Sunday, September 4, 2011

Kid Creole Rocks Out With His Coconuts Out

Kid Creole And The Coconuts were leaders of the early '80s funk scene and gave underground NY label ZE Records (Suicide, Was [Not Was], James Chance] their biggest sales successes. In the UK they were lauded and had a string of Latin/big band-influenced hits ('Me No Pop I', 'Stool Pigeon', 'Annie I'm Not Your Daddy'). Led by August Darnell, who took on the Hollywood gangster-style Kid Creole persona onstage,  the band's large membership turned over fast due to in-fighting and money woes. Post-1985 the band fell out of favour but Darnell kept the brand alive churning out the occasional album and moving his base from the US to Sweden.

The band's big funky swing has never really dated as it never really sounded of its time back when they were flying high. But it took Australian club lads Pnau to put Creole back on the radar for the decade-of-rave generation not familiar with the wonky beats so loved by Generation ZE. In 2002, Pnau invited Darnell to guest on what everyone thought would be their BIG second album Again. The single failed and was dropped from the album (which also stiffed). But the wonderful Latin house cut 'Una Noche', featuring Darnell, can still be found with a bit of digging. It's Pnau's finest acheivement.

In 2011, Darnell is back with an album on Strut (Horse Meat Disco, Dennis Coffey, Mulatu Astatke) and with production by disco emperor Brennan Green. First track to be previewed is 'We're Rocking Out Tonight'. And, Green does get The Coconuts to rock. Co-penned by Andrew Butler (Hercules And Love Affair and the mr.intl label), the cut is pure Kid Creole showy-biz with a bassline that should get done for indecent exposure and added lead breaks that give the band a strangely retro-now sound. An album, I Wake Up Screaming is out Sep 27.

Kid Creole And The Coconuts- We're Rockin' Out Tonight by Strut

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