Seminal post-punk disco-afro-funk act Pigbag have reformed for a special one-off gig on Saturday at London’s Jazz Café. Best known for their smash hit “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag”, the band were signed to the seminal Y Records in the 80s, and had other minor hits with “Dr Heckle and Mr Jive” and “Sunny Day”. From the press release:
The new line-up features original members Chris Lee on trumpet (who’s also played with the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl), Ollie Moore on saxes (Neneh Cherry, The Abyssinians) and drummer Kofi Adu (Osibisa, Mulato Astatke). New converts are the renowned jazz trombonist Annie Whitehead (Dr John), bassist Mark Jay Smith (Hardware, Infinite Wheel) Jessica Lauren on keys (Tom Browne, Juliet Roberts), percussionist Godwin Awala (Kush, Nana Tsiboe) and guitarist Ed Riches (Omar). This talented new line-up has been writing fresh material that fuses joyful African sounds and charged funk beats with punchy hooklines and surreal arrangements.
Perhaps a bit overlooked in the annals of punk-funk (not as cool as Public Image or the Specials, sampled by some dodgy acts) they were excellent and had a very distinctive horn-and-percussion-driven sound and atmosphere. “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag” still retains its power to pack a dance floor and inspire a wordless singalong almost 30 years later. Here’s the band performing their signature tune on Top Of The Pops at the dawn of 1983:
More PIgbag - “Sunny Day”:
Pigbag - “Getting Up”
Pigbag recently re-issued their back catalog on two CDs (Volume 1: Dr Heckle & Mr Jive and Volume 2: Lend An Ear + Pigbag Live) through Fire records. For more info on the March 26th Jazz Café gig, go here.