Dolls to play again

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Paper Dolls, from left, Janet Broadhead, Susie Mathis and Linda Holmes Buy this photo The Paper Dolls, from left, Janet Broadhead, Susie Mathis and Linda Holmes

The Spice Girls, Sugababes and Girls Aloud weren't even a twinkle in their fathers' eyes when this female singing trio burst onto the UK music scene.

The Paper Dolls, who became Britain's first all-girl pop band in the late 1960s, have been reunited in Bradford, where they sang together for the first time in three decades.

The trio met up at the Great Victoria Hotel, Bridge Street, to rehearse for a charity concert that will see them back on stage one last time to commemorate the 40th anniversary of their debut single, Something Here In My Heart, which was a hit and propelled them to fame.

Despite not being on stage together since 1975, Janet Broadhead, Linda Holmes and Susie Mathis soon clicked back into the old routine during an afternoon of rehearsals at the Great Victoria.

Janet, who lives in Exley Head, Keighley, said: "It was only two weeks ago when I said I would love to do the Paper Dolls again.' "Amazingly, I went on my computer and saw an e-mail which said do you fancy treading the boards again?' "The answer was obviously yes because I love singing and dancing and it's all for a good cause."

The girls went their separate ways when the group disbanded, pursuing their own careers in different parts of the country.

Janet, who runs the Love to Dance club in Keighley, said the first thing she did after the Paper Dolls split up was to work as a dancer in the Bradford Alhambra's 1976 pantomime Goldielocks and the Three Bears.

Now aged 55, she also has fond memories of dancing with Norman Wisdom in his show in Douglas, on the Isle of Man.

Linda spent 25 years as a solo singer before setting up a karaoke business in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, where she now lives. Susie, nicknamed Tiger during her time with the band, also pursued a solo career, then became a presenter for Piccadilly Radio and BBC Radio Manchester.

The 60-year-old, who lives in Cheshire , said: "We have decided to re-form for one last time because it's the 40th anniversary of the release of our first record, Something Here In My Heart, which reached number four.

"We were the first British pop group ever with three girls. We broke the mould, but you didn't make any money from it in those days. But it still gives me a little tingle when I hear it played on Radio Two and I can remember how great it felt when I first heard Tony Blackburn play it."

Money raised during the reunion concert, at the New Hilton in Manchester on Saturday, March 22, will go to the Kirsty Appeal on behalf of the Francis House Children's Hospice, in Didsbury, Manchester.

Merseyside band The Searchers, shot to prominence in the 1960s with hits such as Sweets for My Sweet and Needles and Pins, will also play.

Tickets for the event, which includes a champagne reception and five-course meal, are £68 - a number chosen to represent the year of the Paper Dolls' debut single. For tickets, call freephone 0800 0971197.

e-mail: will.kilner@telegraphandargus.co.uk

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