C86 Show - Indie Pop

The Chameleons with Mark Burgess

April 29, 2019

The Chameleons special with Mark Burgess in conversation.

The Chameleons released their debut album, Script of the Bridge, in 1983. They followed it with What Does Anything Mean? Basically and Strange Times in 1985 and 1986, respectively, before abruptly disbanding in 1987 due to the sudden death of the band's manager. After the split, Burgess and Lever formed the Sun and the Moon, while Fielding and Smithies formed the Reegs. Burgess also had a short solo career with backing band the Sons of God. The Chameleons reformed in 2000, releasing Strip (2000), Why Call It Anything (2001) and This Never Ending Now (2002) before separating again in 2003. Burgess alone continues to play Chameleons songs live under the name ChameleonsVox. Lever died in 2017.

Known for their atmospheric, guitar-based sound and passionate lyrics, the Chameleons are regarded as one of the most underrated Manchester bands of the 1980s. They did not attain the commercial success of other groups from the Manchester scene but developed a cult following.