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The Blue Ox Babes

The Blue Ox Babes were an English pop group, formed in early 1981 by the former Dexys Midnight Runners guitarist Kevin ‘Al’ Archer, together with his girlfriend Yasmin Saleh, and former Dexys keyboard player Andy Leek. Archer was keen to mix the soul sounds of his previous group with folk styles. To this end he recruited fiddle player Helen O’Hara to play on demo tapes of the new songs he had written. When former colleague Kevin Rowland heard these demo tapes, he invited O’Hara to join Dexys, and adopted a similarly folk-influenced sound for his own group

By the time The Blue Ox Babes finally released their debut single “There’s No Deceiving You” on Go! Discs in 1988, the line-up consisted of Archer (guitar and vocals), Saleh (backing vocals), Pete Wain (piano), Nick Smith (saxophone), Ian Pettitt (drums), former Dexys members Steve ‘Brennan’ Shaw (fiddle), and Steve Wynne (bass).

“There’s No Deceiving You” was only a minor chart entry, peaking at No. 92 in the UK. Two other singles, “Apples and Oranges” and “Walking On The Line”, were released, but sales were disappointing and these singles did not chart. A planned album Apples & Oranges was recorded by the group but shelved, and the Blue Ox Babes broke up shortly thereafter.

In 2009, a CD of Apples & Oranges was finally released, containing all their recordings for Go! Discs, through Cherry Red Records. The package included all their singles plus many unreleased songs, and several additional demos were also made available as downloads.

Band Members

  • Kevin Archer — guitar, vocals (1981–88)
  • Yasmin Saleh — vocals (1981–88)
  • Andy Leek — keyboards (1981–88)
  • Helen O’Hara — fiddle (1982)
  • Pete Wain — piano (1988)
  • Nick Smith — saxophone (1988)
  • Ian Pettitt — drums (1988)
  • Steve ‘Brennan’ Shaw — fiddle (1988)
  • Steve Wynne — bass (1988) 



  • “There’s No Deceiving You” / “The Last Detail” / “Take Me To The River” (1988)
  • “Apples And Oranges” / “Pray Lucky” / “Yes Let’s” / “Russia in Winter” (1988)
  • “Walking On The Line” / “Four Golden Tongues Talk” / “What Does Anybody Ever Think About” / “Thought As Much” (1988)


  • Apples & Oranges (recorded 1988, issued 2009)


The Record Centre

45-46 Loveday St, Birmingham B4 6NR

Profile image 2006 © Garry Corbett

2007 © Garry Corbett

2007 © Garry Corbett

2007 © Garry Corbett

2007 © Garry Corbett

Also known as ‘Jazz & Swing’. Owner Ray Purslow opened the shop in October 1976 on Loveday Street in the Gun Quarter. It eventually closed in 2007.

Thanks to Stuart Chalk for sending some classic photos – top man. Now we just need to see if Nic Vipond has any…

Record Centre

The Honey Turtles

Late 80s indie band.

Branstons The Venue

Located in Hockley, Branstons would host seminal dance music nights such as Wobble and Flashback amongst others.

UK Vibe founder Steve Williams sent in this membership card.

Barry Curtis

DJ from Beacon Radio and DJ at clubs round the city, including being the warm up DJ for Curtis Mayfield gig at The Hummingbird.

Press picture sent in by UK Vibe founder Steve Williams.

The Jazz Funk Club

UK Vibe founder Steve Williams has sent in the membership card for the The Jazz Funk Club nights held at The Powerhouse.

Rising Star Entertainment

Attached to the Rising Star record shop and run by music entrepreneur Cecil Morris, R.S.E. put on a number of events featuring the reggae bands from across the city.

This poster is advertising two gigs at The Digbeth Civic Hall feat Eclipse & Shades of Reality and UB40 & Beshara and was sent in by UK Vibe founder Steve Williams.

Ideal Records

Home to both PCRL Radio and Ideal Records, 151 Dudley Road Birmingham, B18 7QY.

Fantastic photo of the Ideal/PCRL ‘family’.

Formally Rising Star Records

Rising Star Records

Zoo Q

Without A Trace

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