80s Brighton band The Chefs may not be widely known but their legacy is extraordinary. Incredibly influential to the likes of Talulah Gosh, Heavenly et al, The Chefs are often credited as the roots of indiepop, C86 and lots more. Singer Helen McCookerybook was one of the second wave of female punk pioneers (the rest of The Chefs were men), although they played to a much poppier end of the spectrum than many of their peers.
The Chefs first appeared on the Brighton compilation ‘Vaultage ‘79’ They released three singles in 1980 & 1981, the first two were on legendary Brighton label Attrix records, the last one on Graduate Records, best know for UB40! Played to death by John Peel and other radio DJs of the day they recorded two sessions for the John Peel Show and one for Richard Skinner.
Their most successful single was the awesome pop classic, “24 Hours” which you can listen to on SoundCloud.
The compilation “Records and Tea” includes everything The Chefs ever did and has sleeve notes by Everett True.
Although The Chefs didn’t last long as a band, Helen McCookerybook went on to success with Helen and the Horns and still performs and records as a solo artist. She is hitting the road for some gigs supporting The Daintees as well as taking part in an amazing gig featuring three of the best known female first generation punks who helped define their era with Viv Albertine (The Slits) and Gina Birch (The Raincoats) at The Verge in Hyde on 24 March.
Helen McCookerybook, Viv Albertine and Gina Birch
24th March The Verge, Hyde, SK14 2BJ