Carol was discovered by NYJO alumnus Guy Barker singing with a school choir at a music festival in Harrow. With his encouragement she began to take a serious and focused interest in singing and joined him in Steam Heat, a local jazz rock band.
Guy encouraged her to attend a NYJO rehearsal, where she sang Summertime to such good effect that Bill Ashton took her on as the band’s first regular singer when she was just 14. With a repertoire of quality songs, many of them written especially for her by Bill and others, Carol quickly became an integral part of the band’s performances, singing with the ensemble in addition to performing solos. With NYJO she toured extensively, appeared on television and record, and at the Royal Command Variety Performance in London in 1978.
On leaving NYJO, Carol sang with Car Park, an outfit formed by ex-NYJO members, led by Dick Morrissey and Jim Mullen, and frequently appeared on television in support of better-known artists. She also toured internationally with some of them, including Mick Jagger, before joining Heaven 17 who, in 1983, charted at number 2 in the UK with Temptation.
Signed to A&M Records, and re-launched as the Warrior Woman, complete with gimmicky black leather gear and a live hawk, Carol made more records. She sang with Go West, and in 1986 teamed up with Paul Hardcastle for further chart success, particularly with Don’t Waste My Time, which reached number 5. She continued to work on television and also sang on film soundtracks, and in 1995 appeared again at the Royal Command Variety Performance, this time opening the show.
Able to sing with superb control and great flair, Carol has a vast stylistic range. In addition to the straight pop and the jazz-inflected ballads she sang with NYJO, she has also sung in a classical vein, performing memorably on Paul Hart’s Sherwood Forest Suite, with NYJO, and a 1996 album aimed at the elusive classical crossover market.
As a session and backing vocalist Carol has sung with, amongst many others, Duran Duran, Kylie Minogue, Mike Oldfield, Jon and Vangelis, the Pet Shop Boys, Gary Moore, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, the Morrissey-Mullen Band, Tears for Fears, Ultravox and Van Morrison.