Geisha was formed in the Melbourne, Australia in 1983 by songwriter, guitarist and frontman Chris Doheny.
Having grown up through the Sixties and Seventies, Chris had previously played in a number of bands, driven by his love of music and the inspiration he gained from listening to the Beatles and other popular acts of the that period. With the formation of Geisha, a distinct shift towards the “new romantic” movement so prevalent in the late Seventies and early Eighties helped shape the group’s image and led to their popular success. Often compared to international acts such as Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet Geisha were to become hugely successful on the Australian music scene.
Soon after their formation, the band was signed by EMI and in April 1985 released their first single “Fool’s Way”. Buoyed by airplay of this and by their success on the Melbourne live circuit, two further singles followed in that same year with the releases of “Rainy Day” in July and “Kabuki” in September, the latter reaching number 1 on the Melbourne Charts towards the end of that same year. As well as the three singles, their first album (simply entitled “Geisha”) was also released by EMI in 1985.
EMI released “repackaged” versions of “Rainy Day” in early 1986 but the band was busy producing their next single. In August, the hit single “Part Time Love Affair” was released giving the band their first National Top 10 hit (peaking at #3 on the Melbourne charts). Constant touring and promotional tasks continued throughout the year.
In late 1986-early 1987, the band was undergoing some internal reorganization. The band changed its structure from a 5-piece outfit to a 3-piece outfit with Chris taking on the job of bass guitarist as well as vocalist. The change forced the band to try and break away from the “eighties” mold set by so many acts of the time allowing their new songs, which now were to be more guitar-based, to take on a harder, rock edge. Whilst enabling a different ‘style’ of music to emerge, the amended (and reduced) line-up made it somewhat difficult to deliver their entire Geisha repertoire in a live situation.
So, in 1987, Chris put together a completely revamped line-up comprising Rob Dean (guitar – formerly of the English group “Japan”), Laurence Maddy (keyboards), Chris Doheny (bass/vocalist) and Tom Hosie (drums) who had previously played with James Freud in the band Berlin. Again, success followed later that year with the release of the second Geisha album “Midnight To Dawn”. Three singles were spawned from this album – “Calling Your Name”, “Normal People” and “Never Tell You Why” and further touring and media appearances ensued for the remainder of the year and into 1988.
- In 1998 EMI music released a Geisha compilation CD titled GEISHA – the very best of
- In 2005 Geisha recorded and released a fourth studio, acoustic album titled Acoustic Memoirs Of Geisha
- In 2006 Chris re-mastered and released Geisha’s third studio album No Second Prize
- In 2007 Joe Matera signed on as Geisha’s new guitarist
- Geisha signed to Australian label Diamond Dog Records
Geisha continue working in the studio with legendary American producer Tom Werman hard at work on their fourth studio album.