Band History
A band history - the early years  - 1977 to 1983
Band History | Band Members | Band photos | The move to comedy | Year book
Forming the band | Naming the band | Starting to gigFirst publicity shot | Making the albumArthur Kay 
Forming the band 
Pictured left to right
Geoff  Sax
Paul Mlynarz  Sax
Paul Elliot   Guitar/vocals
Terry Cutting Drums
Reg Mercer Bass/vocals
Perry White Keyboard

Back to the TOP of the page

Naming the band

Naming the band was something of an ordeal - six different people, six different sets of expectations and experiences and six different views on what constitutes a "good name".  Lets face it - it must have been a strong character that got his way with "The Rolling Stones", "Night Riders of the Purple Sage" or  "Led Zeppelin". 

So, it was with little surprise that the conversation got a little heated.  After drawing up a list of first choices, second choices and absolutely hates, the band went home called The Exits  - a name Paul had remembered from his Manchester days.  The decision had been democratically chosen, based on a points system. 

As with many such democratic decisions, no one had actually chosen the name to win but had placed it fairly high up on second and third choices.

The next day everyone admitted they hated it and unanimously chose Life 'n' Soul - another ex-Mancunian band name.

I can remember Little Paul disliking Penthouse because of its "rude" connotations. Little did he know of what was ahead!

Back to the TOP of the page
Starting to Gig
With the line-up finalised, the job was to get work.
It was initially hard, with the odd job thrown in each week or so.  An early gig was at Kent Uni for foreign students, with the Golden Arrow (Folkestone) - a personal favourite.

Gigs were often arranged by Paul Clugston at On Stage (Margate) or obtained by the band directly. 

These two early pictures taken at a function near Ashford - a young farmers club, I think

Back to the TOP of the page
First publicity shot 

This shot was chosen from the first photo shoot and was used as the main publicity photo.  Geoff had now left the band and they were moving more into a cabaret style act.

Little Paul, Reg, Perry, Terry and Paul

The photo's feature stage suits made by Little Paul.  Well made, little sewn and mostly glued - but they looked great!

An interesting point is that the photo's were taken by a Margate guy called Denis Taylor, whose knickname was T-Cup .  It is fairly usual to hear "I used to be in a group, y'know" but it came as quite a surprise when T-Cup got out his photo album!

It contained shots of him in his old band, posters, single covers and an album cover.  Interesting - but there's more!  The band was Davie Jones and the Lower Third, which changed it's name to David Bowie and the Buzz band. 

There was our balding and somewhat impoverished cameraman some years previous, playing lead guitar for Bowie.  T-Cup hung around with the band for a time but we think he preferred the grog to us. 

The last we heard of him was in the Daily Mirror!  He had been part of a scam by Ramsgate Councillors to con a European shipping consortium into putting money into the Ramsgate ferry.  "Better get in quick", was the idea, " the Arabs are interested in it".  

No one was fooled by the phoney looking Arab - it was T-Cup.

Back to the TOP of the page
The Life 'n" Soul album
Recording the album had been an idea for a long time but with a working cabaret band opportunities for recording deals are an impossibility.

One week I noticed an ad in The Stage newspaper and gave them a ring.  The response was very positive and in a matter of weeks we were recording.

The company SRT (Stereo records and Tapes) reputably sold a huge amount of albums per week - but made up of albums from hundreds of artistes.  They gave regular working acts the ability to produce albums mainly for retail at gigs.

This process, and the company, was not new to me - my friends in Sweet Chariot had produced a couple of albums for the company and found their sale quite advantageous.

So, within a matter of weeks we were in the studio -   19.20.21 November 1979.

The studio, Porcupine Studios in Eltham, Sth London, was attached to the house of owner/engineer Ted Taylor.  Ted was a Musical Director at Thames Television and used the studio as something of a hobby.  As he was quite active with his Big Band in the evenings, studio time was booked for 10 am - 5 pm - very unmusician times, we felt.

As we had only three days to record, additional time was booked on the Saturday to mix the album.

Recording was fairly smooth, as we had rehearsed all songs extensively before - many being part of the stage act.

The band crashed on the floor at Perry's parents each evening, much to the distress of an Australian visitor who was harassed by the band with "Tie me kangaroo down" type songs and jokes.

All in all quite good fun.  A video of the band in the studios is available.

Back to the TOP of the page

The Arthur years ....

Although a comedy band, Life 'n' Soul members were heavily involved with Herne Bay Ska superstar Arthur Kay.

His second single "Play My Record/Sootie is a Rudie" involved Paul Mlynarz on sax and Bob Colthart on guitar.  Shortly after both Perry White (keyboard) and Terry Cutting (drums) joined the band for gigs.

These recordings are featured on numerous CD's - both from Arthur and Ska compilations.

Bob's "Volecanoes"  ("No One But You") also featured the Life 'n' Soul band members.

The Originals line-up at Herne Bay Youth Club 
(left to right) Eddie Maitland, Arthur Kay, Terry Cutting (Life 'n' Soul), Paul Mlynarz (Life 'n' Soul), Perry White (Life 'n' Soul) and Bob Colthart (Life 'n' Soul).

Life ' n' Soul sax/vocalist Paul Mlynarz also played sax  on the Last Resort album - "A Way of Life".

This album is still available, not only on red vinyl as per the original but also on cd.

It is a classic album of this genre. (posh, eh?)

Back to the TOP of the page




  Site last updated: 28-May-2002