The Bureau - And Another Thing
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   When The Bureau broke up in the early ‘80s the world was theirs. The soul combo had coalesced out of Dexys Midnight Runners to produce two stunning singles only to disappear mysteriously back into the soul ether.
A quarter of a century or so later, that potential is being rekindled. They are back with a new album and old soul rebels, loyal disciples and wild-hearted outsiders are all here in Camden with baited breath and beating hearts. Some have waited for this moment of resurrection for over 25 years.

          c/o Snaz Music - The Jazz cafe

 

Published August 31, 2008   http://blogcritics.org

February 14th 1983; Toronto, Ontario Canada was in the midst of a cold snap, usual for the time of the year, but inside the venerable concert hall, Massey Hall, it was red hot. The force-major that was the celtic/soul/rock of Dexy's Midnight Runners had hit the stage running and didn't stop for two hours. In some ways, it remains to this day one of the most powerful, and passionate shows of live music that I've seen.

After that tour, and I think maybe another album, Dexy's seemed to fade away, or at least we didn't hear about them as much over here on this side of the Atlantic. We also never heard that much about a project that some former Midnight Runners put together with members of other British pop groups called The Bureau that surfaced briefly in the early eighties. Ironically their album was released over here and in Australia, but never in Britain and the band wound down after a couple of tours.

Fast forward to 2002 and a desire to recreate some of that bedlam resulted in the re-release of the original Bureau album, The Bureau, in 2005 and some touring by the newly reformed band. Now, while some people might have been content to rest on the laurels of nostalgia, these guys haven't been. With almost the entire band back together, only the drummer was unable to work himself free of current commitments, they made the decision to risk doing a brand new recording of original tunes. I say risk because all of them had settled into gigs on one side of the Atlantic or the other and reviving a project that the record companies had left to wither on the vine the first time around offered no guarantees of return on their time and money.

For those of you, like me, who occasionally wonder if there will ever be bands again that can recapture some of the intensity and passion that made punk worth listening to, allow me to introduce you to 2008's version of The Bureau and their new CD, ...and another thing. Although its not slated for an official release until October 6th/08, you can order the disc through the band's web-site. The price of $20.00 American includes the shipping and handling to get it from England to your mail-box, so it's as good as deal as you'll get from any on-line retailer, especially considering the distance its having to travel.

What are you going to receive for your twenty hard earned dollars? Only twelve of the best funk/soul/rock and roll tracks you'll have heard since the heyday of Sly and The Family Stone. I guess you could be forgiven if you think I'm exaggerating, and the only way to know will be to check them out for yourself now won't it. However, I don't think I've had a disc of new music rock me back on my heels in amazement like this one did since I know when.
First off, all the tracks are originals written for this disc save one, "Keaton's Walk" which had been languishing on tape in that mysterious place where recordings abide when they are lost and forgotten since the band laid it down in 1984. Secondly, as individuals these guys are all brilliant musicians, and together they not only illuminate each other, but create some sort of amazing ball of fire that casts a glow over anybody listening.

 

Third, and most importantly, they don't take themselves seriously. That's not to say they don't take the business of creating great music seriously, but they know what they're doing isn't going to save lives or change the world, so there isn't any pomposity about what they do. They're here to make and play pop music and that's what they'll do for heaven's sake, with every fiber of their beings and piece of their hearts.

They also have a great sense of humour as you find out with the first song "Run Rabbit Run". Archie Brown, lead vocals, moans out a song about how hard it is to teach his pet bunny how to run. He discovers that shooting it in the butt with both barrels of a twelve gauge shot gun might not make it run, but it sure will get it flying and results in some great rabbit stew. While card carrying members of PETA without funny bones might not see the humour in this cut, it lets you know that you're in for a disc that's definitely not your typical pop recording.

From there on in the songs just keep getting better and better with the band exploring different variations of the funk and soul groove depending on the nature of the song. There's nothing even close to approximating a ballad, or even anything soppy and sentimental like you find on far too many so called soul records today. Unlike most other people The Bureau doesn't confuse the word soul with sentimental, or even worse orchestrated, middle of the road, adult listening warbling about how true my heart is or other such shit.

They understand that it means that the music you make has soul, that it sounds like it's been recorded by people, and you perform and sing it as if your life depended on getting the groove just right. This isn't the smooth as silk vocals or over produced music that seeps out of the radio these days, it's rough, raw, and pulsing with energy. Even better is the fact that they change things up constantly so that from one song to another the music is different. Everything from driving hard funk to old British music hall style songs shows up, and each are played with same amount of sparkle and élan. Not only do they do they play the music well but they play it with style, and that makes it all the more entertaining and exciting.

I've never been very keen for what's called white soul as it's usually insipid crap. The Bureau, like some other bands and musicians from the British Isles, prove to be the exception to that rule. Instead of trying to imitate the way people like James Brown or Sly Stone used to play funk and soul, they take the music and infuse it with the same energy that used to drive punk. By doing this they have created a sound unique to themselves, that not only makes for great listening, but is bound to get your feet moving and your hips swaying. If you take only one risk on an unknown quality this year when it comes to music make it The Bureau's new album ...and another thing - you won't be disappointed.

Remember for now you can only pick up a copy via their web-site, so scoot on over there and put your order in now - you won't regret it.
Richard Marcus is a long-haired Canadian iconoclast who writes reviews and opines on the world as he sees it at Leap In The Dark and Epic India Magazine

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HOME NEWS by Mike Davies (updated 12/9/2008)

After the long delayed official release of their self-titled 80s debut three years ago in the wake of a band reunion, THE BUREAU now follow up with a brand new set of own label recordings in the shape of ....And Another Thing. Featuring frontman Archie Brown with Geoff Blythe and Paul Taylor on brass, Pete Williams on bass, Mick Talbot behind the keys and Crispin Taylor on sticks, it's a fine, sleazy slice of Northern soul, retro funk, gospel and jazzy blues with Brown not only again evoking Chris Farlowe, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Otis, and Wilson but, on the rasp-throated speak-sing A Fine Mess Rag, Captain Beefheart, a reference compounded by the track's choppy jazz riffs and brass bursts.

It's a hot, tight and sweaty noise, oozing menace on the opening Run Rabbit Run, checking what they rightly call a cross between Willie Nelson and James Brown on Save Me, getting into the gospel pews with Brown growling on his knees for Talbot's Chance In A Million while piano waltzer Flying Lessons (a tribute to a friend who overcame a bipolar disorder) is steeped in a New Orleans vibe, complete with a clarinet solo by Williams.

Divided In Two underlines the slow soul Stax flavours that provide the band's bedrock while the lurching, brass greasy , bass burping instrumental Freedom March (a Blythe number dating from `84) firmly confirms their scorching musicianship. The past's also revisited with a cassette version of the Williams-penned Keaton's Walk, produced by Bob Lamb and recorded prior to the band's split back in 82.

Brown and Williams share vocal duties on the penultimate track, the old school blues-soul Nothing's Gonna Stand In our Way. After all this time, it would be nice to think they were finally proven right.


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The Bureau: ... And Another Thing

Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 11:56 AM
The Bureau: ... And Another Thing Back into 2004 The Bureau hit the stage of The Magnesia Bank in North Shield for what was supposed to be one-off gig to please longtime fan Ian Jennings.   The rise of this UK rhythmic soul outfit with a jazz twist was cut short in the early eighties after financial mishaps, mess-ups and of course trouble with their record label.

Their first album never made the shops in their home country, a mistake that was corrected in 2005 when WEA re-released the album.

Their new album ... And Another Tthing picks ups the pieces and glues them together again - most of the original members are on it, with a replacement drummer.Founder member Stoker Growcott has moved to California and could not make the reunion.

 

 

They all have gone older, sadder and wiser, but they're are still determined to blast the house down with heavy woodwinds, bras and a pumping piano. These geezers got soul, from the up-tempo Run Rabbit Run, the semi-spoken word vocals on A Fine Mess Rag until the final song Keaton's Walk, the 1982 bonus track that was left on the shelf back then.

The Bureau:
Archie Brown: vocal
Geoff Blythe: saxophone
Crispin Taylor: drums
Mick Talbot: keyboards
Paul Taylor: trombone
Pete Williams: bass

... And Another Thing is a self-released album. Buy it from the band.

Tracks:
  1. Run Rabbit Run
  2. Save Me
  3. Chance In A Million
  4. A Fine Mess Rag
  5. Freedom March
  6. Just A Word
  7. Falling
  8. Divided In Two
  9. Mad
  10. Flying Lessons
  11. Nothing's Going To Stand In Our Way
  12. Keaton's Walk

MP3: The Bureau - A Fine Mess Rag

» myspace.com/newbureau


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Review of new release from The Bureau - Posted by Jade Wright on September 27, 2008 musicblog.merseyblogs.co.uk This week's reviews of new releases from The Bureau...

By Rikki Wright

The Bureau ...and another thing

Jazzy, snazzy, saxy soul blues sound, with an edge that conjours up the much missed and beloved Ian Dury and his Blockheads, Louis Armstrong, The Blues Brothers along with shades of Joan Armatrading, Elvis Costello, and Alabama 3, and the occasional whiff of something straight out of the 1920's, which surprises, but actually adds a curious sparkle to the overall mix.
Very likeable sound, quite different to the majority of music around at the moment, but in a good way. 3/5

The Bureau: '...and another thing' (TBP)
News reviews Bureau album
Possibly one of the best recordings from a British band in 2008.

 

 

Comprised of former Dexys Midnight Runners band members, The Bureau has forged a unique synthesis of Blighty-branded punk, with elements of the 'Muscle Shoals' sound, Sly and the Family Stone and even the Jazz Crusaders especially with the dynamic Wayne Henderson-like trombone stylings of Paul Taylor.If you are looking for melodic gems, this CD is a great place to find them. While the gut wrenching blues of Archie Brown's 'Divided in Two' tugs at the heart strings, the groups irreverent and politically incorrect humour on 'Run Rabbit Run', demonstrates that they can laugh at themselves too.

Online review is here - www.ejazznews.com


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...and another thing - Don't forget that you can get your exclusive 'Bureau' Tee shirt here - And DON'T forget to buy YOUR copy of the CD NOW! just click on the thumb links...

The Bureau - Geoff Blythe, Paul Taylor, Crispin Tyalor, Archi Brown, Mick talbot, Pate Williams
...and another thing  - 
The Bureau - ...and another thing