They were a regular band at the HOBO WORKSHOP. C. 1974 –75.(for more info on the Hobo Workshop - see the Hobo Index and follow the links)
In his letter to HOBO in 1974, lead guitarist John Rushton described the band as a “new and truly original rock band”. As I remember, there were a strong jazz-rock and early King Crimson and Yes influences in the music.
The group is pictured here in the CET (Coventry Evening Telegraph) playing at the Hobo Workshop in an article about the workshop. (
(In the pic also - Bob Rhodes (Youth Worker) Hobo Workshop staff - Liz Scott, Trev Teasdel, Phil Knapper (Stu Knapper's older brother).
The line-up consists of – Mick Hartley - bass / Steve Edgson - 2nd guitar, clarinet, recorder / Paul 'Babbling' Brook - he plays a double kit + vocals and John Rushton - Multi-track maniac on lead guitar and backing vocals.
In HOBO it was reported that the band had been rehearsing an original set for a year without playing any gigs.
< In the letter used for the HOBO article, John Rushton says; -
“We’re working on a 40 minute suite at the moment, as yet untitled, based on an original idea by Paul Brook. This will comprise the first half of the set, along with a super high-energy instrumental entitled ‘Custer’s Last Stand’ – say no more! The suite contains more words than ‘Close to the Edge’ and has seven main parts.” John A. Rushton – Earlsdon (See full letter here)
Equipment is as follows; - Mick
Hartley – 120W amp 7 cab. Paul Brook – double bass drum kit. Steve Edgeson – Park combination amp and cab. John Rushton – Park 100watt amp + R.P.A. cab + horn unit. The P.A. was hired.
Piece from Hobo Magazine 1974 prior them giging at the Hobo Workshop later in the year -
A new original rock band freaturing Mick Hartley bass (Sound City 120 watt
amp + cab), Steve Edgeson 2nd guitar / clarinet and recorder (Park Combination amp + cab), Paul (Babbling) Brook drums and vocals and concept (Pearl double bass drum kit) John Rushton (multi-track-manica) lead guitar and backing vocals (park watt amp + RPA cab and horn unit. They are currently working on a 40 min suite written by Paul Brook. This will comprise the first set followed by high energy instrumentals. The suite contains more words than Yes's Close to the Edge."
According to ’s later music mag. ALTERNATIVE SOUNDS (late 70’s), Mick Hartley and Steve Edgeson from Analog
were also in the Reluctant Stereotypes (My Space) along with Paul Samson (My Space) who was with another band popular at the Hobo Workshop - Trigon (more on them forthcoming). Paul Samson went on to produce the Primatives and Catatonia David McAlmont, Diesel Park West, Toni Iommi & Glen Hughes Ultramarine & Kevin Ayres, Band of Holy Joy and a whole lot more................ . Although singer Paul King went on to write most of the material for King, in the Reluctant Stereotypes, most of the material was written by Paul Samson. Pete Chambers has supplied an article on the linage from these bands - the essence of which is at the foot of this post.
UPDATE - Sadly Paul Brook passed away recently and there is now a tribute to Paul on this site HERE
The following is abridged from Pete Chambers article on the Reluctant Stereotypes entitled MAKING PLANS FOR TODAY published in the Coventry Telegraph.
"The Reluctant Stereotypes were the nearly men of ’s flourishing ska scene, a scene that was headed by of course the mighty Specials. Like many bands at the time, The Reluctant Stereotypes used the ska reggae rhythms as a backbone to hang their own mix of words and music onto. The Stereotypes were riding the next wave of the ‘Coventry Sound’. Theirs was much more of an ‘indie’ affair, more in common with the than the dance hall.
Guitarist Paul Sampson had been with the jazz/rock band Bung (and Trigon). Meanwhile clarinettist extraodinaire
Steve Edgson had been with the experimental nouveau progressive unit Analog (who were regulars at ’s Hobo Workshop). Guitarist Steve Haddon had formed a band called Ens and was looking for good personnel. Steve joined first and Paul then came in to replace the great guitarist Peter Bosworth who would leave to concentrate on production, (he later died from a heart attack). The line-up was completed by 2 other ex Analog members Mick Hartley on bass and Paul Brook on drums. With Peter Bosworth gone a change of direction was called for, a new name was instituted and The Reluctant Stereotypes were born. Now before we carry on it’s worth pointing out that the Stereotypes had 2 distinct periods, really only connected by a couple of members and the name."
The Reluctant Stereotypes recruited ex drama student Paul King - who later led the chart topping Coventry band King in the mid 80's. The lineage continued through the Raw Screens , Two Giraffs and King. More on this undedr the Reluctant Stereotypes (to come)