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   The Lady Godiva story.

Lady Godiva has been in existence since 1994. During this time many things have happened in the beautiful Sauerland. With over 100 concerts behind us, small and big festivals have led us all over Germany and into the neighbouring countries. We've given dozens of interviews, in Helsinki too, and have successfully released two longplays. But how did it all start? For those of you who haven't been with us from the beginning, here's our story.

Already in the 80's Thomas was to be found annoying people at diverse cellar party's. He constantly wanted to listen to ‚The Pogues', naturally our heroes. However, as a result of the music at that time - U2, Depeche Mode and Simple Minds - Thomas was ignored, and so his biggest desire of forming his own Irish folk band couldn't be realised. But those of you who know Runker, will know that he doesn't give up easily, and so the day finally arrived when we gave in to him and decided to form a band.

This famous day was in March 1994. Lady Godiva was formed at Andreas' birthday party. None of us could play an instrument, nor sing. Lady Godiva was and still is a crackpot idea. However, we had to decide how this project was going to work and how it should take form. We decided on the following: First a good name was needed for the band. We opened Andreas' brother's record cupboard and found a good, old vinyl from the Velvet Underground, on which was the song "Lady Godiva Operation". We left out the "Operation" and the band had its name. Now to the difficult part - Andreas was to be the singer ( he had experience as an amateur actor), Thomas, naturally as a Pogues fan, could play the tin whistle, but that was it. Well, there was Christian who could play keyboard. But as there was no keyboard in Irish folklore he became an accordian player. Ingo - at that time still in Brasil - had already played guitar in a local band, and so, without him knowing, was declared our guitarist. Carol also wanted to be in the band, but couldn't play an instrument, except for the tenor horn. As we didn't have a bass player, Carol learned to play the bass. We were still missing a drummer. A colleague of Andreas knew somebody who had a set of drums, and so he was invited to practice with us. Lars was accidentally there for the practice and so was given a guitar. This practice took place sometime at the beginning of May 1994 in Christian's cellar, it was terrible. A tape of it still actually exists. We murdered "Whisky in the Jar" and "Dirty Old Town" and found out that we were to play at a local town festival in four weeks time. We met two to three times a week, and put a set of 6 songs together. The town festival was a great success and from then on we never looked back.

In 1994 we played a handful of successful gigs in our area, thanks to our first manager - Toni Strapazoni - before we dragged in Yvonne to play violin. Still without Yvonne, we put our first three original songs on to the sampler "Without Help". We recorded it at Rudi's potato cellar studio?? and mixed it on a Super 8 sound mixer (or was it more?). Those were the days. Have a listen to it.

The first gig with the Whisky Priests in April 1995 was a further decisive point in our early musical experiences. The sound was punkier, we composed our own songs, Stormy joined us as mixer and as a technician ( an absolute stroke of luck for the band), we played a load of concerts and festivals and finally in May 1996 the first CD "Whisky you're the Devil" was recorded. The recording was a real experience and everything but professional. Despite this, we were all very proud and pleased to hold our own CD in our hands. The CD presentation party in Zero was a great success, and despite the "scandal cover" we sold the first copies within a few weeks. We were very proud to be able to have the cult band of the Sauerland "Collaps goes Western", despite their long stint away from the stage, as a support act. After our guest appearance at the "Schall und Rausch-Festival" we got lucky again - the music guru of the Sauerland, Kentop Deimel, became our manager and has been since 1996. The Franz Beckenbauer of the Sauerland music scene brought new "professional" wind to the band, which was to be seen on the calender.

1997 brought a lot of gigs and a lot of laughs. We played many concerts and a load of great festivals. 1997 ended with the recording of the new CD "Tales of kings and boozers". Once again with Michael Schwarzer at the reins the whole thing became more professional. However, the CD still wasn't that what Lady Godiva are when they play live. But we were, in end-effect, still pleased with the experience. The CD received a positive review from critics and the band suddenly got offers from all over the world. (Internet makes it possible) The CD release party was one of the highlights and we remember fondly the fantastic support from the "Real Leningrad Cowboys".

1998 was one of the most exciting years for the band. With the new CD in the bag we played at festivals like Sound of Frankfurt, Duisburger Folkfest, Force Attack-Festival, and the Waldheim open-air. This took Lady Godiva into a completely new dimension (stage, distance, visitors, fees (?) and hotels). It is great to be treated like a V.I.P., even though you "come from a village". But even Scooter eat Cornflakes for breakfast.

1999 was another year of great gigs and festivals. A tour report is in the tour diary. It was the most exciting year for Lady Godiva. Loads of amazing concerts and festivals. We met lots of old friends, and made many new ones. We played with some of the biggest names in show business: Xavier Naidoo, Paddy goes…, City, Knorkator, The Sweet, and many more. But above all we played a few gigs again together with the Whisky Priests. The lads are unique, and we hope to celebrate more great party's with the Miller twins in the future. At the end of the year we parted from Yvonne and Lars.

2000 - we started the year with a new line up. The new guitarist is Jan Beckmann, and he fits in great with the band. We had a great time with Jan. After a long time of internal trouble it was nice to have such a great guy on board again. Together with Jan we wrote a couple of new songs in 2000, and after a great festival-season the band was ready for a new-CD. In the last month of the year we spent some weeks in the studio "der Ton" which is actually 5 minutes away from our rehersal room. Together with our producer Martin Meinschäfer we had a great recording-time and at the end of the day we all were very satisfied with the result: "Red letter day" - the best Lady Godiva recording yet. In 2000 Lady Godiva entered the charts of the internet-label "peoplesound" with their cover-version of the song "In der Weihnachtsbäckerei", originally a christmas song for children. The new Lady Godiva version (the press said: Toten Hosen meets The Pogues") was an incredible success, and the song was No. 1 for several weeks.

In the year 2001 was another change in the line-up of the band. Carlo left the band after 7 years and hundreds of gigs, and also Jan said Goodbye after one year of Rock n Roll. Both are still good friends and a part of the Lady Godiva-family.

The new bass-player since 2001 is Lars Schneider and on the left side of the stage we won Michael Schweineberg as the new guitar player. With this new-line up the band played a very successful festival-summer, and had lot's of fun on the stage (but also in front and behind the stage). They released their first single "The unknown stuntman", a cover of the soundtrack of the TV-show "The fall guy", in autumn 2001.

The year 2002 was full of concerts all over Germany and after a long time the band played a couple of gigs in Switzerland again. The last months of 2002 remarked the most creative time of the band till today. The band wrote nearly 20 new songs, so the way into the studio was unavoidable. Again with Martin Meinschäfer the band recorded "Zooperation" in the spring/ summer 2003 and there is no doubt that this new CD will bring Lady Godiva to a much higher level. The first result is the signing of a record-deal with Zyx-record at the end of 2003, and the release of the single-CD "In der Weihnachtsbäckerei".

In 2004 Lady Godiva is celebrating their 10th anniversary, and the release of a brandnew record is in the pipeline. Always look out for news and thanks for reading our story.