News Stories

Brian Parsons aka Zuppa Inglese

Global music DJ and promoter Brian Parsons, aka Zuppa Inglese, was a major driving force in introducing ‘world music’ to discerning audiences at legendary Club Bongo Go nights at the Mermaid and the Aston Triangle in the early 80s, then at the Moseley Dance Centre on Moseley Road, Birmingham. He then continued with Viva La Musica, Arakataca (in Edinburgh) and other events such as Moseley Tropical.

Brian was also the initiator of the busking band Union Street, the Birmingham/Midlands School of Samba, and his latest initiative Forro Social.

These photos are part of the Gaelle Finley Archive.

Moseley Tropical 04_12_09:Gaelle Finley Archive

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Moseley Tropical 01_05_09:Gaelle Finley Archive

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Moseley Tropical 03_04_09:Gaelle Finley Archive

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Moseley Tropical 03_07_09:Gaelle Finley Archive

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Moseley Tropical 05_06_09:Gaelle Finley Archive

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Birmingham_School_Samba:Gaelle Finley Archive

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Bongo_Go_30th_18_10_14:Gaelle Finley Archive

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Forro_Social_Bodega_07_04_14:Gaelle Finley Archive

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Forro_Social_Spotted_Dog_26_01_14:Gaelle Finley Archive

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Monolito's_16_06_11:Gaelle Finley Archive

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Union_Street_05_12_09:Gaelle Finley Archive

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Bongo Go

Legendary club night run by Brian Parsons. Held mainly at the Moseley Dance centre, Bongo Go was the club night that played an eclectic mix of music from around the world, introducing global sounds to enquiring Brummies.

Vacant Lot

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Traffic

Jim Capaldi drums, percussion, vocals
Dave Mason guitar, bass, sitar, mellotron, vocals (left 1968)
Steve Winwood keyboards, guitar, bass, vocals
Chris Wood flute, saxophone, keyboards, vocals

This multi-talented West Midlands group gained international success
in the late 1960s and early 1970s, particularly in the USA where they
attracted a large following.
In Britain, they are remembered mostly for some memorable
and ground-breaking singles and albums that scored high chart placings
during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Traffic was formed when Steve Winwood, who was the focal point of the Spencer Davis Group
(see Spencer Davis Group), decided to move beyond the restrictions of the group
and form his own band consisting of other Birmingham area musicians.
Guitarist Dave Mason had been a member of the Worcester group The Hellions
in the early 1960s along with drummer Jim Capaldi (see The Hellions).
Jim Capaldi had continued with The Hellions who were re-named Deep Feeling
after Dave Mason’s departure and to help pay the rent,
Dave worked as a roadie for the Spencer Davis Group.
Saxophone/flute player Chris Wood who was born in Harborne, Birmingham on 24 June 1944,
had been a member of the group Locomotive and previous to that,
had been in Sounds Of Blue who later became Chicken Shack.

The four musicians would often get together on stage at a hip club called The Elbow Room
on Aston High Street in Birmingham and it was there that the idea for Traffic was formed.
With Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi eager to form a new band,
Steve Winwood agreed to join the partnership along with Chris Wood
and so the four retreated to a secluded (and reportedly haunted) cottage in Aston Tirrold, Berkshire
in order to write and rehearse new material.
The cottage was to become a place of legend as regular visitors included musicians such as
Eric Burdon, Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton as well as
Trevor Burton (of The Move) amongst many others.
The new group was named Traffic (an action that prompted an obscure south London band
called Traffic Jam to re-name themselves Status Quo)
and was given full financial backing by Island Records boss Chris Blackwell
who intended to promote the band to help the launch of Island Records as a major act label.

Traffic in 1967

With Steve Winwood’s involvement, the group was assured at least initial success
and Traffic’s first single Paper Sun was released in the summer of 1967.
With production by Jimmy Miller and composed by Steve Winwood with Jim Capaldi
supplying the captivating lyrics, the song was just right for the times
and featured an Indian sitar played prominently by Dave Mason.
The single reached No. 5 in the charts and brought the group to the forefront
of the British psychedelic or “flower power” movement that was sweeping
the country at the time.

The next Traffic single was even more adventurous and was composed and sung by Dave Mason.
The song was supposedly inspired by a dream Dave had at the cottage
(although certain substances he was taking may have also played a part)
and the recording featured his innovative use of the Mellotron.
Hole In My Shoe became one of the most memorable songs of the 1960s
and captured the psychedelic atmosphere of 1967 with as much impact as
The Pink Floyd’s See Emily Play.
It also established Dave Mason as a major songwriting talent
with the recording reaching No. 3 in the British charts (years later, a version of Hole In My Shoe
was recorded by Neil from the hit BBC TV comedy show The Young Ones
with the song again making the top ten).

By November 1967, a third Traffic single entitled Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush
had been released and was also used as the title track of a film which also included songs
by Steve Winwood’s previous band The Spencer Davis Group.
Traffic’s live shows at this time included a lot of on-stage jamming and improvisation
as well as extended solos by the individual members –
something quite unusual in Britain for a pop group in those days and an indication of things to come.

December of 1967 saw the release of Traffic’s first album entitled Mr Fantasy
which showcased the individual talents of the members and proved that
Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood were more than just a backing group for Steve Winwood. The album also showed Dave Mason writing as a separate entity and indicated a clash of songwriting styles
with Dave Mason’s melodic and commercial compositions contrasting alongside
the more jazz-influenced songs of the other group members.

Possibly spurred by the success of Hole In My Shoe, Dave Mason left the group in December,
supposedly to begin a solo career, only to rejoin the band in May of 1968.
Traffic then recorded another successful self-titled album, to which Mason
contributed the classic song Feelin’ Alright, a composition that became much covered
by other artists but Mason left again in October of 1968 and a few months later, the group activities ceased.

Fearing the worst, Island Records released a “new” Traffic album called Last Exit
made up of leftover recordings, single B-sides, and some assorted live material.
A compilation entitled The Best Of Traffic was also released.
Meanwhile Steve Winwood teamed up with legendary guitarist
Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker and along with bass player Rick Grech,
formed the much publicized and short lived “supergroup” Blind Faith.
When that group split, Winwood joined Ginger Baker’s new group “Airforce”
which at one time had also included Birmingham musicians
Trevor Burton (see The Move) and Denny Laine (see The Moody Blues).
Mason, Capaldi and Wood tried forming another band called Wooden Frog
but it was short-lived and had split up by March 1969.

In January 1970, Steve Winwood started work on a long-awaited solo album
and was joined in the studio by Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood.
The resulting sessions were so successful that Traffic was reformed minus Dave Mason
and the album produced from the recordings entitled John Barleycorn Must Die
was released as a group effort.
The album was critically acclaimed and became a big seller.

After enlisting top session players to the line-up, Traffic toured both the UK and the USA
where a live recording of their version of Gimme Some Loving
(originally recorded by Steve Winwood’s old band The Spencer Davis Group) made the charts.
Further Traffic albums were released in the early 1970s and were big sellers,
particularly in America where the group had a large following, but by 1974,
Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood were all concentrating on solo careers.
Chris Wood died from liver disease in July of 1983 at only 39 years of age.

Jim Capaldi released his first solo album in 1974 and scored a top five hit in Britain
in October of 1975 with Love Hurts.
He has appeared on recordings by many other well known performers
and has made several best-selling albums. Jim also occasionally collaborated
with his former bandmate Steve Winwood which included a Traffic re-union in 1994.
Jim Capaldi passed away on January 28, 2005 after a battle with cancer.

Dave Mason had moved permanently to the USA by the early 1970s
and established a successful solo career there which apart from making top selling albums,
included collaborations with Mamas & Papas singer Cass Elliot and occasional appearances
with the 1970s line-up of Traffic.
Despite battles with drugs and alcohol, he scored a big hit single in the States
with We Just Disagree in the late 1970s and continues to record and tour there
although he remains almost unknown in his native Britain
where he is remembered mainly for his contributions as part of Traffic.

Steve Winwood appeared on recording sessions for many well known musicians
throughout the 1970s and in 1981, began a predictably successful solo career.
His 1986 album Back In The High Life received a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in the USA
while hit singles such as Valerie and Higher Love have scored high chart placings in many countries.
Although Steve Winwood has not enjoyed such a high profile in recent years,
he remains a major talent on the world music scene and continues to record
and perform today in between spending time at his farm in Oxfordshire.

Traffic were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2004.

With Special Thanks to
Copyright -© John R Woodhouse
Brum Beat

Compiled by Keith Law

 

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Town Hall, Birmingham – 8th May 1974

Tea & Symphony

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Tea & Symphony 1971 via Pete Chatfield

Tea and Symphony was a British musical group of the late 1960s and early 1970s whose style may be described as “progressive folk”. From Birmingham, they recorded two albums for Harvest Records, had one track, “Maybe My Mind (With Egg)”, included on the Harvest sampler Picnic – A Breath of Fresh Air, toured Britain with Bakerloo (Blues Line) and were guests on John Peel’s BBC radio programme.

The group was generally a trio, though sometimes supplemented by extra musicians. Members included Jeff Daw (vocal, guitar, flute), James Langston (guitar, vocal), Nigel Phillips (keyboards, vocal, percussion, left 1969), Dave Carroll (guitar, bass, violin, vocals, joined 1970, left 1971), Bob Wilson (guitar, keyboards, joined 1969, left 1971) Peter ‘Chatters’ Chatfield (drums, joined 1970, left 1972), Tom Bennison (bass guitar, French horn, joined & left 1970), Mick Barker (drums, joined 1971), and Stewart Johnson (guitars, vocal, joined 1971).[1] Steve Eaves is another former alumnus.

 

Albums

An Asylum for the Musically Insane

LP Harvest SHVL 761 (1969)

  1. “Armchair Theatre” – 3:54
  2. “Feel How So Cool The Wind” – 3:19
  3. “Sometime” – 4:14
  4. “Maybe My Mind (With Egg)” (Jeff Daw) – 3:42
  5. “The Come On” – 4:30
  6. “Terror In My Soul” (Jeff Daw, Nigel Phillips) – 6:06
  7. “Travelling Shoes” (Fred Neil) – 4:25
  8. “Winter” (James Langston) – 3:19
  9. “Nothing Will Come To Nothing” (Nigel Phillips) – 6:12

(All tracks written by Jeff Daw except where noted.)

Personnel;

  • Jeff Daw – lead guitar, flute, triangle, vocals
  • James Langston – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, kazoo, bells, cymbal
  • Nigel Phillips – drums, recorder, mandolin, organ, piano, vocals

with;

  • Mick Hincks – bass (05)
  • Bob Lamb – drums (05)
  • Clem Clempson – lead guitar (05)
  • Ron Chesterman – bass (07)
  • Gus Dudgeon – percussion, producer[2][3]

Jo Sago

LP Harvest SHVL 785 (1970)

  • 1) Jo Sago – A Play On Music (Jeff Daw) including;
  • a. “Miniature” – 2:01
  • b. “Nyada” – 4:06
  • c. “Journey” – 1:19
  • d. “Brother” – 3:51
  • e. “Africa Paprika” – 3:29
  • f. “Fairground Suite” – 2:25
  • g. “Desperate Oil” – 5:53
  • h. “Umbilical Bill” – 0:51
  • i. “Goodnight” – 3:33
  • 2) “Try Your Luck” (Nigel Phillips) – 3:18
  • 3) “Yourself” (James Langston) – 3:28
  • 4) “Green Fingered” – Redhanded (Jeff Daw) – 0:54
  • 5) “Seasons Turn To One” (Jeff Daw) – 3:04
  • 6) “View To The Sky” (James Langston) – 2:41
  • 7) “The Nortihorticulturalist” (Nigel Phillips) – 3:26
  • 8) “Dangling” (Bob Wilson) – 0:59

Personnel:

  • James Langston – lead vocals, acoustic & 12-string guitars, percussion
  • Jef Daw – acoustic, electric & 12-string guitars, bass guitar, percussion, flute, backing vocals
  • Bob Wilson – piano, organ, harpsichord, acoustic, electric & 12-string guitars, bass guitar, percussion, backing vocals
  • Nigel Phillips – drums
  • Mick Hincks – guitar.

Produced by Tony Cox

 

Info available under CC [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_and_Symphony]

Locarno

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New Order + Happy Mondays + The Wonder Stuff at Tower Ballroom

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New Order + Happy Mondays + The Wonder Stuff at Tower Ballroom. Thurs 2/10/86.

 

The Golden Eagle Charity Week

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The Golden Eagle Charity Week

Feat Au Pairs, Dance, Ricky Cool & The Icebergs, Vision Collision, Dangerous Girls.

Between Thy Hips – Fanzine

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Kabuki produced it’s own fanzine, ‘Between Thy Hips’ – which lasted only one issue before the band became Ausgang. But the new outfit put out IT’S own ‘zine, ‘Stab The Sun’, which lasted 8 issues before it – and the band (then Ausgang A-Go-Go) – folded.

The Modernaires

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Micky Bakewell

lead vocal

Wilf Clare

bass guitar
Maurice “Mo” Jones

guitar, vocal
Jimmy Alexander

saxophone
Maurice “Moss” Groves

saxophone
Dave Roberts

lead vocal (left in 1961)
Tom Russell

guitar

Brian Sharpe

drums (left in 1962)

Tony Finister

drums (joined in 1962)

Ken Horden

drums (joined in 1966)

 

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