DEPT S ARE BACK!

Department S – 2

 

IS DEPARTMENT S THERE(AGAIN?)

2007 saw the first Department S activity in 25 years. The threesome of Eddie Roxy, Stuart Mizon and Mike Herbage have been toiling away in dark corners and deep cellars since February of this year and October 8th sees the release of the 4th Department S single and the first for 2 and a half decades. It’s been a long old time in the wilderness and it all came together after several bottles (too much) of red wine in the legendary ‘Ship’ public house in Wardour Street, London W1. Roxy had contacted Herbage via this very website with a view to meeting up to reignite old acquaintances and in the ensuing drunken revelling it was mooted that a new Department S song should be recorded, purely for fun and it was to be a cover that would reflect the spirit of our youth. It was decided that My Coo Cachoo by the wonderful Mr Alvin Stardust was to be given the glam rock / punk treatment, which was also fitting as Alvin was a big hero of the now sadly departed Vaughan Toulouse, original lead singer with Department S. This one’s for you Toulouse. Stuart Mizon had rekindled relations with Herbage some time earlier and was alerted to the possibility of this jolly jape and immediately jumped on board the good ship ‘S’. After several shaky rehearsals an arrangement for the song was worked out and the help was sought of a maestro to help the lads in the studio. Remember, it’d been 25 years since they had recorded together and although Herbage had recorded an album with friends, The Purple Hearts, in the mid 1980’s, things were a whole lot different in 2007. A suitable genius was found in the shape of one Mr Terry Edwards, former Sax man with The Higsons and Gallon Drunk and veteran of many a session with the likes of Robyn Hitchcock and Madness. Terry put the lads through their paces and knocked them into shape and with the help of Mr Mark Bedford of Madness on Bass and Mr Edwards blowing rock’n’roll sax like a bitch and Michelle Brigandage helping out on backing vocals, the end product was, to say the least, surprising. Infact it came out so well that it was decided that the song should be released as a single. Fortunately Mr Edwards ran his own record label – Sartorial, so a home was found. The song itself, although keeping faithful (in the main) to the arrangement of the original, is sonically a million miles away from the original. Think of Led Zeppelin meets the Clash and Adam and the Ants in a brothel and you’ll get the rough idea. The track will be available in 7” ‘Romany Blood’ Red vinyl and download from I -tunes. The B-side sees a rendition of David Bowie’s ‘Cat People’ by Terry Edwards and the Scapegoats. It don’t get no classier than this. More activity has followed, culminating in a recording session in September which included guest appearances by Glen Matlock of Sex Pistols and Marco Pirroni, Adams chief Ant. Mr Edwards once again added brass with strings supplied courtesy of Susie from The Mekons. Though we say so ourselves, the outcome of the 3 days session is nothing short of stunning and more details will follow in due course. The band has now been joined by Sam Burnett of ’79 Mod legends, Back to Zero. Stuart Mizon has now left the band, however, we shall be back in the studio last weekend of September, with possible gigs to follow by the end of the year. Watch this space!

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