Harman Patil (Editor)

Café Society (British band)

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Origin  London
Labels  Konk
Genres  Folk rock, Pub rock
Years active  1973 – 1976
Record label  Konk
Past members  Tom Robinson Hereward Kaye Raphael "Ray" Doyle Nick South Nick Travisick
Similar  Sector 27, Danny Kustow, Tom Robinson Band, Tom Robinson, Alexis Korner

Café Society were a British band who were active in the mid-1970s. Based on the trio of Tom Robinson, Hereward Kaye and Raphael "Ray" Doyle, they recorded one self-titled album on the Konk record label, produced by Ray Davies of the Kinks.

History

The band came together in London in 1973, although the three original members had known each other for several years, first meeting in Kaye's home town of Middlesbrough. They all sang, played guitar, and wrote songs. When living in London, they began performing together in a folk rock style as "Hereward & Friends" at clubs including Bunjies, and were mentored by Alexis Korner. After adopting their new name of Café Society, they won a residency at the Troubadour Club where they were heard by Ray Davies. He signed them to his record label, Konk, and produced their self-titled 1975 album, together with fellow Kinks Dave Davies and John Gosling. However, the album reputedly only sold 600 copies, and the band were unhappy about the instrumentation added in its production.

They released a single, "Whitby Two Step", and undertook a nationwide tour supporting Barclay James Harvest before adding a bass player, Nick South (from Vinegar Joe), and drummer Nick Travisick. They continued to perform in pubs in the London area. After seeing a gig by the Sex Pistols, and becoming increasingly politicised following a raid on a gay bar, Robinson wrote "Glad to Be Gay", which the band performed, but their musical differences soon led to Café Society splitting up before recording a second album. A feud developed between Robinson and Ray Davies, with Davies maintaining control over Robinson's song publishing for some time, and each writing songs critical of the other.

Robinson and guitarist Danny Kustow formed the successful Tom Robinson Band in 1976, and Robinson later became a radio presenter. Hereward Kaye released a solo album, Golden Mile, in 1980; he was later a member of the Flying Pickets, and the lyricist for the 1992 stage musical Moby Dick.

References

Café Society (British band) Wikipedia


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