Chris Wells hears the latest from the uncommonly good
A tape a video a nice little booklet, all nestling cozily inside a drawstringbag. How could any journalist resist it?
Actually bribes handouts and hype aside, one is delighted to take issue with recent guest single reviewer Sven ‘New boots n Panties’ Harding and announced unashamedly of the worlds affection for the music of Sheffield’s EVERYDAY PEOPLE.
See for once here we are dealing with a trio of musicians whose main concern isn’t the tilt of their cap-peaks nor the cut of their samples, buy how well they can write, perform and record a song based purely on musical talent. That’s why their debut single ‘HEADLINE NEWS’ sounds as refreshingly organic as it does(Also why the opted for Stuart Lavine as producer, but well come back to that later)
EVERYDAY PEOPLE arose from the ashes of another much admired (but only moderately successful) Sheffield outfit, Floy Joy. Despite a warm critical welcome , that particular venture failed shortly after a second album for Virgin refused to kick start, and the members went their separate ways: Carroll Thompson solo, Desi Campbell to LOS ANGELES and background work for Was(Not Was) and Shaun Ward to New York’s club land. When Desi and Shaun returned to Yorkshire, filled with enthusiasm and mid Atlantic vowel sounds, a reunification-this time alongside local guitarist, Lloyd Richards-seemed a hot option. Newly established record label SBK where sharpest to react.
Can they justify the exposure? Messrs Campbell and Ward are in no doubt: Desi oh we’re worth it ,we’ve been getting the push from our company, but, after our experiences with Floy Joy that’s not something to complain about. Were fucking good and that’s all there is to it!
Shuan: We just spent two years trying to write good songs. If were getting a little help now then its deserved.
Truth to tell. Having heard an advance of the forthcoming album, I could have e answered the question myself. Raised on Seventies soul, funk and jazz the guys have put together a collection which does full justice to their influences. But hadn’t they tried all this with Floy Joy? Shaun: the first Floy Joy album was an anthology of R&B, jazz…all the things we’d grown up listening to and absorbed. Though we liked it, we came to realize that maybe it was a bit too personal. So that’s why the second album is more direct and commercial. Unfortunately when we did that know one wanted to know.
Desi: Were not going to make dance music. That’s such a specialist area nowadays. Before, people would dance to up beat tunes, most of which sounded different. Now they all have to fit into whatever groove is going down at the time. It’s a set of the same ingredients but mixed in a different way.
Anyone whose listened to the production of Stewart Levine over the years- to pick a random trio, he’s handled Lamont Dozier’s ‘Peddling Music On The Side’, Simply Red’s ‘ A New Flame’ and Womack and Womack’s ‘Love Wars’- will appreciate his penchant for traditional cooking. In keeping with the menu, EVERYDAY PEOPLE flew out to Bearsville, New York and cut the entire album without sample or sequence.
Shaun: It was the same studio in which the Isley Brothers cut all their big records, which made it quite special for us.
Desi : We’d had enough experience with producers and would really have preferred to do it our selves. But Stewart…didn’t want to change a thing. He told us at the beginning that all he wanted to do was enhance what we already had, and that’s exactly how it turned out. After listening to some other guy, who said he hoped we didn’t mind if he changed the odd chorus here and there it was great relief.!
Shaun: the biggest relief for us was the relaxation Stewart engendered in the studio . In England you get the feeling of fear: Look guys were spending £1000 a day here, so lets get it done. Stewart wasn’t like that at all. As long as we got something down on tape by the end of the day, he was happy. It never felt like work at any time.
Ah no, that bit comes now!