Marti Pellow

Marti Pellow

born on 23/3/1965 in Clydebank, Scotland, United Kingdom

Marti Pellow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Marti Pellow

Marti Pellow (born Mark McLachlan; 23 March 1965) is a Scottish singer. He has been the lead singer of the Scottish pop group Wet Wet Wet since their formation in 1982, and has also recorded solo material.

Early life

Pellow's first exposure to music occurred around the age of 7. He would listen to his mother's 8-track record collection of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, but it was the soul genre of the selection that drew him in. Early Marvin Gaye and, especially, Sam Cooke captivated him. He then discovered live music. "Hey, wait a minute - check that picture. Not only is this music amazing, but these guys deliver it live? That's for me."[1]

When he told his father about the direction he wanted his life to take, he was less than enthusiastic. "'Are you on a hallucinogenic substance or something? What's wrong with getting out there and getting an apprenticeship? I'm a builder, your grandfather was a builder, your great-grandfather was a shipbuilder. What do you want to be a musician for?' And I said, 'No, you don't understand - this is my vocation in life; this is what I want to be'."[1]

In 1982, at the age of seventeen, McLachlan, who was training to be a painter and decorator, formed a band with three friends from Clydebank High School in his hometown. The friends were Tommy Cunningham, Graeme Clark and Neil Mitchell, and the band's name was Vortex Motion.[2] This was subsequently changed to Wet Wet Wet, a title taken from the Scritti Politti song, "Gettin, Havin' and Holdin'". McLachlan also changed his birth name in favour of the stage name Marti Pellow, created from his mother's maiden name Pellow and the nickname he was given at school (smarty).

Wet Wet Wet

Main article: Wet Wet Wet

Pellow enjoyed success with Wet Wet Wet throughout the late 1980s and 1990s. However, in 1997 drummer Tommy Cunningham left the band and its success waned immediately. Pellow was by this time suffering from an addiction to heroin. On finally beating the drug, he stated: "It was textbook. I couldn't function without it. But there's no romantic side to heroin it's no good."[3]

When Cunningham and Pellow left Wet Wet Wet, They were effectively disbanding the group.[4] They reformed, however, in March 2004.

Solo career

Pellow began his career as a solo artist in association with Chris Difford of Squeeze. The two met while they were in admittance to The Priory. Difford subsequently became Pellow's lyricist and unofficial helper.

In November 1999, Pellow began his first solo tour. On 4 June 2001, he released "Close to You" from his debut solo album, Smile. A further single, "I've Been Around the World", was released that November; towards the end of the year he embarked on a seven-date tour (the Smile Tour) around Britain. In 2002, he hosted and sang in Girls' Night Out, one of a week of shows in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, at the Royal Albert Hall. This led to him, in 2002, being offered the part of Billy Flynn, the lawyer in the musical Chicago in London's West End and, in 2004, on Broadway.[5][6] Also in 2002, Pellow released Marti Pellow Sings the Hits of Wet Wet Wet & Smile, an 18-track compilation comprising three songs from the latter album.

In November 2003, he issued an album of cover versions, Between the Covers, the single from which was Neil Young's "A Lot of Love".

At the end of June 2004, the reformed band went to a secret location to record tracks for a new album and to prepare for a UK tour. At the tour's conclusion, Pellow recorded Moonlight Over Memphis, with the record producer Willie Mitchell (Al Green, Otis Clay, Ann Peebles, etc.), demonstrating a deep affinity with southern soul. The album was released in October 2006 on DMG TV, a label which has had some success previously with albums by such artists as Jane McDonald and Daniel O'Donnell. Pellow went on tour during October and November to support the album, with a helping hand from regular Wets contributor Graeme Duffin.

Pellow won the second series of the prime-time BBC1 show Just the Two of Us, which began on 2 January 2007, partnering actress Hannah Waterman.

Between February and July 2007, Pellow performed at several jazz clubs and at jazz festivals (Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club and The Pigalle Club in London being two examples), the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and "Ronnie Scotts in the Park" in Woburn. These gigs were followed in April 2008 by the release of his jazz album, Sentimental Me, on Rhino Records (UK), containing well-known jazz songs he sang at the above-mentioned gigs and a self-penned song, as well as an accompanying tour throughout the UK.

In May 2008, Pellow appeared in Sir Tim Rice's concert revival of his hit musical Chess, playing the "Arbiter". The concert took place at the Royal Albert Hall on 12 May and 13 May 2008. In June 2009 it aired on British and American television and was released on DVD.

From late August 2008 until early May 2009 he was playing the leading role in a revival of the musical The Witches of Eastwick.[7][8]

In May 2010, Pellow released his fourth studio album, entitled Devil and the Monkey, to coincide with a seven-date arena tour with George Benson, performing songs from his new album as well as hits from his solo and Wet Wet Wet career.

2011 saw the release of his "Love To Love" album, a fully orchestrated and romantic tribute to his favourite love songs which saw Pellow back in the UK charts - as well as starring in a touring production of Broadway musical Jekyll and Hyde, beginning in January at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley and running through to the end of July 2011.[9]

On 17 August 2012, Pellow will performed his new concert show Boulevard of Life with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at Dublin's National Concert Hall. The conductor for the show was Fiachra Trench, a previous collaborator. It showcased songs from his 30-year career, both with the band and from his work in musical theatre.

It was also announced that Pellow has been cast in The Sung Thoughts of the Journalist in the 2012-13 arena tour of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds - Alive on Stage! The New Generation.

Pellow appeared as Che Guevara in Evita on tour around the UK in 2013.

Personal life

Pellow has been in a long-term relationship with former Miss Scotland Eileen Catterson (born 1965) since the early 1990s. The couple have been engaged but have yet to marry.

Pellow placed sixth in a 2003 Glasgow Herald poll to determine "The Most Scottish Person in the World".

During the height of Pellow's drug use, he spent Christmas 1998 "alone and desperate" with Yvonne Rannochan in a Florida cottage and dabbled with drugs again. This came six months after attending rehab a the Meadows clinic in Arizona. He bought more drugs the day he left.[10]

On 27 February 1999, Pellow collapsed at the Conrad Hotel in London and was taken to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for tests. He was released the same night.[11] It transpired he had mixed alcohol with the prescription drugs he was using to wean himself off heroin. He declared himself clean in July 1999.[10]

In October 2003, Pellow's 66-year-old mother, Margaret McLachlan, died after a long battle with kidney disease.[12] Pellow's then-ex-bandmates attended her funeral, a show of support that touched the grieving frontman. "I thought it was a powerful gesture," Pellow said. "Moments like that put things into perspective - it wasn't all about music, it was more about a kinship between us. I remember my mother once saying, 'Maybe Wet Wet Wet will get back together again one day'. She must have had a wee vision. I'd never closed the chapter on the band; I'd always left the door open."[5]

On 15 March 2011, Pellow's older brother, 45-year-old father of ten John McLachlan, died after a long battle with alcohol addiction. Pellow was amongst the pallbearers at the funeral ten days later.

Pellow resides in Ascot, Berkshire.


For the Wet Wet Wet discography, see here.


Year Album details Peak chart positions Certification

2001 Smile
  • Released: 4 June 2001
  • Label: Mercury
  • Formats: CD
7 71 41 44 *UK: Gold[17]
2002 Marti Pellow Sings the Hits of Wet Wet Wet & Smile
  • Released: 18 November 2002
  • Label: Universal
  • Formats: CD
34 *UK: Gold[17]
2003 Between the Covers
  • Released: 17 November 2003
  • Label: Universal
  • Formats: CD
2006 Moonlight Over Memphis
  • Released: 2 October 2006
  • Label: DMG TV
  • Formats: CD
2008 Sentimental Me 161
2010 Devil and the Monkey
  • Released: 23 May 2010
  • Label: D&M Records
  • Formats: CD, Download, LP
2011 Love to Love
  • Released: 24 January 2011
  • Label: Marti Pellow Records
  • Formats: CD
27 15
2013 Hope
  • Released: 18 March 2013
  • Label: BK Records
  • Formats: CD
"" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
2001 "Close to You" 9 25 66 Smile
"I've Been Around the World" 28
2003 "A Lot of Love" 59 Between the Covers
2006 "Come Back Home" Moonlight Over Memphis
"It's All About"
2008 "Take A Letter Miss Jones" Sentimental Me
2010 "Devil and the Monkey" Devil and the Monkey
2011 "Don't Know Much" Love to Love
"" denotes releases that did not chart or was not released.


  1. 1.0 1.1 From Glasgow to Memphis documentary
  2. About Marti. Marti Pellow's official website. Retrieved on 15 January 2007.
  3. "Pellow shocked at the depth of his heroin abuse" -
  4. Pellow quits Wet Wet Wet, BBC News, 11 May 1999. URL accessed on 12 May 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 [1]
  6. Playbill News: "Chicago Star Pellow Chats About Long-Awaited Broadway Debut", Aug. 3
  7. "Horny Devil Marti Is On A Witch Hunt", Sunday Mail, 06.01.2008
  9. "Marti Pellow Fronts Jekyll & Hyde National Tour",, 11.11.2010
  10. 10.0 10.1 Interview with Marti Pellow - The Guardian, 27 October 2000
  11. Pop star Pellow back at work, BBC News, 1 March 1999. URL accessed on 12 May 2010.
  12. [2]
  13. 13.0 13.1 / UK Charts > Marti Pellow. Official Charts Company. Retrieved on 2011-04-14.
  14. - Albums / Marti Pellow. Retrieved on 2011-04-15.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Irish Charts > Marti Pellow. Hung Medien. Retrieved on 2011-04-15.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Dutch Charts > Marti Pellow. Hung Medien. Retrieved on 2011-04-15.
  17. 17.0 17.1 BPI Certified Awards. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on 2011-04-14.

External links

  • Official website
  • Marti Pellow at MySpace
Marti Pellow
Marti Pellow
Other musicians: Graeme Duffin
Studio albums: Smile - Moonlight Over Memphis
Cover albums: Marti Pellow Sings the Hits of Wet Wet Wet & Smile - Between the Covers
Singles: "Close to You" - "I've Been Around the World" - "A Lot of Love" - "Come Back Home"
Related articles
Wet Wet Wet
Wet Wet Wet
Marti Pellow - Tommy Cunningham - Graeme Clark - Neil Mitchell - Angus Cameron
Other musicians: Graeme Duffin
Studio albums: Popped In Souled Out - The Memphis Sessions - Holding Back the River - High on the Happy Side - Cloak & Dagger - Picture This - 10
Singles: Wishing I Was Lucky - Sweet Little Mystery - Angel Eyes - Temptation - With a Little Help from My Friends - Sweet Surrender - Broke Away - Hold Back the River - Stay With Me Heartache - Make it Tonight - Put the Light On - Goodnight Girl - More than Love - Lip Service - Blue for You (live)/This Time (live) - Shed a Tear - Cold Cold Heart - Love Is All Around - Julia Says - Don't Want to Forgive Me Now - Somewhere Somehow - She's All on My Mind - Morning - If I Never See You Again - Strange - Yesterday/Maybe I'm In Love - All I Want
Live albums: Wet Wet Wet: Live - Live at the Royal Albert Hall
Compilations: End of Part One - The Greatest Hits
Videos: Video Singles - Live Glasgow Green Free Concert - High on the Happy Side - The Wets at the Castle - Live at the Royal Albert Hall - End of Part One - Picture This: All Around and in the Crowd - Playing Away at Home - The Best Of
This page was last modified 06.04.2014 15:35:39

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