In 1978, Des McAlea (vocals) and Steven Travers (guitar) left The Miami (showband) to start a new band called The Starband. They recruited ex Mushroom guitarist Aonghus MacAnally and ex Chips keyboard player Adrian Mullen, and added a female co-lead singer named Dee McMahon who was known as Julie. They were usually billed as Des Lee, Julie & The Starband though this did vary. The band was managed by Louis Walsh.
Their connection to The Miami helped a great deal in establishing the band initially in terms of publicity and bookings. They were very successful on the ballroom circuit in Ireland and released six singles in two years. Dee MacMahon went on pregnancy leave in 1979 and was replaced by Liz Allen who became the 'new' Julie. Dee returned in 1981.
By the end of 1981, Stephen Travers and Aonghus MacAnally had left to form Crackers who quickly became The Crack . The Starband split.
Des Lee fronted his own band before reviving the Starband name with Liz Allen back at the mic and with Shaun Magee (ex Tapestry [early 70s] Sunshine , Chips [1974-78], Gibney & Donovan [1978-80], Sheeba, Joe Cuddy Band). This didn't last. Des Lee and Liz Allen emigrated to South Africa. Shaun Magee and Dee MacMahon re-surfaced in Vienna.
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