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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Griff says; Come dine with The Chefs

Way back in February (see 'here') I wrote an article about Trixie's Big Red Motorbike and their place in the development of the branch of the indie-pop genre that went on to become the sub-genre known as twee pop. For those unfamiliar with twee pop let me explain that it is a gentle, ramshackle music that grew out of post-punk and is characterised by boy-girl harmonies, lovelorn lyrics, infectious melodies, and simple, unaffected performances. In that article one of the bands I name-checked were The Chefs, whom I described as purveyors of  self-conscious, clever/cute, student-pop. Unfortunately for The Chefs, they were a little ahead of their time and their jangly, melodic pop, which would have been justifiably fêted had they released it during the C-86 era, seemed oddly out of place in the early 80s of Thatcherism, inner city riots and the growing goth-rock movement.

One person who did appreciate them was John Peel and it was he who picked up on their four-track EP, called simply The Chefs, and released in 1980 by Attrix Records. Peel gave the EP regular airplay and, as I seem to mention rather often on these blog pages, I swiftly went out and bought the record.

The band line-up for the recording was:
Carl Evans - guitar/vocals
James McCallum - guitar
Helen McCookerybook - bass/vocals
Russel Greenwood -drums

The four tracks on the EP are: Sweetie, Thrush, Records & Tea and Boasting.
As The Chefs seem to have sunk rather into obscurity compared to their contemporaries, and as he is such a big fan of jangly pop music, our Ray decided recently to make a couple of Youtube videos, of Sweetie and Thrush to showcase the band's sound. Both are embedded below for your enjoyment:

The Streetlamp has converted both tracks from original vinyl into MP3 and they are available for download 'here'. More free MP3 recordings of the band can also be found on the fine 'Punk History of Brighton' website.



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