Brit Funk – What An Era!
This months music choice has been an easy one for me. ‘Paradise Drive’ by Midnite. Brit-Funk at its very best.
The Song came out on Tivoli Records, a British label, in 1983. The group were made up of P. Woodstock, M. Spooner, K. Parker and I. Bishop. Midnite managed to acquire the vocal services of Jill Seaward who would sing on both of Midnite’s singles. ‘Paradise Drive’ was Midnite’s second single released that year. ‘Paradise Drive’ followed on from their first single ‘Never Gonna Stop’. Midnite were a UK based studio band that started out at the time of the BritFunk explosion that hit the music scene in the early ’80’s. I never tire of listening to the smooth soulful voice of Jill Saward, with the synths and horn section accompanying the electro-funk sound and beat. Hearing it always reminds me of the Lyceum (The Strand – London) and the Friday night ‘Best Disco in Town’ days.
Jill Sawards career has been a memorable one to say the least. She started out singing at the age of 16 when she went and joined a progressive jazz rock band called Fusion Orchestra. Jill was with the Fusion from 1969 to 1972. Their debut album Skeleton in Armour was critically acclaimed and is apparently a highly sought after collector’s item. Jill Saward went on to become the lead singer with Shakatak, who had numerous hits such as ‘Easier Said Than Done’, ‘Nightbirds’ and ‘Steppin’.
Brit-Funk was the most talked about genre at the time and how lucky were we to have been there to watch it unfold before our eyes and ears, especially with live PA’s that were happening in numerous clubs around the country.
Bands included ‘The UK Players’, ‘Beggar & Co.’, ‘Freeze’, ‘High Tension’, ‘Light of the World’, ‘Heatwave’, ‘Lynx’, ‘Shakatak’, ‘Central Line’, and ‘Incognito’. We seemed to rule the world with Brit-Funk.
The clubs were buzzing with it being played at venues like the Lyceum in London’s Strand to the Goldmine at Canvey Island, from the Paradise Lost in Watford to the Cats Whiskers in Streatham. Brit-Funk had these venues filled to the rafters with everyone getting down to their favourite band.
Hope you enjoyed this weeks blog back to the good days!