Ricky Gervais used his iconic character David Brent to show the world his musical talent. Did he tinker with music before this role came along and form his own rock band?
Ricky Gervais was in a band called Seona Dancing in the early ‘80s. He formed this new wave group with his college friend Bill Macrae, and they released singles “More to Lose” and “Bitter Heart” before splitting up.
Keep reading to learn more about Ricky Gervais’ band and how his musical aspirations affected the rest of his career.
Ricky Gervais got his first taste of fame as a member of the new wave group Seona Dancing. The British comedian was in the last year of college when he decided to join forces with his friend Bill Macrae and form a band.
They started making music under the name Seona Dancing in 1982, and London Records agreed to sign them after hearing their sixteen-song demo tape. Gervais provided lyrics and vocals, while Macrae was in charge of writing the music and playing keyboards.
In 1983, they released two singles titled “More to Lose” and “Bitter Heart”, but failed to find the success they were aiming for. The duo tried to promote them through music videos and TV appearances, but both songs stayed out of the top 40 on the UK Singles Chart.
Being in a band wasn’t what Gervais and Macrae first imagined, and they called it quits in 1984. Seona Dancing never reunited again, and The Office star recalled this period of his life saying “I was a pop star for a year.”
Gervais developed an interest in music after watching David Bowie perform “Heroes” for the first time – and it showed. Similarities between Seona Dancing and the “Space Oddity” singer were pretty obvious, and Gervais himself admitted they were a bad Bowie rip-off.
Huge Hit in the Philippines
Seona Dancing failed to wow music lovers in their home country, but their song “More to Lose” found new life in the Philippines and became a huge radio hit a year after they broke up.
It’s unclear how this song made its way to radio waves in this country, but it was first played by the Manila-based station DWRT-FM in 1985. “More to Lose” was billed as “Fade” by Medium because they wanted to prevent rival stations from finding it.
DWRT-FM even played a station ID in the middle of the track to stop people from recording it without giving them credit. This was all happening in the pre-Shazam era when you couldn’t find any song with one click, and Seona Dancing was an obscure British band that no one heard of.
“More to Lose” became an instant hit with the Filipino youth, especially once the alternative radio station WXB 102 reveled who played it. It was much easier to find it after that, and it was often played at high-school dances and parties in the Philippines during the ’80s.
From Music to Comedy
Ricky Gervais didn’t become a rockstar, but his love for music never faded away. After Seona Dancing broke up, he went on to manage rock band Suede and worked at the alternative radio station Xfm before turning to comedy.
The Office star told NME that being a stand-up comic is pretty close to being a rockstar because they’ve “got a platform and go out there and say what [they] want”.
Gervais may not be a musician, but he still knows how to “sneak a song into everything” he does – including his comedy routine.Gervais brought his iconic character David Brent back on several occasions after The Office went off the air – most notably in the movie David Brent: Life on the Road.
It showed Brent touring with his band Foregone Conclusion and provided Gervais with an opportunity to unleash his musical talent.