Latin Quarter is back. They were formed in late 1983 by Steve Skaith and Mike Jones who were both members of the left wing political group Big Flame. Their political viewpoint is often reflected in the choice of subject matter and lyrics of Latin Quarter’s output. Jones describes their first album Modern Times as “a veritable manifesto”. After low sales of their third album in the UK, the next three were only released in continental Europe and Jones claims they were the only western pop act to release a contemporary album in East Germany.
They released a total of six studio albums plus two compilations during their first incarnation, and achieved chart success with the single “Radio Africa”, which reached number 19 in the UK Singles Chart. The line-up in 1986 was Steve Skaith (main vocals, guitar), Richard Wright (guitar, vocals), Michael Jones (lyrics, some backing vocals), Greg Harewood (bass), Yona Dunsford (vocals, keyboards), Carole Douet (vocals, percussion), Martin Lascelles (keyboards) and Dave Charles (drums).
Latin Quarter collaborated with The Bhundu Boys on the latter’s 1993 Friends on the Road album, including a re-working of “Radio Africa” and two new songs written by members of both bands. They were also the first band to be managed by Marcus Russell (who is from Ebbw Vale along with Mike Jones in the band) later the manager of Oasis.