Fantastic Soul/Funk band from the 70s with Geoff Brown, Richard Ford , Steve James, Stuart Scott.
Muscles – Big Bear Records 1976
Singles & EPs
Make Me Happy – Big Bear Records 1975
Space Party – Big Bear Records 1975
Music Is Our Message – Big Bear Records 1976
Jungle Strut / Muscle Hustle – Big Bear Records 1976
Love Is All I’ve Got / I’m Gonna Synthesise You – Big Bear Records 1977
If It Relaxes Your Mind / Music Is Our Message – Big Bear Records 1977
I’m A Girl Watcher (7″, Single, Promo) – Big Bear Records BB12 1977
The Smooth Side/The Rough Side (7″, Ora) – Big Bear Records
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
Chris Wilmot sent this great piece about his former band The Probe and the stunning poster for a gig supporting the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
I wonder if anyone remembers the band The Probe who played around the area and beyond from 1967 to about 1972.
I was the guitarist with the band and remember some great gigs at The Plaza Old Hill / Handsworth, The Factory, Swan at Yardley, George Hotel Walsall, Birmingham Top Rank (now the Academy) Woverhampton Queens Ballroom, Dudley zoo Queen Mary Ballroom where on one of our many gigs Robert Plant wanted to sing with us but our singer said no!! plus loads of local gigs in the vacinity.We were all from the Halesowen, Blackheath, Old Hill and Dudley area.
Over time we went from playing Soul to Progressive which gave us appearances as support for Family, Jethro Tull, Geno Washington, Amen Corner, Bonzo Dog Band, Fleetwood Mack, Marmalade plus loads more big names….we were pretty busy 2 gigs a night a couple of times thanks to the Plazas revolving stage…we set up on the back while the pevious band played on the front…then turned round playing….a bit scary looking back! Our old valve Vox and Marshall amps took a beating but never or rarely went wrong.
The most weird were the gigs in London at the height of the psychedelic 60’s…one underground club under a church ( i think it was famous)and we were invited to play at a party later that night complete with liquid lights and full weirdness.Our bass guitarist reckons we played at the Marquee but I don’t remember that!! or supporting The Moody Blues at Stourbridge Town Hall, but hey ho I’m getting old!
We won a record contract via a Radio Luxembourg band contest in around 68/69 and had to meet the infamous Jimmy Saville at Belle Vue in Manchester for a meal and later played at the equally infamous Top 10 club for his charity work!! He was a strange and scary man.
We recorded an album at De Layne Lee Studios in London, which was The Place in the day….Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mack, Stones tapes lying about in there on the side…the old 8 track metal tape reel cans….My big regret is I didn’t take photos…I never thought it might be interesting for the future. Apparently Jimi recorded Hey Joe and the Are you Experienced album in there…it was tiny and below offices in Soho but has now been redeveloped and is out of town.
Look it up as is very interesting. For some unknown reason based on the contract, we never released it and despite best efforts, couldn’t even buy it off them to use. The producer was looking after Black Widdow at the time…somebody Meeham Junior….bit of a 60’s type complete with e-type and lotus cortina. I didn’t take a shine to him much.
Any way…hope it stirs some memories!!
Another great venue recently demolished. The West End Bar was situated on St Chads Island, just across the road from Snow Hill Station and around the corner from the Thistle Hotel.
This was a much vaunted place back in the 1980s and 1990s serving the soul, rare groove, funk and hip hop crowd downstairs while rockabillys and psychobillys congregated upstairs.
I’d like to hear about it’s past life as well as some of the dj’s and faces from its history.
As always, any memories you have of this place, photo’s, flyers and so on, please send them in!