Colin Gibb obituary: Co-founder of Yorkshire's Black Lace changed parties forever with hits Agadoo and Hokey Cokey

Colin Gibb, who has died at 70, was a singer and instrumentalist who co-founded the Yorkshire band Black Lace, best known for novelty songs like Agadoo.

The group found fame in 1979 when they competed in the Eurovision Song Contest with their composition, Mary Ann. It finished in seventh place and failed to make the Top 20 in the UK.

Looking for a new image and sound, Gibb and bandmate Alan Barton discovered they could adapt the anthems sweeping the dancefloors of package holiday resorts in Spain for the audience back home.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They enjoyed initial success with Superman, but it was 1984’s Agadoo that was their biggest success and a staple of weddings, parties and discos for many years.

Colin Gibb (right) and bandmate Alan Barton. Photo credit: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo/PA WireColin Gibb (right) and bandmate Alan Barton. Photo credit: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo/PA Wire
Colin Gibb (right) and bandmate Alan Barton. Photo credit: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo/PA Wire

A million seller worldwide, it was performed by Gibb and Barton, who died in 1995, and memorably parodied on the 1980s satire show, Spitting Image.

In the 1990s Black Lace raised more than £25,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care by playing Agadoo 20 times in 24 hours around the UK.

The group’s other hits included Do The Conga, Hokey Cokey, I Am The Music Man and Wig-Wam Bam.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The band underwent several line-up changes over the years, and Gibb, who was born Colin Routh in Leeds, occasionally took breaks from performing with them, but always returned to his pineapple-print shirt.

He continued to play live with Black Lace until recently but last month announced his retirement from the group and had planned to move to Spain with his wife, Sue Kelly.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.