Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
UK soul-jazz dance band: Julie Roberts (b 11 Jan. '62), guitarist Simon Booth (b 12 March '56), Larry Stabbins (b 9 Sep. '49) on soprano and tenor saxes, flute; augmented with percussion, lots of horns etc. A search for the jazz roots of disco resulted from boredom with soundalike mid-'80s pop. Booth worked at Mole Jazz, London shop/label, formed band Weekend; single "The View From Her Room' had pastel shades; group evolved into hard-blowing percussion-based dance band with Stabbins, who had played in '60s soul bands, also worked with Keith Tippett, others. Broke up '83 after two LPs on Rough Trade; a new band was formed in response to dancing scene at Electric Ballroom. Debut single was Latin-based "Venceremos', political tribute to Chilean people, sung by vocal trio Robert Wyatt, Tracey Thorn, Claudia Figueroa; second single "Storm Of Light' featured Mike Carr on organ, voice of Julie Tippett (Keith's wife, n‚e Driscoll; see Brian Auger). Booth and Stabbins wanted a band to play their songs, recruited the excellent big-voiced Roberts for cover of Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues' (12} version labeled "urbane guerilla mix'). Album Working Nights '85 produced by Robin Millar (Everything But The Girl, Sade) incl. all Booth-Stabbins tunes except the Gaye cover; good features incl. Roberts's singing, trombone solo by Annie Whitehead on instrumental "No Cure, No Pay'. LP parcel also incl. fourth single "Stella Marina' with Tippett and a rap by Jalal of The Last Poets. Band also did Lygmalion soundtrack, an Arena BBC1 TV special Easter '85. A mindless beat for modern dancers precluded swinging and the arrangements were too busy; they were a step in an interesting direction but soon gave up.