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Delegation

Delegation was a British soul musical group with a lengthy career, and an amount of international success. They are generally viewed in the U.S. as a one-hit wonder, based on the crossover hit, “Oh Honey” (1978). Their biggest UK success came in 1977, with the Top 30 hit single, “Where Is The Love (We Used to Know)”.

Delegation was formed in the United Kingdom in 1975 by Ricky Bailey, Len Coley and Roddy Harris. Working with record producer/songwriter Ken Gold (who masterminded The Real Thing), they began releasing a series of moderately successful singles such as “The Promise of Love” and “Where Is The Love (We Used to Know)”. But their fortunes changed for the better in 1977 with the release of “Oh Honey,” a mid tempo cut that hit the Top Ten in several countries. The accompanying album, The Promise of Love, included the ballad “Mr. Heartbreak”, “Where Is The Love (We Used To Know)” and “Someone Oughta Write a Song (About You Baby),” which also charted.

Coley left the band and Bruce Dunbar took his place. In 1979, Delegation released Eau De Vie, on the Ariola label and had international hits with “Heartache #9”, “You And I” and the “Put A Little Love On Me”. By 1980, Harris was replaced by Ray Patterson, and the group continued on with lesser success.

They followed with an eponymously titled album in 1981 and Deuces High in 1982. All charted in Europe but not in the U.S. In 1984 Dunbar quit and was replaced by Kathy Bryant. The act recorded a couple more singles, and continued to perform through the end of the decade. The record It’s Your Turn, on Epic was successful only in France although did well on the UK club scene, and The Mix on Scorpio Records, a segue compilation of five of their greatest hits also sold poorly.

Bailey reunited with Gold to form Euro-Jam Records in the mid 1990s, to repackage Delegation’s earlier recordings into new compilation albums, and reformed the group to release Encore in Europe in 1999, but this was Delegation’s final recording.

“Oh Honey” was sampled on Three Times Dope’s “Funky Dividends”, from 1989’s Original Stylin’ ; Geto Boys’s “Quickie” from We Can’t Be Stopped in 1991; “When Will They Shoot?”, which appeared on Ice Cube’s 1992 album, The Predator in 1994 “Ugly Bitches”, which was featured on Coolios It Takes A Thief; also on “Glow”, a track onJake One’s 2008 album, White Van Music; and on “Chillin’ Wiv da Man Dem”, a track on Dizzee Rascal’s 2009 album, Tongue N’ Cheek. Whilst “Heartache #9” was sampled by Phats & Small on their 1999 album, Now Phats What I Small Music. It was also sampled in the house music song, “Back to the Funk” by Klusters. It was also sample by 90’s R&B group the Barrio Boyzz on “This is How We Roll.”

The Delegation Band from 2012 still features original member Ricky Bailey. To see what the band is up to now please visit DelegationBand on last.fm or the website www.delegationband.com

Discography

Singles

  • “Where Is The Love (We Used to Know)” (1977) – UK #22
  • “You’ve Been Doing Me Wrong” (1977) – UK #49
  • “Oh Honey” (1978) – U.S. R&B #6, U.S. Pop #45, CAN #99
  • “Put a Little Love on Me” (1979)
  • “Someone Oughta Write a Song (About You Baby)” (1979) – U.S. R&B #45, (1980) – U.S. R&B #66, U.S. Dance #57
  • “You and I” (1979)
  • “Welcome To My World” (1980) – U.S. R&B #50
  • “Singing/Twelfth House” (1981) – UK
  • “In Love’s Time” (1981) – U.S. R&B #54

Albums

  • The Promise of Love (1978) – U.S. R&B #8, Pop #84
  • Eau De Vie (1979)
  • Delegation (1980) – U.S. R&B #69 (another “Eau de vie” release)
  • Delegation II (1981)
  • Deuces High (1982)
  • Encore (1996)

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Wide Boys

The Wide Boys were originally self managed, and then they were managed by Pete King (Fearless Productions) for a while, and went onto do some recording for Simon Cowell (then of EMI I believe) under the name “The Last Detail”.
The band played a mixture of Reggae and Rock, and the driving force was Simon Smith, who wrote most of the songs.

Various people passed through the band during its time, and the band toured the university circuit extensively, did the usual pub gigs in Brum, a couple of gigs down in London (Electric Ballroom and Dingwalls) and appeared on a BBC TV programme, which was recorded in Manchester.
The band released a single on the Big Bear Record Label (Jim Simpson) in 1980 called “Stop That Boy” The B side was “Heart of Stone”.

The band was also included in the EMI album “Bouncing Back – A Birmingham Compilation” (1980) with several other bands including, UB40, Steel Pulse, Fashion, Steve Gibbons Band, and several other bands.
The Album track was called “Forty Million”.

The Wide Boys supported UB40 on several occasions, and both bands were based (at their beginnings) in Trafalgar Road, Moseley. In fact, as the Wide Boys started gigging before UB40, on more than one occasion UB40 were support act to the Wide Boys.
The band members were (in no particular order and probably not exhaustive):
Simon Smith (Lead Vocals, Guitar and Songwriter)
Malcolm Smart (Lead Guitar)
Johnnie Web (Keyboards and Guitar)
Joseph G Jones (support vocals)
Steve Fever (Percussion and Vocals)
Steve Ajoa (Lead Guitar and Vocals)
Tony Keach (Bass)
Brett Ross (Keyboard)
Steve and then Jim (On Drums)

Van Morrison’s Return to Symphony Hall Inevitable

At 68 years old, you can’t really blame Van Morrison for slowing down his work schedule a touch. He hasn’t released a new album since 2012’s Born to Sing: No Plan B and it’s not as if he’s touring the globe like he once did. However, the Northern Ireland native is gearing up to celebrate the latest year of his career, and we at BMA are hoping that includes another stop at the historic Symphony Hall.

Fans of Morrison in the area know full well that he’s put on some spectacular shows at the renowned venue in the past. That includes the previous decade or so, during which he has performed at the Symphony Hall several times. Most notably, there was his gig in September 2003, when Morrison performed an incredible set of songs that include a five-song (!) medley, a riveting take on tried-and-true classic “Brown Eyed Girl,” and so much more.

Later shows—in 2005 and 2006—showed that Morrison, though aging, hadn’t lost a single step. That was particularly true in terms of his setlist, which he never let slack or become repetitive. Sure, the classics were all there along with his killer cover of Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Help Me,” but he kept it fresh and engaging enough that repeat attendees wouldn’t see the same show year in and year out.

This year, Morrison’s tour schedule may be slim, but the hope is that he’ll expand his jaunt with an announcement in the coming weeks or months. It only seems inevitable given his strong fanbase in Birmingham and past shows at the Symphony Hall. Also, he’s releasing a remastered double-LP of his infamous The Complete Bang Sessions project through the PledgeMusic platform, so he’s got something new to promote. Fans are able to grab a limited-edition red-and-black splattered vinyl version of the album; digital options are available, too. Perhaps he’ll want to get the word out there more with a few added performances, right?

Morrison’s upcoming tour dates are as follows. Also, while he’s not coming to Birmingham (yet!), the dates in Cambridge, London, and East Molesey are only about a 90-minute to two-hour drive for all the Morrison diehards out there willing to take a brief trip.

      • May 25 Blues on The Bay Festival 2014: Warrenpoint, UK
      • Jun 16 Hampton Court Palace: East Molesey, UK
      • Jul 15 Montreux Jazz Festival: Montreux, Switzerland
      • Jul 17 Schloßplatz Stuttgart: Stuttgart, Germany
      • Jul 22 Edinburgh Jazz Festival 2014: Edinburgh, UK
      • Jul 27 Slieve Donard Hotel Newcastle Co.: Down, UK
      • Jul 28 Slieve Donard Hotel Newcastle Co.: Down, UK
      • Aug 03 Cambridge Folk Festival: Cambridge, UK
      • Oct 28 Royal Albert Hall: London, UK

Watch Van Morrison perform his “Help Me” cover below.

Barry Smith

Hi guys. I was a pro drummer in the Birmingham area from the age of 13. I played with a lot of the local bands and was a hired gun for national and international bands. I held residencies at most of the big clubs including Mothers, Opposite lock, Castaways , The Railway and many more. I gigged at an average  of over 7 gigs a week often doing 14 in a week which were cherry picked from approx. 30 gigs offered a week. I also taught drums/percussion and keyboards/music  starting at Yardleys when I was 16. I have strong link with Bonham who attended most of my gigs for a period and who I passed on a lot of advice and Dave Pegg who asked if he could join one of my bands. I turned down Roy Wood’s invite to join him (he asked Ace Kefford and I at the same time) but he had one of my students, Charlie Grima on drums.  I will stop there because my experience etc would fill a book. Hope this is of interest to you

Ausgang

Ausgang are a gothic rock band formed in Birmingham in 1983.

History

Ausgang formed from the ashes of previous band Kabuki. Some members had also been members of another band, The Solicitors. Max (vocals), Cub (bass guitar) and Matthew (guitar) were all previously in Kabuki, the band releasing one single (“I Am a Horse”) before splitting up. With drummer Ibo they formed Ausgang and played their first gig in September 1983 at the Powerhouse in Birmingham. They toured with The Wonder Stuff and The Cult before signing to Criminal Damage Records. Cub was replaced by Stu and the band signed to FM Revolver Records, with their debut album Manipulate released in January 1986. The band and label parted ways and after a tour with Gene Loves Jezebel, the band set up their own Shakedown label, returning with the “King Hell” 12-inch single later that year. Inspired by a friend who had painted the slogan on his jacket, the band briefly lengthened their name to Ausgang-a-Go-Go in an attempt to break away from their goth reputation, releasing a mini-LP under that name in 1987 before splitting up. They reformed in 2003.

Discography

The Teachings of Web 12″ EP (1984), Criminal Damage
Solid Glass Spine 7″ single (1984), Criminal Damage – (UK Indie No. 28)
Head On! 12″ EP (1984), Criminal Damage
Hunt Ya Down 12″ EP (1985), Heavy Metal FM
Manipulate (album)|Manipulate LP (1985), Heavy Metal FM
King Hell 12″ EP (1986), Shakedown
Los Descamisados mini-LP (1987), Shakedown – as Ausgang-A-Go-Go
Last Exit… The Best of Ausgang LP/CD (2001), Anagram
Licked LP (2005)

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Itchy Fingers A Go Go

Weight

Here It Comes

Fairfield Ski

Fairfield Ski were formed in the early 1970’s, the Band members Nigel Wright, Guitar and lead vocals, Matt Bridger, Bass guitar and vocals, Bill Bonham, Keyboards and vocals and Dave Hynds, Percussion and vocals, they formed a competent song writing team producing their own distinctive original melodies coupled with inventive musical arrangements.

It was the latter part of 1971 when the band were approached by a man called Nigel Law Husselby who after watching the Band perform at a gig, made them a contractual offer and Fairfield Ski were born ! The Band were then put to work in a Birmingham Studio solely to rehearse and write original songs for recording and publishing .

Things progressed and Fairfield Ski found themselves elevated to the premier league recording their original songs in the top studios of London ! Namely, Abbey Road , Air London , Apple and Trident it was a very inspirational time for the band and it was in these London Studios that Fairfield Ski recorded the album, resulting in a commercial product to be proud of.

Due to the high costs involved in the production of the album financial difficulties occurred leaving Fairfield Ski with a completed album remaining unpublished. It was at this difficult financial time that the Band had an offer of Management from a leading worldwide record company, however nothing transpired due to complications. Soon after Fairfield Ski were made an offer to move to the United States. Nigel Wright and Bill Bonham did go, however Matt Bridger and David Hynds opted to stay in the UK.

Nigel Wright after a time returned to the UK whereas Bill Bonham remained in the US and made his home in California. The Four members stayed in touch and remained good friends . It was early 2013 and forty years on that completely out of the blue an email arrived addressed to drummer Dave Hynds, it was from Alex Carretero who said he was from a Spanish record company called Guerrsen Records who specialised in reissues of 60’s 70’s music , he said that he had acquired an Acetate of the Fairfield Ski Album and wanted to re-issue the Album on the Guerrsen label in Vinyl and CD . Alex informed Dave Hynds that he had been trying to track down the band for many years without success. He went on to explain that the album had been “bootlegged ” in 1996 and had apparently sold well!

OR Records had released the album under the name of “Fairfield Sky “, which had probably been done for copyright reasons . By all accounts there had originally been three Acetates which had all disappeared following the bankruptcy of the management company, one copy of the Acetate is rumoured to be somewhere in Japan a second in Finland and of course the third Acetate is in the United States which was used to ” Bootleg ” the OR Records release!

However without the release of the “bootleg album ” Fairfield Ski would have remained unknown and unpublished . Fairfield Ski are now signed to Guerrsen Records and are currently reunited working on a 2nd Album busy selecting previous recorded tracks, I wish Fairfield Ski the very best and thank them for their music and look forward with great anticipation to hearing the next album .

Congratulations on your published album and as they say ” better late than never “!

Fairfield Ski

Brum Notes

Monthly magazine chronicling music across the West Midlands

Raw Deal

Raw Deal was the first band to play at the Mercat Cross.  Members of Raw Deal were Paul Woodward, Guy Dennis, Dave Smaylen, Matt Thorpe and later Gary Smith and I think briefly a guy called Paul (?) Marston (Marsden?) to replace Matt Thorpe after he was electrocuted at the Mercat one christmas eve. At the time we also came second in the Melody Maker Rock Contest finals in Leicester.

Paul Woodward

Left – Right: Stan (Roadie), Dave Smaylen (Drums), Matt Thorpe (Guitar), Gary Smith (Keyboards), Guy Dennis (Bass), Paul Woodward (Guitar)

Steve Royston

Stacks

Part of the 60s Drumbeat explosion.

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