The Scene Column: Doctor and the Medics at MK11

Music reporter Vicki McCarthy interviews the lead singer from Doctor and the Medics ahead of their gig at MK11 on December 21

One hit wonder – that’s a term often bandied about with a sneer. But is being a one hit wonder a bad thing? Surely one, brilliant, hit song is better than having never had a hit all?

Last month I caught up with The Doctor, from Doctor and the Medics, a band who – based on the success of their version of Spirit in the Sky – often get lumbered with the ‘one hit wonder’ label.

But they proudly wear that badge, despite the fact that they aren’t actually a one hit wonder!

The Doctor elaborated: “We sold 24 million copies of Spirit in the Sky, and it was number one in 23 countries. Our next single Burn was a hit too, but we don’t mind being labelled, we actually laugh about it.”

And it seems that Doctor and the Medics are indeed having the last laugh, as here we are 36 years on from the original band forming and I’m chatting to The Doctor, just before the band go onstage at an 80s nostalgia festival.

“Yeah, it’s been great to get a second bite of the cherry.” The Doctor smiled: “Our original line-up fizzled out and in the late 90s I was offered a chance to tour, initially doing cover versions to compete with the tribute bands on the live circuit.”

Steve McGuire from the original line-up was too busy, but gave his blessing to The Doctor, with the immortal words, “If you can make a living from the rotting carcass of this band, then do so, with my blessing!”

So that’s exactly what The Doctor did. Fast forward 20 years on from that discussion and Doctor and the Medics have built up a reputation for great live shows, playing large festivals, as well as going on their own tour dates as a band.

Which brings us to their upcoming gig at MK11 Kiln Farm Club on 21st December, a Christmas gig! “Yes, we might chuck one or two Christmas songs into the set list,” chuckled The Doctor.

“In fact, there will be a real mix of songs, from cover versions that we ‘medic up’, some new material off of our new album that will be released in 2019 and of course that hit!”

So what has been the highlight of the past 36 years, the big hit?

The Doctor pondered this, “No, it’s been all of it actually. I’m all too aware that nothing lasts forever and at every gig I take a mental snapshot.

“We genuinely appreciate every moment and are grateful to the people that spend their time and money coming to see us.”

So rock ‘n’ roll and humility do mix! Whether you’ve had one hit, or many, never forgetting how you achieved success is surely the key to longevity in the music business.

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