Audrey Smilley returns to Provo music scene

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A poster advertising for the band Audrey Smilley.

It was 1989, and the band Audrey Smilley’s fans were singing along to its cover of The Smiths’ hit song “London.”  Brodericks, the 1990s version of the Velour, was full of fans chanting for an encore.

“(The place) was full of people screaming for more and more,” Dale Garrard, a member of the band said. Garrard recalled fondly the band’s summer concerts in which one band member would pick a random song to play when a guitar string would break on another band member’s guitar.

Approximately 25 years later, Audrey Smilley returned to perform a reunion show at Provo’s concert venue, the Velour, for family, friends and fans. After the success of the reunion show Garrard said it was time to digitally remaster his beloved band’s 1990 album. But how did the band really get its start?

Audrey Smilley, named for a young lady a band member met in England, rocked the Provo ‘Ska’ genre in the late 1980s. What started as a group of friends getting together to play popular covers of songs turned into a local hit sensation in Provo.

Garrard recalls his summers in the late 1980s and early 1990s in Provo as being the best time in the band’s career. As the band’s following increased, fans were begging for new original content. The band produced hits that Garrard said were a mix between “Neil Diamond and The Clash with a bit more of a punk rock sort of feel.” These original punk rock songs included titles such as “Blind Lead the Blind” and “Never Did the Crime.”

After a successful career in Provo Audrey Smilley’s members decided to take their musical talents to Los Angeles. The band started playing gigs at local venues all over the Los Angeles area. Unfortunately, record deals were hard to come by, and the band chose to split up and move to different states for individual pursuits.

In 2013 Garrard had the idea to bring the band together for a reunion concert in Provo, where its success began. The band finally met together after a 24-year hiatus to practice old songs in Boise before traveling to Provo for its reunion show at the Velour in downtown Provo.

The show was a success as the band met with old fans and their children. The night was so successful that the band decided  to digitally remaster its entire album.

It has now been two years since Audrey Smilley’s reunion show, and Audrey Smilley is pleased to announce that its newly remastered album is finished. This album is now available for purchase through iTunes as well as for listening on SoundCloud. For more details on the band and its music, please visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AudreySmilley as well as the band’s website, http://www.audreysmilley.com/.

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