Reluctant StereoTypes


Hear Reverend / Film Music / Farmyard

Martyn Bates - Vocals replaced by 

Paul King - Vocals (Later leader of KING)

Paul Sampson - Guitar 

Steve Edgson - Clarinet 

Steve Haddon - Guitar (Left after 1st single) 

Paul Brooks / Chris Dunne - Drums replaced by 

Colin Heanes - Drums 

Mick Hartley - Bass replaced by 

Tony Wall - Bass 

Bill Keller (Ex-Bung) played bass on the B-side of "She has changed (not you)"


YouTube Video

The Lull / The rounds/Come quickly - 1979 Oval 
She has changed (not you)/Ben shirtman- 1980 WEA 
Confused action / School life - 1980 WEA 
Plans for today / Subway - 1980 WEA 
Nightmares / Factory wit - 1980 WEA


The Label

1. Factory Wit  2. Side With Him  3. Back To The Greek  4. Plans For Today 5. Sunday Tears

6. Reluctant  7. Lofaska   8. Reverend Green   9. Visual Romance    10. Confused Action

11. MOD     12. The Label

Early roots 

"Steve Edgson was originally in “Analog” between 1974 and 1975. Quoted in HOBO as being ‘Rock’, they were a regular band at the HOBO Workshop. The band were described as a “new and truly original Coventry rock band”    From Steve Edgson's webite

Memories from Trev Teasdel

Back in 1974 we ran the Hobo Workshop (an off shoot of the magazine) at the Holyhead Youth Centre. Two of the

bands who played regularly were Trigon and Analog. These were first gigs for these newly formed bands. Both were Jazz rock / experimental / avant garde. Trigon was led by Paul Sampson.

The Hobo Workshop was a kind of oasis for new bands at the time and I remember Paul and other up and coming musicians expressing how difficult it was to get gigs to get started and get encouragement at that time (later things changed after Punk came along.).

Analog had been perfecting a Colosseum Jazz rock suite called Custer's Last Stand  written by Paul Brook. The Hobo Workshop gave the band their first live gigs and they were pictured in at the Hobo gig in the Coventry Evening Telegraph above. Analog included three musicians who later became Stereotypes -  Paul Brook who was one of the drummers, Steve Edgeson and Mick Hartley. The story of how some members from both these bands merged to form the Reluctant Stereotypes is below.

Photo -   Analog from John Rushton featuring later Stereotypes - Paul Brooks / Mick Hartley / Steve Edgeson.)

From material written by Paul Sampson, Steve Haddon, Steve Edgson and Pete Chambers and my own memories, the story goes something like this...

1978 - Bung (an avant garde Jazz rock band) consisted of Paul Samson on guitar, Bill Keller on bass Gary Kirton on drums, Dave Budd on saxophone with an alternative Saxophonist Ed? and Amanda Pask on Flute. The band were similar in many ways to the earlier band Trigon, a musical progression from maybe and line up-wise - ie both Paul and Gary were members of Trigon. Live tapes survive from this band - see the entry for Bung. 

c1979 - ENS - Steve Haddon and Peter Bosworth formed the avant garde jazz outfit Ens. Ens also consisted of Johan on drums who was replaced by Paul Brook from Analog who brought along Mick Hartley (bass) and Steve Edgson (Clarinet /guitar) from Analog. Shortly afterwards Paul Samson replaced Peter Bosworth on guitar, later, brilliant as he was, Paul Brook was replaced by Chris Dunne on drums owing to Paul's other musical commitments. Peter Bosworth (who was a John McLaughlin look/sound-alike) had contributed so much to the band, that it was decided to change the name - Enter The Reluctant Stereotypes Mk 1. (Tragically Peter Bosworth passed away in his mid 20's).

1979 (towards end of) - RELUCTANT STEREOTYPES Mk 1

Steve Haddon had wanted the new band to be instrumental but they decided that a vocalist might add a

extra dimension. Paul King (later to form the band KING in the mid 80's) was the first vocalist. He was a former Police cadet and was training to be an actor at the Brooklands Annex in Coventry. Steve Haddon comments that he wasn't considered to be a good singer and seemed to be looking for a ready made bandand it didn't last more than a few weeks. Paul King was replaced by Martyn Bates (who went on to form Eyeless in Gaza) and who had been to lots of their gigs and came along with lyrics already written to some of their instrumentals and had a very unique voices and style. 
The line up now was Martyn Bates, Paul Sampson, Steve Edgson, Steve Haddon, Mick Hartley and Chris Dunne - with Paul Brook playing drums on their first single. Their music was now described as "Avant Garde / Jazz Angular Pop". Their first single - The Lull (coupled with The Rounds and Fetch Mr Clifford, the Political Boys are On Us - which was Anne Nightingale's Record of the Week in her Daily Express column and they were swiftly signed to Charlie Gillet's Oval Records in 1979.Pete Chambers adds " All were deliciously different quirky jazz influenced pieces The Rounds remains one of my all time favourites with Martyn Bates (or Salvador Dali as he was often known) delivering a vocal line that was original as the music. It was all so inspired. The band  took part in a special Oval Records night at Dingwall's in Camden and began clocking up some great press."

Problems came when the band needed to record a track for their new single.The band was already

 pulling in different directions as they had a diverse range to their music. Everyone had a different view as to what should be their next single. Steve Haddon recalls "We didn't fall out but I realised we couldn't all get out of the band what we wanted to so I decided to leave". Trev Teasdel recalls " I got wind of the
split one night when I saw some of the band outside the Climax (pub). Some of the band wanted to go in a more commercial direction, in light of the success of Two Tone and others wanted to preserve the integrity of the band. It was quite sad really although it often happens with bands,especially on the threshold of a break through and they were a very original band I thought."
Martyn Bates felt the music was too clever and too complex while others like Steve Haddon thought the band weren't too serious at all and had a lot of fun along the way. Whatever the internal disputes were they were not to be  to be resolved.

Mick Hartley, Chris Dunne and Martyn Bates also left leaving just Steve Edgson and Paul Sampson. Martyn went on to form Eyeless in Gaza.


Paul and Steve rebuilt the band adding vocalist Paul King back in and Colin Heanes on drums, and Tony Wall on bass. A change of direction occurred as the new label "Theatrical, pop ska reggae band"suggests.

During the next 18 months they played over 200 gigs nationwide. They enjoyed Friday night Live at the

Marquee club in London, supported Paul Young (Q Tips) on tour, played the main stage at Reading Festival and appeared on the Old Grey Whistle Test, introduced by Anne Nightigale with Adam and the Ants. They were signed to WEA Records during 1980 / 81 and their album The Label sold over 10,000 copies.

They release their next single "She has Changed Not You" recorded at Horizon Studios (a ska track made as a duo before King, Wall and Heanes were recruited with Paul Samson on vocals) produced by Kim Templeman-Homes.

Pete Chambers comments " It was easy to see the musical changes, gone were the innovative Jazz time signatures,replaced by the then trendy Ska  sound Paul Sampson admits ' It was a conscious attempt for commercial success. I got fed up with people in the factory where I worked asking when I was going to be on telly "

In 1980 the released three further singles produced by Coventry's legendary Record producer and musician Roger Lomas who had produced the Selecter. These were Confused Action / Plans for Today /  Nightmares. They did a seaside tour with The Specials and Bodysnatchers in June 1980.

Pete Chambers adds " they had all the markings of a chart

band,the songs, the style with Sampson throwing himself around and King with his drama school mime, not to mention the ever curious Edgson on a not very rock n roll clarinet. They played the Butts festival against racism in 1981 and played support to the Specials. They went out on top though - their final gig being The Reading festival 1981."

Colin Heanes tells us " "Around the time we signed a deal with WEA Records Jerry Dammers offered to release our first single on 2-Tone. "The Specials were just about to release their fifth single

Stereotype. You don't have to be Einstein to realise that the publicity generated by this would have been massive for us. "That would probably have got us on our way chart-wise. I'm sure Jerry could see this too, but we chose not to jump on the bandwagon."Jerry to his credit didn't push us too hard. Although at the time I'm sure he was too busy to push too hard anyway."

Paul King's Website has the full lyrics to the Album and some interesting cuttings and reviews,



Steve Edgson and Paul Sampson formed the psychedelic Pink Umbrellas with Robin Hill and Barry Jones. They released one single "Raspberry Rainbow" on the Ready Steady Go label (See entry for Pink Umbrellas for a link to a snippet of audio.).

Paul King, Colin Heanes and Tony Wall would go to form the Raw Screens and later becoming the chart topping band KING in 1985. Sadly Colin Heanes was replaced on drums shortly after they became King.

Paul Sampson went on to be a record producer - for The Primitives and Catatonia and Bhangra acts along with many others. Paul Brook went on to be a producer too with Cold Cut and much more.