The Adventures were a Northern Irish rock band, formed in Belfast in 1984.
The band later moved to London where they signed to Chrysalis Records and released their first single in 1984. Following their debut album released a year later the group moved to Elektra Records and scored their biggest hit, “Broken Land”. The song was written by guitarist Pat Gribben and reached number 20 in the UK Singles Chart, and was also the most played song on BBC Radio 1 in 1988.
The band were actively recording and touring from 1984 up until 1993, but despite the backing of Simon Fuller, the Adventures never achieved a significant commercial breakthrough. In recent years, the band have reformed to play low key live gigs and festivals in Belfast, although no further studio recordings have been made.
Lead vocalist Terry Sharpe and guitarist Pat Gribben first worked together when in 1978 they joined punk band The Starjets. The band experienced limited success and disbanded in the early 1980s. Sharpe and Gribben then formed The Adventures in early 1984 with Gribben’s wife, Eileen, Gerard Murphy, Tony Ayre and Paul Crowder, performing their first show in February 1984 in North London. They signed to Chrysalis Records and were taken on by upcoming manager, Simon Fuller, who saw them achieve much publicity and promotion in the music press, including an appearance on BBC’s Crackerjack. Despite this promising start, their debut single, “Another Silent Day”, released in the summer of 1984, barely scraped into the chart. Further singles were released, “Send My Heart”, “Feel the Raindrops”, and “Two Rivers”, all of which were minor hits in the UK Chart, but no major breakthrough was achieved. Their debut album, Theodore and Friends, was released in 1985 while the group were on a world tour supporting Tears for Fears. It received much critical acclaim, but again no significant sales.
The band laid low for the next two years. During this time, main songwriter Pat Gribben composed some new songs for a second album and the band left Chrysalis Records and were picked up by Elektra Records. With another burst of promotion and heavy airplay, their new single “Broken Land” became their first significant hit, reaching No. 20 in the UK Singles Chart and spent 10 weeks on the chart. The single was quickly followed up by the album, The Sea of Love, which reached No. 30 and also remained on the charts for 10 weeks. The follow-up singles, “Drowning in the Sea of Love” and “One Step From Heaven”, failed to reach as highly and stalled at No. 44 and No. 82 respectively, though the album was certified Silver (for 60,000 copies sold) by the BPI in 1989, a year after its release.
The band combined pop/rock with a folk music sound for their third studio album, Trading Secrets with the Moon. Released in early 1990 along with a couple of singles, the album failed to capitalise on their earlier success and only appeared briefly on the UK Albums Chart, stalling at No. 64. This ended their contract with Elektra.
With another rethink and now down to a quartet, The Adventures returned in 1992 with the single “Raining All Over the World”. Now signed to Polydor Records, the song reached No. 68, and was to be the group’s final chart appearance. A fourth album, Lions and Tigers and Bears, was released in 1993, produced by ex-Vibrators bassist Pat Collier at London’s Greenhouse Recording Studios. Despite featuring a new single, a contemporary reworking of the 1960s hit “Monday Monday”, the album met with tepid response and failed to chart. The group were then dropped by Polydor, and essentially broke up soon after.
Pat Gribben continues to write songs and is currently working with singer Ryan Molloy, while Terry Sharpe spent some years performing in a cover band, The Dead Handsomes. The Adventures regrouped briefly in 2007 for some gigs in Belfast, but no major reunion was ever organised. They regrouped again in 2009 to perform further small scale gigs in Belfast, as well as appearances at the Time To Be Proud and Féile an Phobail festivals during the summer.
Former bass player Tony Ayre died on 20 December 2009.
Their British Hit Singles, years, and top positions are:
- Another Silent Day – 1984 – 71
- Send My Heart – 1984 – 62
- Feel the Raindrops – 1985 – 58
- Two Rivers – 1985 – 96
- Broken Land – 1988 – 20
- Drowning in the Sea of Love – 1988 – 44
- One Step from Heaven – 1988 – 82
- Washington Deceased – 1989
- Your Greatest Shade of Blue – 1990
- Raining All Over the World- 1992 – 68
- Monday Monday – 1993 – 83
Info from Wikipedia