Why did Marti Pellow leave Wet Wet Wet? Singer ‘gives blessing’ to Liberty X star

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Wet Wet Wet enjoyed a great deal of success in the 1980s after meeting at high school in Scotland. They were together for around 17 years when they split, though their success did not come until they broke through with their Number One cover of With A Little Help From My Friends. Marti Pellow has left the group several times, now seemingly for good – but why did he leave?

Marti Pellow has left the band Wet Wet Wet twice, for very different reasons.

The first time he left, which ultimately led to the band’s split, came after a dispute over royalties in 1997 saw the departure of the band’s drummer, Tommy Cunningham.

Two years later, Marti left the band after signing a solo contract with Sir Elton John’s former manager John Reid.

A spokesman for John told the BBC at the time: “He [Marti] has moved on and signed a solo deal. After 12 very good years with Wet Wet Wet he has decided to go forward.”

At the same time, Marti also sought help for his heroin addiction.

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Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph in 2018, he said of this: “From the vantage point of being 20 years clean, I can look back and say I have an understanding of addiction, which to me is a disease.

“There is nothing good about heroin, it left me completely unable to function…

“If you have a good family behind you and a good solid upbringing, these are the things that prevail.

“I’m just glad I got help and I’m now healthy.”

After getting clean, Marti released his first solo album, Smile, after which Wet Wet Wet reformed in 2004.

In 2017, when he left for the second time, he made clear it was to focus on his solo career and other things.

In July of that year, he told Music Week: “I will be spending more time on my solo work – performing concerts, acting and my own songwriting – as an artist I feel a lot more settled in this world.

“I have had a great time and loved my career with Wet Wet Wet and to me they will always be the best band in the world.

“When I started in Wet Wet Wet I gave it 100 percent of my heart and soul and that’s what it demands and that is also what the fans demand – and if I can’t do that because my focus is elsewhere, then this is not fair on the fans or the rest of the guys in the band.”

He had released 11 solo albums between 2001 and 2017, many of which had taken place during breaks from recording and performing in the band.

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The year after Marti’s departure, Wet Wet Wet hired Liberty X singer Kevin Simm to replace him, which Marti claimed to have given his ‘blessing’ to.

He told The Mirror: “It is what it is, I think it’s a different vibe and it’s going to be a different dynamic.

“The vibes are going to be different…and if people enjoy it then fair play to them, they might not see any different.

“The work I did with them I’ll always cherish… despite the messy ending…

“’We don’t really talk to each other that much, I guess that’s quite sad, but, you know, hey ho.

“Life’s short as it is. We weren’t marching to the same drum.”

After Marti’s second departure, band member Neil Mitchell spoke out on the way they parted ways, telling the Daily Record in 2019: “Marti left straight after the last gig we played together.

“We had done the show and we all laughed and went our separate ways.

“Then his manager called the band manager and said, ‘Marti doesn’t wanna do it any more, he’s leaving the band’ and that was it.

“We haven’t spoken to him since. I don’t have any grudge but I did find it a bit odd that he didn‘t have the courage to say, ‘I wanna do something else’ in a mature manner.

“He could have done that but he got someone else to do it for him…

“At the time, we were quite hurt and angry. A year-and-a-half ago, I was emotional and wondering what happened.

“We had to look at ourselves and say, ‘What are we going to do now?’ If we wanted to continue, we needed a singer.

“We auditioned some other people and thought, ‘Right, this isn’t going to be easy, this is a nightmare.’”

In the end, they hired Kevin, who is touring with the band over 2021 and 2022.



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