Alassio, Italy

Kid Creole and his Coconuts are very excited to be a part of WWWK in Alassio, Italy on October 6th, 2018.

Christopher Cross, Kid Creole and the Coconuts and the Earth Wind and Fire will be on the stage of the second edition of WWWK, in Alassio, on October 6th 2018.


Giampiero Colli keeps his word and does it with a bang. Indeed, with three. Christopher Cross, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Earth Wind and Fire: this is the fabulous trio of stars that will be the protagonist of the second edition of WWWK on 6 October, When We Were Kids, the event that last year has inflamed the Riviera. In the Borgo Barusso, venue of the event, Colli worked in silence with Adriano Berrino and the two took another formidable gift for their Alassio from the cylinder.

“I was unbalanced – says Colli – ensuring that we would get over it, and I really believe I have kept my promise”. And that’s not all. In full WWWK style, in fact, there will be a top level food and wine: with another move that will not fail to amaze, this year the tasting of WWWK will be curated by Franciacorta, which with its famous cellars will offer the public the best of the Italian “bubbles”. “Franciacorta is today – continues Colli – an absolute excellence of drinking in the world: a true Italian pride: for us, having them at our side means the certainty of giving the city another manifestation of global stature”.

A rich menu curated by “Svizzera Ricevimenti”, a leader in luxury catering, will complete the charm of the special alassina night.

After Tony Hadley, the Boney M and the Village People, then, preparations for a new adventure start that promises to recreate and overcome the magical atmosphere of 2017. The stage will be set up in Piazza Pacini, suitable to accommodate the predictable “invasion” of fans and gourmets. Like last year the Borgo Barusso will be the scene of the food and beverage section, with Franciacorta and the buffet of Switzerland Ricevimenti.

The three groups are authentic legends of the ’70s and’ 80s, decades in which they expressed their best: Christopher Cross is among the few singer-songwriters able to boast at least four songs become in effect “evergreen”: the engaging “Run like the wind “, the dreamy” Sailing “, the serenade in New York City of” Arthur’s theme “, from the movie” Arturo “, (the title of the piece is” Best that you can do “) and the rhythm of” Never be the same “, Passing to other hits like” Minstrel Gigolo “and” Say you’ll be mine “. His voice is unmistakable, which in Alassio will resound with his particular and beloved tone.

Kid Creole and the Coconuts are and remain true disc icons: with their 1950s look and a very distinctive Caribbean-style salsa they dominated the tracks of those years for a long time. With a horny section of strong support and the great stage presence of their frontman, each of their live shows enthuses and engages audiences of all ages. In Alassio they will not spare their successes, like “Stool Pigeon”, Annie, I’m not your daddy “,” Endicott “and the immortal” Male Curiosity “, part of the soundtrack of the film” Against All Odds “.

Earth, Wind and Fire, to use an abused term, need no introduction. “Boogie Wonderland”, “September”, “Fantasy”, “After the love has gone”: dozens of Grammy Awards, endless platinum records, entire weeks at the top of the charts all over the world. The formation that will perform in Alassio is the one led by Al Mckay, who with the late Maurice White founded the group, writing most of the music. Sixteen artists of the highest level, true myths in their instruments, which make up the current formation, which gives the best of itself live.

For tickets and more info check the website again soon.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Cavalaire Sur Mer

Cavalaire Sur Mer

We are excited to announce Kid Creole and the Coconuts will be performing in Cavalaire Sur Mer at Les Rendez-vous l’ete.

Date: Wednesday July 25th, 2018 at 21.30
Venue: Esplanade Ste Estelle, Cavalaire Sur Mer, France

Who has not already hummed the melodies of this crazy band of the 80’s where salsa mixes with disco on jazzy influences… A very visual and rhythmic concert that will delight all generations. The evening commences at 8.30 pm.

For more information CLICK HERE



We are excited to announce Kid Creole and the Coconuts will be performing in Marseille on June 7th at Château De La Buzine, Marseille, France.

Date: June 7th, 2018
Venue: Château De La Buzine, Marseille, France
Cost: Only €30 per 

MEDIACOM at 20 years old!!
Exceptional EVENT!!!
It is in the beautiful greenery of the Château de la BUZINE a few minutes from Marseille that MEDIACOM & Ulysses PRODUCTION have the pleasure to welcome you for an unforgettable evening!!
Thursday, June 07 from 7pm We expect very many for an unforgettable evening with the international Group Kid Creole and his stunning Coconuts!!!
* Reprise of legendary hits and new titles with 12 musicians on stage!!! Enjoy some of their greatest hits like Annie I’m Not Your Daddy, Stool Pigeon, I’m a Wonderful Thing Baby, Endicott, My Male Curiosity and more!
An exceptional evening with the contest of the magicians and lights of MEDIACOM for a mapping of the castle and the site!!
Many surprises are Réservès to you!!!
In the first part discovery of a new talent songwriter composer of Marseille with CEDRIC who accompanied by his musicians will open the evening!
On site bars, snack bar and food truck!
Evening and exceptional atmosphere not to be missed!

We welcome you for a unique evening!!!!



New date added!


Venue: Théâtre Antique d’Orange, Orange, France
Date: August 17th, 2018

Kid Creole and the Coconuts are very excited to playing this fantastic venue this summer!

For tickets go to: TICKETS

The Roman Theatre of Orange is a Roman theatre in Orange, VaucluseFrance. It was built early in the 1st century AD. The structure is owned by the municipality of Orange and is the home of the summer opera festival, the Chorégies d’Orange.

It is one of the best preserved of all Roman theatres, and served the Roman colony of Arausio (or, more specifically, Colonia Julia Firma Secundanorum Arausio: “the Julian colony of Arausio established by the soldiers of the second legion”) which was founded in 40 BC. Playing a major role in the life of the citizens, who spent a large part of their free time there, the theatre was seen by the Roman authorities not only as a means of spreading Roman culture to the colonies, but also as a way of distracting them from all political activities.





New Single

New Single

New Single – Do Yourself A Favor-  Kid Creole and the Coconuts ft. Savanna

PRE-ORDER your copy today! Available on iTunes

Release date is April 6th.
New Single

KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS has a new single. It’s about time. It’s called Do Yourself a Favor. Produced and written by August Darnell and Peter Schott (the same team who brought you I’m A Wonderful Thing, Baby: “Take a look at me, you know I couldn’t look no better!”). And it’s available on their own label, appropriately called 2c2c (too cool to conga music)!
However, you won’t hear The Kid’s voice on the single. He is so eager to retire and spend more time in his home in Bora Bora, that his latest album is featuring 7 different vocalists that he ‘discovered’ on his travels around the world.
This single features the vocals of Savanna, who just happens to be The Kid’s daughter!
The ReMix, which will be available in late April, was done by Youngr, who just happens to be The Kid’s son.
Nepotism Galore. Hey, that’s a good name for an album. Maybe next year.
This year the new album is called Port D’Arñelle. It was recorded in Copenhagen and it will be available in September.
Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy the single as much as it will enjoy you.

The song features a brand new artist, Savanna, who looks and sounds just gorgeous.

True fact: Savanna is the daughter of August Darnell! True fact!

A little bit a bout Savanna:

Savanna was born in Sheffield, England and is 22 years old. Savanna is a performer who loves music, specialising in R&B and pop.
She is currently in the studio, writing and recording her first EP, which will be released this year!!

She says: “My family…. my Dad is an American musician, I’ve grown up watching him on the stage, watching him made me realise  “This is what I want to do”.  My Mum is  a professional photographer and has stood by me from the beginning . I don’t know what I would of done without them”.

She attended the Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama for 3 years, where she met many inspiring people and made some really good friends. Having graduated last year, went straight on tour throughout the U.K, Europe, China, Egypt + Israel in the stage production of Thriller Live! This was extremely exciting as a live performer and was a great way to start her career.

For more on Savanna visit her website: Savanna’s Music

The single will be released worldwide on April 6th and will be available to download on iTunes and Apple Music and will also be on Spotify plus may other online outlets.

The Single

Up up and away,

Album Re-release

Album Re-release

album Re-release


Product Description

This 2 CD collection features Kid Creole And The Coconuts‘ two albums recorded and released by Columbia Records in 1990 and 1991 respectively.

CD 1 – features the 13 original album tracks of “Private Waters In The Great Divide” plus six related bonus tracks sourced from 7″ and 12″ singles derived from the 1990 release.

CD 2  – features the ten tracks from the 1991 album “You Shoulda Told Me You Were…”. Featured remixes include contributions from; ‘The Sex Of It‘ – House Version was remixed by Justin StraussThe Sex Of It‘ – Extended Remix Version and ‘I Love Girls‘ – Femme Fatale Mix were both remixed by Richie Jones.

This 2 CD collection has been re-mastered using the original master tapes .The 20 page full colour booklet features a split image of the two front covers and an expanded design of the original artwork for each album. There are fascinating extensive personal sleeve notes written by August Darnell aka Kid Creole and a UK discography featuring some of the Coconuts unique front cover images.

This fantastic and nostalgic double album will be available on CD at all major online and retail stores.

To pre-order your copy now on Amazon click here:


The double album will be released on April 20th!

Two Classic Albums – one sexy package!

album cover


Press releases

ABC tour

ABC tour

The ABC tour……….

Whoever came up with the idea of putting ABC and KID CREOLE on the same stage is a genius.

abc tour

The ABC tour was a great success.

Returning to Manchester was a blast, since I used to live there 1000 years ago. And the same for Sheffield. I used to live there, too. And London … hey I used to live there, as well. Yes, I’m a New Yorker who has spent a lot of time in England. Hey, in the United Kingdom, to be sure.

The tour: Manchester, Liverpool, London, Birmingham, Bristol, York, Sheffield, Gateshead and Nottingham; All cities that Kid Creole has, at one time or another in a long and varied career,  performed in before. But so very nice to revisit.

I’ve known Martin Fry since the glorious 80’s. A true gentleman and a true survivor, much like myself. And he still sounds as wonderful as he did in the beginning. ABC still rocks.

My longevity? Much of it is due to the guys and dolls who surround me on that stage.

This time around, for the ABC tour, we had Barnaby Dickinson on Trombone  (he’s been with me for over 16 years), George Hogg on Trumpet (off and on for 5 years), Dave Imby on Drums (a 9 year veteran), Oroh Angiama on Bass (over 8 years), Lorne Ashley on Guitar (my son, who has just joined the band this year), Mike Gorman on Keys ( over 8 years), and …. the fabulous COCONUTS, of course.

abc tour

The COCONUTS = Sarah McGrath (who we met in Bosnia in 1998), Roos Van Awesome (over 3 years) and Charlotte De Graaf (the newcomer, who joined the band last year).  Charlotte replaced the longest standing Coconut in the history of the band, Eva Tudor-Jones (who took a leave of absence to have a Coconut baby). We all miss Eva’s presence on stage.  But she is still very involved in the business end of things.

Trivia: Charlotte celebrated her 27th birthday while on the road, in York. Who said “youth is wasted on the young”? I disagree, vehemently.

I mention these names because the KCC SHOW would not be as magnificent as it is without these talented musicians and singers and dancers. Every true bandleader knows that the secret to greatness depends on the simple act of assembling the correct players. I have been constantly blessed with the correct players.

abc tour
stone images rocks

One should also note, that besides the players on stage there are a whole lot of other people involved in a tour. My sincere gratitude goes out to the ABC staff, who made the whole thing enjoyable from start to finish. Their monitor man made each show a breeze for me. I could hear every instrument and every voice, including my own. That’s no joke. Every lead singer will tell you that the greatest danger on tour is the possibility of straining your voice. But from the first show I knew I was in good hands. You see, I am still old-school. I use stage monitors, not the in-ear gadgets that shut out the universe. And that means I need a sound man who knows what he is doing at the helm. I got that.

My 2 KCC guys who travelled with us were perfect also: Andy and Eric. Andy, our backline tech guy, made sure the stage was always ready for the groove. And Eric, our house engineer, made sure that what the audience heard was what I wanted them to hear – the goodness!

Our set was only 45 minutes in length but those 45 minutes were filled with magical grooves and banter and joyful appreciation from fans, old and new. We played CAROLINE WAS A DROP-OUT, DON’T TAKE MY COCONUTS, STOOL PIGEON, NO FISH TODAY and ANNIE, I’M NOT YOUR DADDY which, on some nights, got audience members up and dancing the conga. I consider this a major feat, because the venues were all sit-down affairs.

All in all, we had a funky good time.

Another great memory is born in the eternal legend of Kid Creole and the Coconuts.


August Darnell


Here’s a link to a wonderful write up from Graham Clark for the Yorkshire Times





ABC tour – Nottingham

ABC’s XYZ tour – Nottingham

ABC’s XYZ tour continues at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham on November 12th.

For tickets click here: TICKETS


Following an incredible 12 months including a critically acclaimed new album and nationwide sell out shows, ABC have announced a brand new UK tour for November performing all their greatest hits.  This new full band show will also see them being joined by non-other than Kid Creole and The Coconuts.

Of the new tour Martin Fry said: “ Here’s an opportunity to open up the ABC songbook and journey through all the hits. Lexicon to Lexicon. ABC to XYZ. See you there. ”

ABC were formed in Sheffield in the 1980’s when they decided they wanted fuse the world of disco funk with their own unique post punk vision.  ABC’s debut album ‘The Lexicon Of Love’ (‘82) went to No 1 and sold over a million records.  To date ABC have released 8 studio albums: ‘The Lexicon Of Love’ (’82), ‘Beauty Stab’ (’83), ‘How To Be A Zillionaire’ (’85), ‘Alphabet City’ (’87), ‘Up’ (’89), ‘Abracadabra’ (’91), ‘Skyscraping’ (’97) and ‘Traffic’ (’08). A mere 34 years since the release of their landmark debut album ABC returned with their resounding triumph “The Lexicon Of Love II’ which immediately entered into the top 5.

Joining the tour as special guests Kid Creole and The Coconuts who for over 35 years has been entertaining music lovers around the world. Kid Creole And The Coconuts was born out of the burning embers of the brilliant and trailblazing Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band.

Born in the Bronx (New York), August Darnell (the Kid) is a man of multiple cultures, inclinations and personalities. His love of the big band tradition is evident: he travels with 10 musicians who all share his love of the ultimate musical tapestry. Their live shows have become the stuff of legend. ‘Annie I’m not your Daddy’, ‘Stool Pigeon’, ‘I’m a Wonderful thing, Baby’, ‘Endicott’, ‘My Male Curiosity’ and many more memorable tunes are guaranteed to make you shake your body. On joining the tour Kid Creole said:

“When I listen to the music of ABC, I am reminded of good times and delicious poison arrows. It is an honor to share the stage with Martin Fry. Music lovers, get ready for a funky good time! Hachachacha!”


new date

Paradiso – Amsterdam

Paradiso – Amsterdam

TICKETS on sale from Friday July 28th


Kid Creole and the Coconuts is the band around August Darnell. They look forward to playing the cool venue Paradiso in Amsterdam on October 11th, 2017.
He took the name Kid Creole in 1980, inspired by Elvis’s same-name film. The Coconuts is a trio of background singers that have changed many times over the years. The current composition consists of British Sarah McGrath, and  Dutch coconuts Roos van Rossum and Charlotte De Graaf. Together they make a mix of disco and Latin American music with jazz influences from the 30’s. The band performed many successful albums in the 1980s. In the Netherlands, the song ‘Annie, I’m Your Daddy’ is the best in the Top 2000.

The Kid, his Coconuts and his funky band look forward to returning to the fabulous city of Amsterdam to play this wonderful prestigious venue Paradiso.


Press releases

NME Interview by Ian Penman (1980)

NME turns 60 this year and a new book documents its history. In our latest trip to Rock’s Backpages – the world’s leading archive of vintage music journalism – we visit the magazine circa 1980, a time when Ian Penman saw nothing wrong with kicking off a Kid Creole feature with a spot of French philosophy.

Source: The Guardian, March 6th 2002

“To try to write love is to confront the muck of language: that region of hysteria where language is both too much and too little, excessive (by the limitless expansion of the ego, by emotive submersion) and impoverished (by the codes of which love diminishes and levels it).” – Roland Barthes.

A man stands alone in a baggy white suit, a black masquerade visor over his eyes. He is concealing a broken heart and a loudhailer …

Just imagine: you have the opportunity to write one of those all-time sexiest and most heartbroken of songs. First step: you get involved with someone who drives you crazy with desire – ensnares you, mesmerises you, has you at arm’s length and in the palm of their hand. Then something happens: that inevitable separation. You’re classically awry – but where’s the gain (or the end) in being uselessly melancholy?

Write that song about it, summing up both your despair and the wonder of the love and sex that caused it in the first place.

You have to choose your words carefully, carnally; you have to find a crucial metaphor. It has to be just so – to sound like you’re completely drunk on love and near suicidal through the absence of your loved one. You recline on a couch and clutch your heart. The evening seems impossible: so many hours to go and no chance of the loved one appearing …

The song has to read like a love letter, from miles away. You map it out, the scenario is precarious. You get dressed up to kill, take enough numbing drugs and stand alone at the peak of your metaphorical island. You whisper – the loudhailer turns it to a plea for all the world to hear …

“Off the coast of me lies you;
In a waterfall of solitude.
I must find a one-way passage through.
To the very heart and private part of you.”

NME – Just imagine: the song of my dreams.

The August Darnell world – as manifested in a lot of Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band and all of Kid Creole and the Coconuts – is a looking glass world, a somewhere far away peopled by metaphors. But you don’t need a map to find this island, because its mythology is built around that very real, most easily found (and lost) of places – love. Sexual love, romantic love, high life love, hedonistic love, hardship love whatever, wherever or whoever …

There’s a whole new lyrical country here just waiting to be discovered. It is cavalier, cinemascope and carnal. It’s a subliminal carnival, a bit of a circus, a sip of a cocktail: amorous, clandestine, physical, light-headed and heavy-lidded. The dance of love – do you know the opening steps? You awful flirt!

“High heels / Straplessly red / Seedless grapes / Cozied in the bed/ Peg leg pants / Tossed aside / Scarlet smears across the bathroom tile / No, you needn’t explain: / First comes the thunder, then the rain.”

Just look: there’s the author. An infinitely cool and not unshifty looking character. A character somewhere between Alice’s mysterious little late White Rabbit and a black market spiv, between Cab Calloway and Graham Greene, between Glenn Miller and the De Niro of New York, New York. Observe the cool. Study the deportment: the stall, the sly romantic glance up from his drink. Takes out a pocket watch from his waistcoat, on a too-long golden chain. His second hand’s playing for time …

NME – An age when songwriting was a craft

For a contemporary popular music scene – “rock’s rich tapestry,” call it what you will – all too often devoid of true troubadours and the conveyed bliss of sexual love, Mr August Darnell is a person we scarcely seem to deserve, an unusually conscientious and industrious writer, composer, arranger, producer, player, singer, stage manager, character, bon vivant. As his sartorial projection might lead you to believe, he belongs to a different age. An age when songwriting was a craft – your profession, your pride, and often a crafty progression from the very heart and poison pen parts of your day-to-day life.

NME – August Darnell makes use of words

August Darnell makes use of words. He savours them, seduces their meanings, makes them his own. The pimp! (Just my little metaphorical joke.) In the course of both Dr Buzzards Original Savannah Band and Kid Creole, Darnell has slyly, slowly been redesigning the content and tenor of the subject matter (the one that matters) of which so many songs are fashioned. Saying it, crooning, orienting it, jiving it, driving it, steering it like a captain in his ship.

He has been most recently renowned for a widespread association with a number of acts resident in the New York Ze/Antilles label: James White and the Blacks, Cristina, The Aural Exciters, Don Armando’s Second Avenue Rhumba Band and of course Kid Creole and the Coconuts. If you’re a keen modern soul fan you may also have happened upon his involvement with an outfit named Machine (more on them later) and maybe even a project known as Gichy Dan’s Beechwood No. 9 (too obscure even for me).

NME – Maestro’s Story

But our maestro’s story goes back a few years to the group (or legend) known as Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, which he co-ran and all too seldom co-runs with a man named Stony Browder Jr, an even more elusive gentleman than August. The Savannah Band are best known or remembered for a mini hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 1976 – Cherchez La Femme, taken off the group’s first RCA album (same name as the name). Two more albums have since appeared – 1978’s D.B.O.S.B. Meets King Penett (RCA) and the recent James Monroe H.S. Presents D.B.O.S.B. Goes To Washington (Elektra) – the latter being their classiest and craziest yet.

It would always have been easy to peg the Savannah Band as mere ritzy revivalists – a frivolous private joke, albeit a painstakingly self-referential one – a la Pointer Sisters or Manhattan Transfer. The beat goes a lot further and deeper. Just listen: the lush text of their performance is deceptively, danceably lighter on the ear. If you dip and dig around you’ll find a clearer complexity – those scores sound very learned!

NME – Very Insistant, Very Dreamy…

The hook to each song is usually deep in a choppy rhythmic current – a shuffling samba. Very insistent, very dreamy. Less speed and more taste than that more popping popular amyl (night rate) disco beat. Lined and fleeced with a multiplicity of signs from a predominantly 40s Swing Era code book: seedy jazz, seething calypso, reedy rhumba, rude rhythm’n’blues. The horn section and vocal harmony arrangements are many sided and exquisitely twisted, counter-counter-pointed. What poise! What a slinky noise.

Dr Buzzard’s Savannah Band always have been about arrangement (so difficult to get hold of good arrangers these days, my dear) but it still all sounds informally natural.

Music and lyrics travel all over the place. Benny Goodman horns highlight a Scott Fitzgerald scenario of tiffs, Tia Maria and tension … Brass band surrounds a fairground tryst … Itchy crickets chorus of percussion brings a come-down hell to life.

“You did the mambo, the cha-cha, bolero, the rhumba …/ You did the tango, the conga, the disco, the samba…”

The music is full of jokes, references, interruptions, homage: recreation recycled into contemporaneity. It isn’t just waxwork. Stony Browder is usually credited for musical arrangements, Darnell for lyrics, but like everything else in Savannah land the accepted borderlines are smudged. While we’re here, the rest of the Band besides Browder (guitar, piano) and Darnell (bass) are Ms. Cory Daye (main vocalist), Micky Sevilla (drums/ percussion) and “Sugar Coated” Andy Hernandez (vibes, marimba) – also a mainstay of the Coconut enterprise.

NME – Dr Buzzard’s Savannah Band

Dr Buzzard’s Savannah Band is a perfect marriage of music and words – it wouldn’t be the same if either partner wasn’t just so compatible, as sophisticated as the other. Both Browder and Darnell translate into various languages, idioms, styles. They really are good – I think Darnell is perhaps without par amongst contemporary lyricists. Early Ferry gets somewhere near to the territory (but he lost his sense of humour).

Darnell knows it’s not simply a question of saying what was or wasn’t done to one party or the other (at one party or another) in the name of love – and how it was done; but of constructing, in and around the particular sexual mise en scene, all the bitty thoughts that recapitulated it, the obsessions that accompanied it, the decorations that surrounded it, the images, desires, modulations, and quality of the pleasure that animated it.

NME – Darnell’s Lyrics

His lyrics really begin to get sharp on the second Savannah Band album. Going beyond the fixed range of expressions we expect from our songs and singers, Darnell’s lovers and losers go off into dreams, into rages, into hospital, into too many clubs and even off their heads. The stories echo Damon Runyon one moment, the Brothers Grimm the next …

“Of all the dames I fancied / She’s the only one I loved. / And when she left the pavement turned to mud. / I sought refuge in a dim saloon, / But I would have drowned in booze, / If it weren’t for the troubadour.”

Chorus: “Restless lovers everywhere / Dry your eyes, pull up a chair / Spill the cup and cup the ear / For the organ grinder’s tale…”

The pictures switch from an exaggerated ball – “When Crosby starts to croon / The jitterbuggies cruise the room / Their fingers poke the air / Man-o-man-o-man-o-man, they look just like that Fred Astaire! / “Swing it with me, my Mattie Mario” / No, no, no, no, no, no, I’m saving this fling for Mister Love.” – to obscure outbreaks of gang hatred – “Soraya, bring big gun / And let’s have some bloody fun / Nignats do the Rats in – / Kunta and grimel don’t mix / Like creme et cocoa.”

NME – Various Characters

Various characters and symbols – some figurative, some actual – make a recurrent entrance into the play of Savannah Band language, as the mad covers to all their albums testify. Wouldn’t you just love to visit The New Syringe Club? Mambo Eddie’s Beatnix School? And finish off at The New York At Dawn Show? During the course of the evening you might learn that both Stony Browder and August Darnell attended the James Monroe High School, that the Tommy Mottola of Cherchez La Femme really was their manager, and couldn’t fail to be convinced that the Savannah Band really are Champions of the Romantic.

Darnell is also a champion of the untold story, the surreptitious and strictly confidential. But unlike so many “songwriters” who are respected for their “honesty” about “relationships” – who write songs which convey nothing but venom and connivance – Darnell never loses his humour or humanity. He can fall from ecstasy to squalor in one coded coda. No one is producing better mnemonics for nightlife – even Chic got left behind a while back.

“Tired smiles / Censored romance / Premature sighs – / Now it all makes sense. / Trolley car /Take me along / To some distant shore far from Babylon. / For their air here reeks of lies; / And even the robins sound warlike. / Nocturnal interludes / Like so many tsetse flies / Nocturnal interludes / Damaging merchandise / Make-me-believe-it solitude.”

NME – ZE Records

ZE Records’ New York Office is housed on one floor of a big building which also contains the Carnegie Hall Recital rooms. You can get stuck in the same lift as Harvey Keitel did in a movie called Fingers. Except that now they’ve got a lift-man.

I sat down opposite August Darnell in the traditional false comfort of a record company “hospitality” room. I should have specified a bar in advance.

Also in the room are a couple of Coconuts (Andy Hernandez – who asks me more questions than I ask anyone – and “Mister Piano” Peter Scott, the youngest member of the ensemble, who says virtually nothing throughout) and a varying number of people from both the band entourage and ZE.

Darnell is wearing a moderately baggy, immaculately tailored creamy white suit, and everything else seems to match, natch. He twirls a tiny pink parasol (decoration pinched off a birthday cake) between thumb and forefinger, and answers all queries in a very businesslike but charming manner.

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