectly.
I hope Kevin is here for the foreseeable as he really does have that cheeky charm and an undeniable voice.
Kevin Simm is on Twitter @kevinsimm.