Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wicked Kitchen Staff

Here's the first mini album on Shout Records. Weird stuff by Wicked Kitchen Staff. No further info to be found.
This one was requested a while ago by Friend Electric. His blog disappeared but I hope he still cruises the blogosphere to find good tunes.

Debbie Grills Pulls Her Socks Up MLP (Shout Records-MX 001-1983)
1. Penpals
2. The Return Of Superman Island
3. Captain Scarlet
4. Shoebox
5. Hyde
6. The Woodcutter's Daughter

Wicked Kitchen Staff (re-up)


lo-fi jr. said...

This one's a real headscratcher from my record collection too. Always reminded me of the more guttural/tribal parts of Prayers on Fire era Birthday Party. Good stuff, thanks for the transfer!

Curious Guy said...

I really don't know how to describe this band. A headscratcher indeed!

brandonesque said...

Hi, first comment here. I like a lot of the stuff you post, but this is by far my favorite thing you have introduced me to. So much so I found and ordered a copy of my own tres vite. I love how this band create their own fully formed and peculiar universe within 6 songs. The way they suddenly veer off in to deep dub-space reminds me of Jackdaw with Crowbar (if you haven't heard, Hot Air is an excellent record). Its a real thrill and perhaps reductive to say Wicked Kitchen Staff remind me of anyone.

Curious Guy said...

Thanks for leaving a comment brandonesque. I agree that WKS have an original sound. I've got some Jackdaw With Crowbar recently and hear some similarity, especially the dub influence.

Russell Shaw Higgs said...

Hi, I'm Russell Higgs, I was the vocalist with WKS.

I'm glad you've uploaded a copy of the album. I keep meaning to but just haven't gotten round to it yet.

my central website is

i'll be glad to tell you some tales about WKS if you're interested.

Curious Guy said...

Hi Russell,
yes I would like to know more stories about WKS. There's almost no info to be found on the record (who is Debbie Grills?). Do you know who ran Shout Records?
Will check your site. And thanks for leaving a comment.

Russell Shaw Higgs said...

Where to begin.....

Wicked Kitchen Staff existed in its original form during 82-83. Until I threw a hissy fit and left. I was your classic Prima Donna front man.

Wicked Kitchen Staff were a core of 6 people, (I don't remember everybody's last names), Tim on bass (and occasional violin), Steve on Drums, Finn on guitar, Andrew Kort on sax, Jeremy Richardson on synth, and myself on vocals.

We had a live performance open door policy of inviting other people to come up and play with us. We were regularly supplemented by Laura who would duet vocals with me and Mick on percussion (both of whom were on the album). I remember at one gig being a 12 piece.

I used to shoplift gifts to distribute amongst the audience and we would also regularly distribute food and pamphlets etc.

Debbie Grills was a regular at our gigs and she was the only person who replied to ....something that I've forgotten now. But we subsequently named the album after her.

As for Shout Records. Ultimately we never signed with them. I was staunchly anti-copyright and I felt that all record company contracts being offered to us were out of date concepts. Shout meanwhile stuck with us and pressed ahead with funding our album (and we were often playing on the same bill with Shout stable mates Hack Hack and Headhunters). I quit the band not long after the album was released. Its possible that my leaving really screwed Shout Records financially, unfortunately.

I'll write more later, I've got to jump in the bath and go out. Maybe later i'll upload some photos on flickr too.

Anonymous said...

Wicked, i guess, kitchen stuff, yeah Russell I am surprised you never introduced me to it before. I am glade you made it public, wicked

Anonymous said...

I saw WKS at the Ambulance Station on the Old Kent Road, featuring a German girl called Antje Klahn on sax. She's back in Germany these days.
Dave Musker

Russell Shaw Higgs said...


Russell from Wicked Kitchen Staff here again. Just thought to drop by and mention my newest VIDEO composition....

999 DAYS in 3 minutes

there's also a large POSTER available ...

999 DAYS in 35 x 23 inches

love Russell :)

Russell Shaw Higgs said...

That was crap. The links didn't automatically turn into live links.

Also you might like to visit my more recent solo mp3 adventures

The English Patient said...

I was the trumpet player in Wicked Kitchen Staff, and I was playing at the gig at the Ambulance Station in Old Kent Road. I joined unfortunately after Russell left, and never got a chance to meet him, but was in awe of his vocals, and deeply admired his work (I was 17 at the time). We did a lot of gigs up North London way, The Attic in Manor House and nearby venues. Ande (Kort), the saxman, was a visual artist of talent, and the gigs were often highly imagentively planned and we often got quite wrecked at gigs such as the one at Th Ambulance Station in New Maldon. Something which never seemed to affect the others but I eventually had to learn not to do as it affected the quality of my playing. The chaps always spoke highly of Russell and I particulaly foung Steve's drumming influential. Finn was very good too, but I found it hard to see eye to eye with, I'm not sure why. He WAS good, for sure.

The English Patient said...

Oh, and my name was William Algar then, or Wil for short. I have since chaged it to Blaise, my middle name.