Wednesday, November 9, 2011
1982: Don't need you anyway
Was there ever a phrase invented to chill one to the very core as 'jazz funk'?
It conjures up wine bars, gold-chained lotharios, big-haired 19-year-old dancing round their handbags in peppermint miniskirts, Malibu and Coke, fake palm trees, nightclubs called Raffles or Boogies or Fridays and baggy-trousered floppy-haired trumpet players in white socks and soul slippers.
Which in 1982, was exactly what it entailed. Many a nightclub did I attend where all that and more was going on. And nothing sums up that whole world to me more than a coach trip to Windsor to see a friend's brother's band doing a few numbers in spring of that year.
I remember it mainly because I was so desperate for the loo on the way up that I almost considered going in a carrier bag, but settled for semi-kidney failure instead and had my grey box jacket stolen.
But what of the band? From what I recall, Boys White Teeth, as they were called in the Haircut 100 style of the time, weren't that bad, and came on after an evening of You're The One For Me by D-Train, The Chinese Way by Level 42, endless George Benson and Easier Said Than Done by those doyens of the scene, Shakatak. They wore peg trousers with short-sleeved shirts tucked in and the odd skinny tie, their hair had that flicky soulboy look and they didn't move much on stage.
The dancefloor was filled though, as people put down their Bacardis and Harp lagers and grooved on down to the band. My firend's brother was the saxophonist - was their ever a more Eighties sound than that? - and was very good. I thought we might be seeing the birth of the new Modern Romance.
They never made it. They died with the whole jazz funk movement. The world only ever needed one Light Of The World.
But I did get my jacket back.