The Bureau: The Brilliant New Album

Former Dexys Midnight Runners members and Mick Talbot (formerly one half of The Style Council), have reunited the legendary British funk Northern soul band "The Bureau". The band will release a brand new album entitled "…And Another Thing" on 6th October.

After an explosive rupture with Dexys Midnight Runners, five visionary men created a fresh start, a powerful new band called The Bureau that immediately recruited two key players from The Upset and then enlisted a jazz trombonist. Blythe, Spooner, Stoker, Williams and Talbot, plus Brown, Jones and Taylor, rattled the rafters of a derelict night club with a battery of new songs and went howling through Holland in February 1981. By August they were touring the US with The Pretenders.

Dealings with WEA were not smooth, and The Bureau's first album was easy to find in Australia and North America but unavailable in Britain. After a couple of other tours, financial treachery forced the band to stand down.

Late in 2002, Ian Jennings saw Archie Brown perform with his band, The Young Bucks. Being a great fan of The Bureau, he quizzed him about it over too much beer. Tracking down Taylor on the web, he got another thumbs-up, and began a trail of detection that led to a reunion in March 2003 at The Magnesia Bank in North Shields. Only Stoker, busy producing film music in California, was absent.

In March 2005, WEA re-issued the long-lost album. There were two ecstatic launch gigs, at the Glee Club in Birmingham and Borderline in London. Crispin Taylor ably replaced Stoker on drums.

Nostalgia is one thing, but something else was stirred up by this re-creation. Defying geography, let alone history, The Bureau started to work on new songs, with Geoff Blythe flying from New York, and music and musicians flitting between London, Birmingham, Penzance and Newcastle.
In 2008 a brand new Bureau album was born, wryly dubbed "...And Another Thing". The old fire is still there, now coloured and boosted with all the travails and travels of the intervening quarter of a century.

The Bureau are:

Geoff Blythe (tenor sax) was a founding member of Dexy's Midnight Runners. In 1984, he became a member of the TKO Horns, touring and recording "Punch the Clock" with Elvis Costello. Other TKO recording sessions included Difford & Tilbrook, The Fixx, Nick Lowe and many others. After a stint with London-based EMI recording band The Neighborhood, Geoff moved to New York, where for the past 18 years he has been a member of the celtic rock band Black 47, often referred to as New York City's house band. Other credits have included music for TV and film, Off-Broadway and classical compositions, and musical appearances in two major motion pictures, "The Saint of Fort Washington" and "Looking for an Echo".

Paul Taylor (trombone) has been gigging, touring and recording with jazz, African, Latin and other bands for decades, especially with Three Mustaphas Three, The Pogues, Roland Perrin's Blue Planet Orchestra, and Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath with Archie Shepp. After creating a pioneering trombone trio, The Blowpipes, his latest project is trombone poetry: solo performances of improvised music and original poetry. He is also on the road with Roberto Pla's Latin Ensemble, Manteca, and Snowboy & The Latin Section.

Archie Brown (vocals) has been recording and playing with The Young Bucks since 1985, mainly in the North East. He also has an alter ego, producing TV music for BBC2 and CBeebies, notably Something Special and Barnaby Bear.

Mick Talbot (keyboards) was in The Style Council with Paul Weller from 1983-89. In the first half of the 90's he featured with The Young Disciples and Galliano. Since then a variety of live and recorded work has ensued for various artists, including dipping in and out of the Hammond organ post for Jools Holland's Band, with television, stage and studio appearances over the past 10 years. Currently he is playing with Candi Staton.

Pete Williams (bass) formed and fronted These Tender Virtues through 1984-89. He has since worked with excluded pupils and young offenders and written scores for animators and filmmakers, and been musical director for various theatre and dance productions. He toured the ICA-commissioned Teratoma Show and in 2003 he was invited to record a new single and perform as co-vocalist on the acclaimed Dexys "To Stop the Burning" tour. Pete regularly performs solo and with his band and is often seen as special guest at Birmingham's Candybox Burlesque.

Crispin "The Pump" Taylor's deluxe drumming has propelled various bands. Credits include: Galliano, Urban Species, Definition Of Sound, Carleen Anderson, Mather, Rueben Wilson, Charles Earland, Leon Ware, Dexys 2003 reunion tour, Zero 7, Marva Whitney, Marlena Shaw, The Funk Brothers, and, currently, Candi Staton.


When the music biz gave up on The Bureau, Steve Spooner (alto sax) gave up on the music biz, and had to be traced by small ads in newspapers. Somewhere in Cornwall, he dusted off his sax to gear up for the gigs in 2005, and contributed to some of the new recordings.

Robert Jones (guitar) has been working in the film industry since leaving The Bureau. He recently spent four years running the UK Film Council's Premiere Fund and went on to form Material Entertainment, a production and distribution company. He managed to spare the time to play on the reunion gigs and on part of the new album.

Stoker's (drums) work schedule, and the fact that he lives and works in California, unfortunately meant that a 100% reunion, though tantalizingly close, was not to be. He sends his blessings.


Following the reissue by WEA of The Bureau's debut album in February 2005, the band reunited for what turned out to be two triumphant gigs. During those concerts, the band reminisced about the old days and discussed the possibility of writing new material.

The problem was that the members were based all over the UK, or in Geoff Blythe's case, in New Yorkz'. The band exchanged some demos and felt they had something that was worth pursuing.

Kris Grey, who had acted as tour manager of the recent gigs, owned a recording studio and generously gave the band four days to record what eventually became the new album. He threw in an engineer by the name of Kenny Denton "to see what would happen." Recording began in August 2005.


Mick Talbot's song Chance in a Million - Sung by Archie Brown as a man on his very last legs and on his last chance, the song was about confronting failure and not quite coming to terms with it.

Archie's song Flying Lessonswas a song originally written as a tribute about an old friend with a bipolar disorder and how she survived. The New Orleans middle section features Pete Williams' clarinet amongst the horns.

Pete's Nothing's Going To Stand In Our Way is a duet for Pete and Archie, with a trombone solo by Paul Taylor.

Mad features a deranged organ solo by Mick Talbot. The song is about being ripped off - something the band was accustomed to.

In January 2006, The Bureau went to Ernie McKone's Boogie Back Studio in North London to record more songs. At this stage, Steve Spooner and Robert Jones bowed out, as they had other commitments, reducing the members of the band to six.

Divided in Two, written by Archie, is a ballad reminiscent of Stax and Van the Man, major influences on both the writer and the band.

Run Rabbit Run is a nod by Geoff Blythe to the world of cartoons. Geoff wouldn't divulge if this light-hearted yet menacing song was about anyone in particular and probably never will.

Another Geoff song,Falling, encapsulates his life story in five verses.

Just a Word combines lyrics by Paul and music by him and Pete.

Laurel and Hardy may have inspired the title of A Fine Mess Rag, but
Geoff's song is a horror story about a relationship gone to hell.

Save Me, a country song about a man born bad, is described by Mick as Willie Nelson meets James Brown.

Geoff wrote Freedom March in 1984 after recovering from a near-fatal car accident. It's a celebration of life and the future.

As an extra track, the band decided to add a cassette version of Pete Williams' Keaton's Walk, originally recorded before the Bureau split up in 1982. Bob Lamb, famous for recording UB40's first album in his bedroom, was the engineer. Even though he was tracked down, no master could be found.

This album has been made against the odds - fired by belief in the music and commitment to a friendship forged by hard times.

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