Disc

Cool Runnings



 

Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto ARC226

Cool Runnings

  1. Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto
  2. There You Go
  3. Hurts So Bad

 

» Cool Runnings Press Release

 

Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto - Single - Cool Running

 

Featured Track

Cool RunningsCool Runnings

Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto

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Bristol reggae group ‘Cool Running’s’ was formed in 1980 and after a few early line-up changes, made their first studio recordings ‘Robin Hoods of this Ghetto’ and ‘There you go’ at Right Track studio in Redland with Liam Henshall at the helm.

At this time they were Winston Minott on vocals, George Condover on guitar, Mark Tuck on keys and vocals, Trevor Depass on bass and Kent Bernard on drums; three domiciled West Indians and two interlopers hailing from Weston-Super-Mare. Session players came in to play trumpet and sax.

The group were steadily building a solid reputation on the live scene in clubs, parties and festivals with a soulful and melodic sound that audiences could dance to, and also get a feel of the black experience on the street with Winston’s words, delivered with heartfelt integrity and strong emotion. It was an exciting new music, a genuine Caribbean and British hybrid, and people liked it. In time it found a place in the night-time listening on Radio 1, and more readily on the dance floors anywhere, as relevant as the home-grown Jamaican originals.

 

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Following the first recording, Gerald Thomas came into the group initially as percussionist and very soon began to join in the vocals with Winston, improvising toasting sections into the songs. This went down well with crowds who loved seeing a group literally making it up as they were carried along by encouragement. That interplay with audiences always remained a feature of the gigs, even after Winston, a proud but self-effacing man, decided to step aside at that point in 87.

Gerald, like Winston before him was keen to mix in other styles to the reggae material, as was George who provided Latin variations, more of a funk influence and rock, plus the new breakbeats. All this to keep things fresh and vital, for players and listeners alike, jamming it up.

One song that survived Winston’s departure was a live favourite called ‘Playhouse’, which the group went to London to record, and although the results were stunning the track didn’t cut any ice with the record companies.

By the early 90’s it got progressively harder to find venues and audiences, and increasing outside pressures brought on the inevitable falling apart. After some twelve years of amazing ups and downs an amicable split, but that time surely stands as testament to the music, and to the support of local people in the Bristol area.

Always, when and wherever people travel and seek to make a life, music becomes a document, a voice of hope and regret, joy and grief, and for some who take those giant steps, a positive way to put down some roots and feel valued.

Mark Tuck ( Feb 2011)

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Cool RunningsARC248

Cool Runnings

  1. We Must Go Home
  2. Playhouse
  3. Children Of Zion
  4. Give Me Some Interest
  5. Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto
  6. Lawman
  7. You Can't Pay Me
  8. Is This For Real
  9. Permenant Diet
  10. There You Go
  11. Sunshine (Weep Willow Weep)
  12. Last Train

 

 

Cool Runnings

 

With a career that spanned twelve years including the entire 1980s, Cool Runnings were one of Bristol's longest lasting bands, yet their failure to gig beyond the West Country or release anything more than their lone twelve inch single means that they are also one of the City's best kept musical secrets. Originally formed in Weston-Super-Mare by Keyboardist Mark Tuck and Guitarist George Condover, they immediately relocated to Bristol and recruited various local musicians including an experienced and talented singer, Winston Minott.

Although “Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto” was their solitary release, the band regularly recorded material throughout their career and fortunately thanks to the foresight of George and Mark in holding onto various master tapes, Bristol Archive Records are able to release the band's self titled debut album “Cool Runnings”.

We've selected a dozen tracks recorded between 1983 and 1985 at various local studios, and a couple of live tracks, to give an idea of why the band were so popular in person. Although their music leans towards the more mellow end of the market, (Lovers Rock), music ideally suited to Winston's soulful voice, the band were more than capable of writing good roots tunes, five of which are featured including the excellent “We Must Go Home”, “Children Of Zion” and the previously released “Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto”. Winston Minott had spent many years touring all over Europe with soul band The Invaders and many songs showcase his vocal talent, but a particular highlight has to be “Playhouse” an alternative recording of which can be found on “The Bristol Reggae Explosion Volume 3”.

Perhaps proper management would have seen Cool Runnings achieve the success and wider exposure that their combined talents and unique take on reggae undoubtedly deserved. Now twenty years after the members went their separate ways, Bristol Archive Records are pleased to fill in another missing piece of the City's musical heritage with a band whose music fits perfectly with their name, Cool Runnings.

 

Playhouse EPARC278

Cool Runnings

  1. Playhouse
  2. Playhouse (Dub)
  3. Sweet Caroline
  4. Sweet Caroline (Dub)

 

 

Cool Runnings