Animal Nightlife

Animal Nightlife were an English sophisti-pop band from London that released a clutch of singles on Inner Vision circa 1982/83, followed by the album Shangri-la on Island in 1985.

Members: Paul Waller (drums), Steve Shawley (bass), Steve “Flid” Brown (guitar), Steve Shanley (bass), Michael “Mac” McDermott (percussion), Declan John Barclay (trumpet), John Crichinson (piano), Billy Chapman (saxophone), Dee C. Lee (vocals), Andy Polaris (vocals), Leah Seresin (vocals), Egidio “Frenchie” Newton (vocals), Chrysta Jones (vocals), Leonardo Chignoli (bass)

Animal Nightlife formed as a London club band in 1981. Vocalist Andy Polaris, a Blitz scene regular, had roomed with a pre-fame George O’Dowd (aka Boy George). The band grew to a nine-piece with brass and two female vocalists, Chrysta Jones and Leah Seresin. This lineup issued three singles on Inner Vision in 1982/83: “Love Is Just the Great Pretender,” “Native Boy (Uptown),” and “The Mighty Hands of Love.” Jones subsequently sang in the sophisti-pop bands Garage and Workshy.

Slimmed to a five-piece, Animal Nightlife reached UK #25 with the 1984 Island single “Mr. Solitaire” (b/w “Lazy Afternoon”). The following year, the band released their debut long-player Shangri-la. It features 10 originals, including “Waiting for the Bait to Bite,” “Between Lovers,” “Bittersweet,” “Throw in the Towel,” and “Insomniazz.” Production duties were split between Bobby Eli (Blue Magic, Sister Sledge, Atlantic Starr) and the team of Donald R. Robinson and Michael Forte (Wardell Piper, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes). A re-recorded “Love Is Just the Great Pretender” reached UK #28 that summer.

In 1987, Animal Nightlife resurfaced with the singles “Boys With the Best Intentions” and “Always Your Humble Slave” on Virgin-subsidiary 10 Records. Both were included on their second and final album Lush Life, released in 1988 and produced by guest-drummer Lenny White.


  • “Love Is Just the Great Pretender” / “The Great Pretender (dub)” (1982)
  • “Native Boy (Uptown)” / “You’ve Lost Me (Downtown)” (1983)
  • “The Mighty Hands of Love” / “Part 1 & 2 (Instrumental)” (1983)
  • “Mr. Solitaire” / “Lazy Afternoon” (1984)
  • Shangri-la (1985)
  • Lush Life (1988)


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