An up and coming Dundee band have been forced to change their name after being threatened with legal action by a chart-topping act from the 1960s.
Indie five-piece The Love Affair were getting ready for their upcoming gig at the city’s Beat Generator venue when they were contacted by representatives from Steve Ellis, former singer with pop group Love Affair.
The original Love Affair had a number one hit in 1968 with a cover of Everlasting Love.
Mr Ellis’ associate, Kevin Wallbank, warned the group through Facebook to either scrap their name or be taken to court.
The Love Affair’s singer and guitarist Ray McKinnon, 22, said: “It was a bit of a shock.
“We got together about a year and a half ago, but have only been going seriously for six months and we have a gig lined up for Beat Generator in February.
“This guy wrote that he was an associate of Steve Ellis and how an ex-member of the band, whom he didn’t name, still uses the name and held the rights to it.
“He originally sent a message to me just giving us a warning after he had seen it pop up on a music site. He said that we’d be ‘in hot water’ and then said we’d be in trouble legally. So, we have had a wee meeting in our band and decided to change our name due to the threat of being sued. It wouldn’t be the best of starts for us and be expensive in legal fees.”
Ray, son of former Dundee United midfielder and current Falkirk manager Ray McKinnon, said the group had already decided on a new name.
“We are keeping it to ourselves for the minute,” he said. “It is a shame because The Love Affair is a good name and we didn’t think it was still being used.
“But in a way, despite the threats, it is a bit exciting and, like the music business, it means we keep evolving.”
Drummer Kieran Mitchell, 22, said: “I am gutted. The name means something special to us.
“We grew up together and it symbolises our friendship.
“We have known each other for a long time and were all born and bred in Dundee and have a bit of a following in the city. We are not troublemakers and just love playing music.”
So far the band have released one single, I Can’t Help It.
They play Beat Generator in North Lindsay Street on Saturday February 16.
Mr Ellis and Mr Wallbank have been contacted for comment.
Group’s success was not ever-lasting
Formed in London in 1966, Love Affair enjoyed a short but sweet pop chart career. Like the similarly named Dundee group, the band initially went under a different moniker, playing clubs and weddings as Soul Survivors.
Although their first single – the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards-penned She Smiled Sweetly – failed to make any waves, their cover of Everlasting Love became arguably the definitive version of the song. Released on January 2 1968, it climbed the charts to number one, where it stayed for two weeks.
However, the group courted controversy after admitting on TV they had not played any instruments on the record – Steve Ellis had recorded his vocals with an orchestral band.
Nevertheless, Love Affair would score four more hits with Rainbow Valley, A Day Without Love, One Road and Bringing on Back the Good Times. Ellis left the group in 1969 and eventually retired from the music industry to work as a docker.
After an accident, he returned to music as Steve Ellis’ Love Affair in the early 90s. Everlasting Love became known to a new generation when it appeared in the film Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason in 2004. Ellis released his latest album Boom Bang Twang in 2018.