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From: Dublin

Active: 1978 - early 80s

Style: Powerpop

Lineup [1978-79]: Lineup [1980-]:


The Lookalikes formed in Dublin in late 1978 or early 1979 as a "pseudo-funk ultra-technical new wave band". The original lineup included founder members Paul Bell on keyboards and Mike Mesbur on drums. Both left the Eric Bell Band to form the new group, which was originally announced as Nancy Kid And The Lookalikes. Bell had previously played with The Bates Band in his native Wexford before moving to Dublin to join Homegrown and then Eric Bell.

This early, twin keyboards phase of the band lasted about a year. Guitarist Stephen Rekab joined Dublin reggae band Zebra and was replaced by Sean O'Connor. When Sean's powerpop songs began to dominate the band's sound and attract positive attention for record labels, Bell became disillusioned. Unhappy with the more commercial powerpop direction, he left the band in 1980, and went on to form Zerra 1.

The Lookalikes demo tape attracted a lot of A&R attention. Some of the songs are reminiscent of The Cars early hits. They were offered a one-off single deal by Virgin which they turned down. They finally opted for Rod Stewart's Riva Records label. They toured the UK supporting Thin Lizzy in 1980 and released three great powerpop singles on Riva during 1980-81, but their relationship with the label eventually soured and plans for releasing an LP on Riva were scrapped. Instead the band recorded their debut LP for WEA Ireland. This proved to be the last recording session of the original band.

After a successful support slot on Thin Lizzy's European tour in early 1982, the Lookalikes announced that Keenan, Doyle and Mesbur would be leaving the band once all remaining commitments had been fulfilled. This trio had become frustrated at not being involved in songwriting for the band but the split from Sean O'Connor was reputedly amicable. Keenan, Doyle and Mesbur officially left in July 1982 and announced their new band C'est Clave in September.

O'Connor released a couple more singles under the name Sean O'Connor & The Lookalikes before moving to the USA, where he was based for most of the 80s/90s, before returning to Ireland. His website is here.

Hot Press cover Vol.4 Nr. 5 - August 1980 . . . . . and an advert celebrating 1981


• Can I Take You Home Tonight // Radio / Don't Cry For Me
7" - Riva Records - RIVA22 - UK - 1980 - PS

• Call Me / Just What You Got
7" - Riva Records - RIVA24 - UK - 1980 - PS

• Baby Dont Leave / Why Didnt I Think Of That
7" - Riva Records - RIVA27 - UK - 1981 - PS?

Spent 2 weeks in the Irish charts in Nov/Dec 1980, peaking at #23; re-entered the charts in January 1981 for a 3 week stretch, peaking at #22.

• Daydreaming At Night
LP - WEA Records - IR 58351 - IRL - August 1981 - inner sleeve
K7 - WEA Records - IR 458351 - IRL - August 1981
LP - WEA Records - I 58351 - Portugal - 1981? - inner sleeve


• Losing Control / Shout
7" - WEA Records - IR 18802 - IRL - 1981 - PS, clear vinyl

• I'll Never Forget You / Bullet In His Back
7" - WEA Records - IR 18894 - IRL - 1981 - PS

• In 1982 O'Connor split from the rest of the band, retaining the name The Lookalikes.

S.O.C. & The Lookalikes - Oh Well (Part 3) / Nightflight
7" - WEA Records - SOC 1 - IRL - 1983 - PS

Sean O'Connor & The Lookalikes - Closer To The Heart / Runaway
7" - Bruised Records - BRU 017 - 1986 - no PS, unreleased, test pressings exist
This single was never released and cat.nbr. BRU017 was re-assigned

Sean O'Connor & The Lookalikes - Whiskey In The Jar (live) / Shout it Out
7" - SOC Records - SOC-001 - 1988 - no PS

Sean O'Connor - Still In Love With You / I'll Never Forget You
CDS - IMRO Records - 121520824 - 200? - PS

Charity single in support of The Roisin Dubh Trust, set up to pay for the statue to Phil Lynott erected in Dublin city centre.

Sean O'Connor - Can I Take You Home Tonight / Just What You Got / My World
CDS - self-released - ??? - 200? - PS
Re-recordings of Lookalikes tracks

• s/t (Sins Of Your Fathers Presents)
CD-Rom+DVD - Snaps Music - ??? - Italy - 2008 - PS - 200 copies pressed, foldout card sleeve with 3xstickers & badge

Special silver cardboard package with 3x stickers and Lookalikes badge. This is not a complete discography CD alas; the Riva singles are absent. On the other hand it includes 5 previously unreleased songs and/or versions. The remastering ("Digital Transfer from Original 1/4" Masters") is very bright and crisp, a little too much so perhaps as it lacks bottom end. The CD includes a multimedia session with (brief) band history, illustrated discography (incomplete) and a photo gallery, including some scans nicked from this very site! But the reason for getting this set is of course the DVD, which contains several vintage videos. It looks very tasty but I have yet to view it so stay tuned for further details.

compilation appearances

• various artists - Pure British Pop for Raw People Vol.2
LP - boot

• various artists - Shake Some Action Vol.3 - UK & Ireland
CD - SSA Records - SSA-003 - Spain - 2001?
See Compilations section for full track listing.


We need your help to correct and/or complete this entry. If you can provide more information about this band, have scans, photos or any other memorabilia we can use, or spare copies of any releases, then please get in touch.

See Also: C'est Clave, Zerra 1

External Links: Snaps Music

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