Clout’s first and biggest hit, ‘Substitute’, was a new arrangement of a The Righteous Brothers song, composed by Willie Wilson. In 1978, their version reached No. 1 in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Belgium. It also reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart and remained in the UK charts for 15 weeks. ‘Substitute’ reached No. 67 on the USA Billboard Hot 100.
Due to sanctions against South African artists and performers by UK’s Equity at the time, the BBC’s Top of the PopsTV programme acquired a video clip from the Netherlands to present the hit song for its top ten countdown.
A major success in Europe, Clout scored more Top 10 singles, notably ‘Save Me’, ‘You’ve Got All of Me’ and ‘Under Fire’.
Clout split up in 1981, shortly after the release of their last major single, a re-arrangement of the Hall and Oates song ‘Portable Radio’.
In 1992, their greatest hits package was released on CD, and it was re-mastered as The Best of Clout in 2010.
2005 saw the band re-uniting after lead singer, Cindy Alter, returned to South Africa after spending 15 years in Los Angeles, USA. A new album, ‘Since They’ve Been Gone’ was released, which contained reworked versions of four of the band’s hits as well as new material. The album was supported by a 12 month tour across South Africa. The reunion saw all the members join forces apart from Lee Tomlinson (now Guy) and Ron Brettell.
In 2015, Cindy and Glenda made a number of guest appearances as a duo and played a number of charity gigs. 2017 saw a full reunion which was performed at a benefit concert in Johannesburg. Due to popular demand, the band, now including Alistair Coakley, but without Sandy, Lee and Jenny, are in the process of planning an international tour to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the release of ‘Substitute’ in 2018.