Working Week tonight. From their concert at Glastonbury in 1985, recorded by the ever-present-always-amazing BBC Radio 1. Working Week were one of the first British Jazz/Pop/Funk/New Wave conglomerations to come about in the 1980s. During a decade where much more was going on than MTV and Techno, Working Week provided the impetus for many bands to take up the cause. And this new hybrid of Jazz, Pop and New Wave appealed to a wide ranging audience.
As evidenced by this performance at Glasto, which had been known primarily as a heavily-influenced Rock gathering, Working Week broke that stigma, and turned the audience on to something different. And the result was a surprise hit for the band.
Fronted by Juliet Roberts, who has since gone off to a solo career, her contribution added a touch of Soul to the proceedings, and Working Work was a delicious stew of enticing sounds, put together to further explore the possibilities of musical mashups in the future.
Sadly, the band didn’t last all that long; from 1983 to 1989. But in that time they released some 7 albums (2 were compilations), and a string of almost 2 dozen singles.
They were influential, and at least two bands, Everything But The Girl and Swing Out Sister were two bands out of many who credited Working Week as influences in their styles.
This gig from Glasto comes at the time of their debut album, which did very well on the UK charts. They were riding high on the popularity wave, and the set is turbo-charged – everybody got moving.
After the split, the members went their separate ways – Simon Booth went back to being Simon Emmerson and got heavily involved in another burgeoning scene – World Music. He has made a name for himself as a versatile artist, working with his musical cooperative Imagined Village. Saxophonist Larry Stabbins has stuck with his Jazz roots and has been working with The London Jazz Composers Orchestra and Keith Tippet’s Tapestry Orchestra among many others. Juliet Roberts has been a solo artist as well as a much in-demand backing vocalist on numerous album projects. She’s been straddling a number of genres, from Jazz, Rock and House, to vocal ensembles.
But tonight it’s Working Week, as they were just breaking and audiences were being treated to something new and interesting and engaging.
If you don’t remember them, or never heard them before, do yourself a favor and check this 30 minute slice of excellence out.