Reluctant StereoTypes


"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"

The Hobo Workshop was an offshoot of Hobo (Coventry's Own Music and Arts magazine) and the Worshop gigs were run by Trev Teasdel and Bob Rodes and the Hobo Workshop Collective).

In fact three early members of the Reluctant Stereotypes were in Analog - they were Steve Edgson, Mick Hartley and Paul Brook. It was, until recently, thought that Paul Sampson of the Reluctant Stereotypes was involved with another jazz rock band, Trigon, that played the Hobo Workshop in 1974 but John Rushton of Analog has pointed out that it was another guitar player, with a similar name that played for Trigon - Paul Samson (without a 'P') - a bit confusing but now cleared up!).

More can be read about Analog here  and here is a photo of Analog from the Coventry Evening Telegraph September 1974 at the Hobo Workshop - Holyhead Youth Centre in Coventry with three later member of The Reluctant Stereotypes in the band.

Left to Right - Steve Edgson, Mick Hartley, Paul Brook (drums) and John Rushton.

You can hear some great tracks on Sound Cloud by Analog recorded at Snitterfield studios in 1974 HERE

According to Steve Edgson there were two main line ups of The Reluctant Stereotypes -
"Around 1978/79, “Reluctant Stereotypes” Mk1 were formed. As well as Steve, the line-up included Martyn
Bates, Paul Sampson, Steve Haddon, Mick Hartley
and Chris Dunne. Their music was described as “Avant Garde / Jazz angular pop”. Success was not far away, and their first single “The Lull” was record of the week in Anne Nightingales Daily Express Column. They were swiftly signed to Oval Records.

Mk2 of the Reluctant Stereotypes arrived towards the end of 1979. Only Steve Edgson & Paul Sampson remaining from the original line-up, they were joined by Paul King, Tony Wall and Colin Heanes. A change is musical direction occurred .... as their description of “a Theatrical Pop Ska Reggae Band” suggests !

During the next 18 months, they played over 200 gigs nationwide. They enjoyed a Friday Night residence at The Marquee (London), supported Paul Young (Q-Tips) on tour, played the main stage at the Reading Festival and appeared on the Old Grey Whistle Test (with Adam & the Ants ). They were signed by WEA during ‘80 and 81, and their album “The Label” sold over 10,000 copies."

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

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

Other Early Band Roots 

From Pete Chambers

1978 - Bung (an avant garde Jazz rock band) consisted of Paul Sampson on guitar, Bill Keller on bass Gary Kirton on drums, Dave Budd on saxophone with an alternative Saxophonist Ed? and Amanda Pask on Flute. 

1979 - ENS - Steve Haddon and Peter Bosworth formed the avant garde jazz outfit Ens. Ens also consisted of John 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 Sampson 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 band and 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". 

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 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.