Welcome to

The Chefs

Back in the good ol' days when music came in the undulating spiral grooves on a black shiny disc called a record, it was possible with a moderate sum of money to press a single and release it onto an unsuspecting world without the backing of a major record label. Many bands scraped enough cash to release just a few singles, mostly for sale in local record shops before disappearing into obscurity. A few made it to national radio and to a limited fame. This is my tribute to four people from Brighton, on the South coast in England, who did not hit the big time, but never the less gave me a great deal of musical pleasure, while they enjoyed a moderate degree of success; The Chefs. They first came to my attention in 1980 playing the first of two sessions for the John Peel Show on the BBC's Radio One. Unfortunately neither session has been released by Strange Fruit Records in the Peel Sessions' series. In my opinion a reprehensible omission from an otherwise fine collection.

The Chefs are
Helen McCookerybook Bass and Vocals

Russell Greenwood
Died June 1999

Carl Evans Guitar and Vocals
James McCallum Guitar


I had planed to write some sort of pretentious, grandiloquent art student type crap on the music here. I'm not, and never have been an art student, and as these records have been unavailable for many years it is unlikely you'll be able to obtain any recordings. I think it should be sufficient to say that you, and the rest of the world have missed out particulary with 24 Hours, which is one of greatest pop songs recorded.

Around 1982 The Chefs changed their name to Skat. This was followed by a third exceptional four track session, again for the John Peel show. Subsequently they released their only single under this name. A guitar-based cover of the Velvet Underground's Femme Fatale, on the Midlands label, Graduate Records (GRAD14).

For reasons I have yet to establish they then went their separate ways. Helen forming her own brass dominated band with Dave Jago, Marc Jordan and Paul Davey; Helen And The Horns. They released, during the next couple of years, a number of records on the RCA, Thin Sliced and Rockin' Ray labels. Because of difficulties with the record company they eventually disbanded, following a successful gig at the University of Leeds. In 1986 in conjunction with Plato Page, Helen released Leaving You Baby, a four track 12" EP on Pure Trash Records.

Carl Evens became involved with a 'cow punk' outfit with possibly one of the strangest names I've yet to come across, Yip Yip Coyote. Russell Greenwood ended up in The Popticians, releasing a 7" single on Off The Kerb Records. Unfortunately I have no information on Helen's brother James.




Where you'll finds details of her latest CD


The details here may not be as exact as I would like but the years do tend to reduce the ability to accurately recall the facts. If you have any information that will help me correct any inaccuracies or any additional information you wish to add please forward it .

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Last updated on 7 March, 2006