Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Yargo • Bodybeat

A great live band, Yargo were not able to translate their energy to the recording studio. I saw them a couple of times, the last being at Ronnie Scotts, they took no hostages that night.
I was initially reluctant  to see them at first as I wasn't feeling the record a friend kept playing me but saw them play live on The Tube and was intrigued.

For the uninitiated, Yargo were the best band to come out of Manchester in the late 80's by a mile. A recommendation from the owner of Moles Club in Bath led me to a gig in the same, where, I was amazed to see the rock royalty of the locale (they all came out of the woodwork for this one) eagerly awaiting with baited breath.......there was no disappointment. A brilliant set left me in no doubt, creative musical genius was abundant in this four piece unit, I was stunned, how does a band get this good? I'd never heard of them, why were they not famous? Sadly, the mystery still remains, I saw them half a dozen times in the Bristol / Bath area, each time an improvement on the last, before they slipped away into the ether in the early 90's. Bodybeat is difficult to categorise, not an easy album to review or draw comparisons, blues / jazz / dub / reggae / soul are all in the mix but still doesn't cover their sort of unconventional style, the best description I've heard is: Downbeat Future Jazz. This album is a masterclass of seriously good musicians underplaying in the most, allowing teaser amounts of musical prowess to sneak through and satisfy the listener, while making a totally unique sound that leaves the space for Basil Clarke's inimitable vocals. Still sounding as fresh as a daisy, the first of two stand alone Yargo album's Bodybeat more than adequately acquits itself from the unenviable task of capturing on disc the wall of sound produced by the totally original Yargo who excel in the domain of live performance. I agree with another reviewer "Yargo are so cool that when I play them on my stereo, it snows in the room". The Stone Roses have reformed with success, perhaps Yargo should do the same, after all back in the day they were 25years ahead of their should be just right. 

1. Carrying Mine
2. Bodybeat Blues
3. Lately
4. Get There
5. Help
6. Cocaine
7. Another Moss Side Night
8. Bedtime For Rio

basil clarke • vocals
tony burnside • guitar
paddy steer • bass, double bass
phil kirby • drums

mick brophy • harmonica
stalwart • saxophones  (1, 2, 5, 8)
tony watt • Piano (1)
denise johnson • backing vocals (2)
doreen edwards • backing vocals (2)
dave baldwin • synthesizer (3)
tony watt • synthesizer (5)
andy diagram • trumpet (5)

engineered by chris angle
produced by basil clarke, chris angle

buy here

Label: Bodybeat – BODY 002 CD
Format: 320
Country: UK
Released: 1987
Genre: Electronic
Style: Urban Blues, Dub, Funk


  1. Hey Stylo! It sure is nice to see you back.

  2. Thanks Yotte, nice to be welcomed.

  3. hi Stylo, this was completely unknown to me, thanks, I can see (hear) that this band live would be great, but the album has it's moments too...on a different beat: do you by any chance have/know of the band Ulterior Lux? I have heard 2 albums now, The Dancing Man (1990) and jean chaine and his ulterior lux - distant suns (keta music, 1985), these remind me very much of the fabulous Xero Slingsby....maybe a tip for you? if you're curious just give a holler [:-)
    ciao, E-mile