Monday, January 26, 2009

Our very own Cafe Society

(Julia Jade Aston & Costa Anadiotis)

(Julia Jade Aston)
Café Society was a South African group from the 1980’s best known for their two cover songs 'Somebody to love' and 'Woodpeckers from space'.

==Early years==
Café Society consisted of various artists singing cover version and original songs under the watchful eye of multi-instrumentalist and producer Costa Anadiotis. Costa Anadiotis was also the synthesizer player in the disco-rock South African group Buffalo with Peter Vee during the late 1970’s as well as the group Fantasy.

==‘Somebody to love’==
In 1984 the first song to be produced was the Jefferson Airplane cover ‘Somebody to love’ using the vocals of Julia Jade Aston. Aston was also a member of Working Girls, Face To Face and Wizard with Rob Russell Davies. The song was received well internationally because of its Hi-NRG driven baseline popular at the time.

==‘Relight my fire’==
Next up was the Dan Hartman song ‘Relight my fire’ utilizing the vocals of Lolly Peterson and Anneline Malebo. Malebo was the singer in the Patrick van Blerk outfit Joy. They had an international hit with ‘Paradise Road’ in 1980. Sadly Anneline Malebo died of Aids related complications in 2002. The song received mediocre response and featured on some compilation albums including South-African ‘High-Energy Double Dance Vol.3’.

==‘Woodpeckers from space’ and the Album==
Then in 1985 when the Video Kids refused to release their song ‘Woodpeckers from space’, due to the political situation in South Africa during that time, Costa Anadiotis decided to release his own unique version of the song under the banner of Café Society. 'Woodpeckers from space' was a Number 1 hit in South Africa in July of 1985 and stayed on the Top 20 for 19 weeks of which 8 were at the Number 1 position. The album ‘Relight my fire’ was release in 1985 but couldn't help this mainly studio outfit to reach a higher level and soon everybody went their separate ways.

==Facts of interest==
# The original artists of ‘Woodpeckers from space’ Video Kids consisted of one Peter Slaghuis who would later become ‘Hithouse’ one of the pioneers of House music in Europe. He released the songs ‘Jack to the sound of the underground’ and ‘Move your feet to the rhythm of the beat’. He tragically died in a vehicle accident in 1991.
# Lolly Peterson who sang ‘Relight my fire’ with Anneline Malebo also covered R.Bias’s Italo Disco song ‘Dial my number’ for the 1986 compilation album ‘High-Energy Double Dance Vol.5’ in 1986. The song went to Number 3 on the charts in neighbouring Zimbabwe.
# Anneline Malebo was seen in a documentary on South-African TV regarding her days in Joy and her final days before her death of Aids related illnesses. It came apparent that she lived her last years in extremely poor circumstances leading up to her death.
# Julia Jade Aston was also in the group Chapta Too during 1985 with Jarrod Jade Aston who would become the leader of the popular South-African group Cinema. They share a surname but are not related.
# Julia Jade Aston is currently living in the South-African Western Cape with husband Jeremy Busby.
# The Co-writer of ‘I’m on the loose’ George Vardas is a respected producer and musician in South Africa being involved with the likes of TK, Ed Jordan and Robin Auld. It is also known that he was the ‘Refugee’ in the South African group ‘Nick G and the Refugee’ who had the song ‘Da Dip’.

1 comment:

  1. I unearthed and played "Somebody to Love" at our last ELECTRIC AFFAIR party and sometimes drop it in my sets. I contacted Julia (now BUSBY) via facebook to try and get a better quality version. She's really cool! I remember meeting her when I was 11 and she was in Working Girls...even saw them perform live at Plumb Crazy some time later. As a side note, Andrew Woods who mixed High Energy's from 3 onwards was the one who taught me to DJ back in 89.