The Bureau

Last updated

The Bureau were a new wave soul group formed in November 1980 in Birmingham, England, when the original lineup of Dexys Midnight Runners split-up. The Bureau retained their Dexys roots and played powerful brass-driven soul sounds.

Contents

History

Formation

Ex-Dexys members Pete Williams (bass), Geoff Blythe (tenor saxophone), Steve Spooner (alto saxophone), Stoker (drums) and Mick Talbot (keyboards) engaged the services of manager Dave Corke, a previous manager of Dexys Midnight Runners, and promoted concerts in Birmingham to raise money to finance the group. [1]

In December 1980, the band were joined by Rob Jones (guitar and trumpet), Tony Bischoff (bass) and Archie Brown (vocals) from a group called The Upset, which had supported Dexys on tour. The Bureau began rehearsals with a trombonist known only as Jake (formerly of the R&B, soul, funk act Gonzalez), [2] who came and went.

Only For Sheep

In February 1981 The Bureau signed a deal with record label WEA and recorded their debut single "Only For Sheep"/"The First One" with producer Pete Wingfield (who had produced Dexys' album Searching for the Young Soul Rebels ) at London's Vineyard Studios. A video was recorded for "Only For Sheep" before the band left the UK for debut tour dates in the Netherlands and Belgium. Permanent trombone player Paul Taylor was recruited at the eleventh hour and joined the group for the dates. The first ever gig in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, was reviewed in UK music paper NME and the second gig at the Paradiso Club, Amsterdam, was recorded for Dutch radio. "Only For Sheep" was released in March 1981 [3] and was a hit in Australia, reaching No. 6, [4] but failed to reach the UK Singles Chart.

On 12 March The Bureau played their first British gig, a showcase, at Ronnie Scott's in London. [5] At the end of March 1981 the band rehearsed and recorded new songs for their debut album including the follow-up single "Let Him Have It", inspired by the Derek Bentley/Christopher Craig case. In April 1981, The Bureau made a debut live TV appearance on BBC Midlands show Look Here and recorded four more songs for the debut album. They embarked on an extensive UK and Ireland tour beginning at the Forum Ballroom in Kentish Town, London, on 16 April and ending at The Lyceum on 17 May. [6] The single "Let Him Have It/The Noose" was released in May 1981 and listed as "Record Of The Week" in UK music paper Record Mirror [7] but failed to chart. In June 1981 The Bureau played a gig supporting Hazel O'Connor and The Specials at Butts Athletic Stadium in Coventry. Their performance was described as "triumphant" by music journalist Simon Tebbutt. [8] They then supported The Pretenders on tours of the UK and America between July and September 1981. [9] [10] Some gigs included members of The Bureau appearing with The Pretenders for a cover of Jackie Wilson's "Higher And Higher", a recording of which appears on the CD reissue of The Pretenders album Pretenders II .

Albums

The album The Bureau was released in 1981, but only in Canada and Australia. The Canadian version of the album (catalogue number XWEA 58357) was eponymous but, in Australia, the album was titled Only For Sheep (catalogue number 600104). In Australia the song "Let Him Have It" was titled "Let Him Have It (Sweet Revenge)".

The Bureau embarked on a second UK tour in November and December 1981 sharing the bill with the Mo-dettes, and Roddy Radiation And The Tearjerkers. The tour was dubbed "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Tour" and ended at The Venue, Victoria, London, on 23 December 1981. [11] The band dissolved soon after completing the tour.

The album finally became available in the UK when it received a CD release in 2005. The CD includes extra tracks not available on the original release including an eleven-track concert and the video for "Only For Sheep".

The band reunited to play two launch gigs in London and Birmingham in February 2005, prompting the members to write and rehearse new material. October 2008 saw the release of a second, new album in the UK entitled and another thing..., which was released through the band's website and promoted via live gigs in Newcastle, Birmingham and London, and an appearance on Jools Holland's BBC Radio 2 show.

Post-breakup

Talbot went on to enjoy greater success as the co-founder with Paul Weller of The Style Council, while Brown formed Flag with ex-Secret Affair guitarist Dave Cairns. His current band, Archie Brown and The Young Bucks, is based in Newcastle, with a catalogue of nine albums and a line-up of Brown (vocals, saxophone, guitar), Patrick Rafferty (vocals, accordion, guitar, lap steel guitar, keyboards), Ian Thompson (bass), Phil Screaton (lead guitar) and Neil Ramshaw (drums). Blythe teamed up with former colleague Big Jim Paterson in The TKO Horns. Pete Williams went on to form the band These Tender Virtues in the mid-1980s and, more recently, Baseheart.

During the early 2000s, Williams and Talbot joined Kevin Rowland in a reformed Dexys to record new material, but nothing was released at that time.

2011 saw the emergence of a new project, GI Blythe, featuring Geoff Blythe (saxophones) and Archie Brown (vocals), along with Big Jim Paterson (ex-Dexys Midnight Runners, trombone), Larry Baeder (guitars), Joe "Bearclaw" Burcaw (bass), Pete Levin (keyboards) and Crispin Taylor (drums). The band released a debut album entitled Lost In Space in January 2012. At the same time, Williams, Talbot, and Paterson were recording One Day I'm Going to Soar with Rowland and the new Dexys, which was released in June 2012.

Pete Williams also released a solo album, SEE, in January 2012 to critical acclaim; Richard Hawley guests on guitar along with Paul Taylor on trombone. Williams released Roughnecks and Roustabouts in March 2015 with guests Mick Talbot and Josie Lawrence. [12]

Discography

Singles

Albums

Related Research Articles

Dexys Midnight Runners band

Dexys Midnight Runners are an English pop band with soul influences from Birmingham, who achieved major commercial success in the early to mid-1980s. They are best known in the UK for their songs "Come On Eileen" and "Geno", both of which peaked at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, as well as six other top-20 singles. "Come On Eileen" also topped the US Billboard Hot 100, and with extensive airplay on MTV they are associated with the Second British Invasion.

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, guitarist Nick Bache 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.

Secret Affair are a mod revival band, formed in 1978 and disbanded in 1982. They reformed to perform and record in the 2000s.

The Charlatans (English band) English alternative rock band

The Charlatans are an English rock band formed in the West Midlands in 1988. The line-up comprises lead vocalist Tim Burgess, guitarist Mark Collins, bassist Martin Blunt and keyboardist Tony Rogers.

The Beat (British band) British band

The Beat are a band founded in Birmingham, England, in 1978. Its music fuses Latin, ska, pop, soul, reggae and punk rock.

Helen O'Hara is a British musician, formerly a member and violinist of the band Dexys Midnight Runners between 1982 and 1987, including performing on songs such as "Come on Eileen" from the Too-Rye-Ay album.

<i>Pretenders II</i> 1981 studio album by The Pretenders

Pretenders II is the second studio album by British rock band the Pretenders.

Mick Talbot British musician

Michael "Mick" Talbot is an English keyboardist, songwriter, composer and record producer. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Talbot is probably best known as a founder of The Style Council. Talbot has been a member of Dexys Midnight Runners, The Merton Parkas, and The Bureau.

<i>Searching for the Young Soul Rebels</i> 1980 studio album by Dexys Midnight Runners

Searching for the Young Soul Rebels is the debut studio album by English pop group Dexys Midnight Runners, released on 11 July 1980, through EMI Records. Led by Kevin Rowland, the group formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, and formed a strong live reputation before recording their first material. Recorded during April 1980, the album combines the aggressiveness of punk rock with soul music, particularly influenced by the Northern soul movement.

<i>BBC Radio One Live in Concert</i> (Dexys Midnight Runners album) 1995 live album by Dexys Midnight Runners

BBC Radio One Live in Concert was a live album by Dexys Midnight Runners, recorded for the BBC in 1982 and released in 1995. It was the group's first official live album and remained their only official live album until the release of The Projected Passion Revue in 2007. The album is unique as it is Dexys' only live recording where the members of The Projected Passion Revue horn section are present alongside the Too-Rye-Ay strings. Immediately after this concert, the horn section left the group and formed The TKO Horns.

Man are a rock band from Wales whose style is a mixture of American West Coast psychedelia, progressive rock, and blues. Formed in November 1968 as a reincarnation of Welsh rock harmony group the Bystanders, Man are renowned for the extended jams in their live performances.

Geno (song) 1980 song by Dexys Midnight Runners

"Geno" is a 1980 single by Dexys Midnight Runners. Written by Kevin Archer and Kevin Rowland, it was the band's second single and their first UK number one, staying at the top of the Singles Chart for two weeks. The song charted at number two in Ireland.

Paul George Speare is an English freelance saxophonist and flute player, formerly a member of Dexys Midnight Runners and The TKO Horns.

Dance Stance 1979 single by Dexys Midnight Runners

"Dance Stance" is the first single by Dexys Midnight Runners. It reached #40 on the UK Singles Chart in early 1980.

Atomic Rooster English band

Atomic Rooster are a British rock band, originally formed by members of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, organist Vincent Crane and drummer Carl Palmer. Throughout their history, keyboardist Vincent Crane was the only constant member and wrote the majority of their material. Their history is defined by two periods: the early-mid-1970s and the early 1980s. The band went through radical style changes, but they are best known for the hard, progressive rock sound of their hit singles, "Tomorrow Night" and "Devil's Answer", both in 1971.

The Celtic Soul Brothers 1982 single by Dexys Midnight Runners

"The Celtic Soul Brothers" is a song written by Mickey Billingham, Jimmy Paterson and Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners that was first released by the band in March 1982 as a single and was also the first song on the band's 1982 album Too-Rye-Ay. It reached #45 in the UK on its initial release, and #20 in the UK and #86 in the US when re-released in March 1983. The song also reached #13 on the Irish charts.

Cold River Lady English rock band

Cold River Lady ("CRL") was a rock band that was formed in 1970 in Hereford in the Welsh Marches of England. Their music however drew on far wider influences. With its eclectic mix of acoustic guitar, lazy rural rhythms and a sharp electric edge and strong melodies and lyrics, it combined rock, folk and blues influences, with sophisticated flavours from the likes of Arthur Lee, Tim Buckley and Caravan. The music of the band developed with the various changes of personnel and evolving musical times, whilst keeping its unique "Hereford" feel, until it finally wound up in 1976 when the punk era took a grip. The final twist in the life of this band was that forty years after it was formed its first album Better Late Than Never was released in 2010.

<i>One Day Im Going to Soar</i> 2012 studio album by Dexys

One Day I'm Going to Soar is a 2012 album by Dexys, the band formerly known as Dexys Midnight Runners. It was the band's fourth studio album, but its first in 27 years. The album features, alongside Dexys' lead singer Kevin Rowland, 1980s Dexys members Big "Jim" Paterson, Pete Williams and Mick Talbot, new recruits Neil Hubbard, Tim Cansfield and Lucy Morgan, and guest vocalist Madeleine Hyland, who duets with Rowland on several songs.

John Michael McKenzie was a British bass guitarist who has been a member of bands such as Global Village Trucking Company and Man; has played on numerous singles, notably for Eurythmics, The Pretenders and Alison Moyet; and been a touring musician with acts as diverse as Lionel Richie, Dr. John and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Let's Make This Precious: The Best of Dexys Midnight Runners is a best-of compilation album by Dexys Midnight Runners, which also contained two newly recorded songs by the group, "Manhood" and "My Life in England ". Dexys had broken up in early 1987, and these two songs, recorded in 2003, were the first new Dexys material since the single "Because of You" in 1986. Nevertheless, the album was similar to the 1991 compilation The Very Best of Dexys Midnight Runners, as eleven of the sixteen older Dexys songs on it had also been included on that album. However, to record the two new songs, Rowland put together a new version of Dexys that featured prior members Pete Williams and Mick Talbot (keyboards) plus new members such as Lucy Morgan (viola) and Neil Hubbard (guitar), and the reformed band played a series of live concerts later in 2003.

References

  1. The Bureau Information Tour '81 tour programme
  2. Melody Maker , 31 January 1981
  3. Record Mirror , 14 March 1981
  4. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992, St Ives, N.S.W.
  5. Record Mirror 21 March 1981
  6. Record Mirror 11 April 1981
  7. Record Mirror, 23 May 1981
  8. Record Mirror, 20 June 1981
  9. Melody Maker 8 August 1981
  10. The Milwaukee Journal, 24 August 1981
  11. "Home". Petewilliamsmusic.com.