Blackpool Councillor follows Take That's lead

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TAKE That have done it, and so have The Spice Girls – now a Blackpool politician is on the music comeback trail.

Coun Tony Williams has re-formed cult 70s band Stealers Wheel for a new assault on the charts.

Yesterday the band was on the Fylde filming a video to accompany a new recording of their biggest hit Stuck In The Middle With You, while fresh material is being written for an album to be released next year.

Coun Williams is Stealers Wheel's original bass player, and later joined Jethro Tull, but the Blackpool Council cabinet member swapped the stage for the debating chamber when he was elected to represent Anchorsholme last year.

He has been reunited with original band members Paul Pilnick and Rod Coombes to re-form the group, with Fylde-based musician and songwriter Tony Mitchell joining them.

The original line-up also included Gerry Rafferty, of Baker Street fame, who Coun Williams recently tried to track down.

Coun Williams said: "It's quite historic because we are re-forming the band after almost three decades.

"We had all kept in touch over the years and we already owned the name Stealers Wheel, which we have registered.

"There was an awful lot of interest and pressure especially from the US for the band to re-form after the success of our original single Stuck in The Middle With You and its prominent feature in the movie Reservoir Dogs."

It was after being contacted by iTunes and KTel records in California that Coun Williams decided to record again with the band - although they will not be touring.

He said: "Gerry Rafferty, the original vocalist had gone on to build a successful solo career and now has serious health problems and everyone else had been working with other bands.

"Tony Mitchell had been a friend of mine for years and I knew how talented he was.

"I threw the idea past him, gave him some unreleased Stealers tracks as an introduction and within days we had two new tracks finished and also re-recorded some of our old material with new techniques."

Some of the new recordings will be available on iTunes in December while it is hoped a CD will be released next year.

But Coun Williams said he would still be concentrating on his council work.

He added: "This is just a recording project and I'm still fully committed to my council duties."