Leee John’s Imagination set for North-East date as part of 35th anniversary tour

Leee John is bringing Imagination to The Sage Gateshead.
Leee John is bringing Imagination to The Sage Gateshead.

One of the most successful disco-funk groups of the 1980s are playing in the North East this weekend as part of a 35th anniversary tour.

Imagination enjoyed huge chart success in the early 1980s, with their biggest hit, Just An Illusion, reaching No 2 in March 1982.

They had other big hits with Body Talk, In And Out Of Love, Flashback, and Music & Lights, and sold more than 30 million records around the world.

The original three-piece broke up in 1992, but, after a spell as an actor, founder member Leee John continues to tour, both as a solo artist and as Imagination.

John threw himself into acting, but resurfaced as a singer in 2003 on the reality television show Reborn In The USA.

Their music has inspired a long list of samples, remixes and adaptations by major contemporary stars.

Destiny’s Child (complete with Beyoncé) sampled Just An illusion on their 1998 self-titled debut album.

Leee John himself featured on DJ Dero’s 2005 rendition of the song, which was widely played in clubs, while the same year saw Mariah Carey reuse the track on her Top 10 single Get Your Number.

Flashback was sampled by Boards of Canada, Music & Lights by Tiger & Woods, and All Night Loving by 88 Keys featuring Kanye West.

As well as playing the songs which brought him fame, Leee John is putting the finishing touches to his latest solo album, Utopia, and is involved in The British Collective, with fellow British male R&B artists Junior Giscombe, Omar, Don-E and Noel Mckoy.

He is also currently producing and directing Flashback, a film of the history of British black music.

More than 100 interviews are already in the can, including Beverley Knight, Eddy Grant, Trevor Nelson, Omar, Geno Washington, Shalamar’s Jeffrey Daniels, Boney M’s Bobby Farrell and Ruby Turner.

Imagination featuring Leee John will be performing at The Sage Gateshead venue on Saturday, October 3, with support from local act SouLutions.

Tickets, priced £23.50, are still available from the box office on 0191 443 4661 on online HERE.