Mambo Taxi

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Mambo Taxi
Origin London, England
Genres Garage punk, Britpop, riot grrrl, indie pop
Years active 1991–1995
Labels Clawfist
Associated acts The Invisibles, Voodoo Queens, Ella Guru, The Phantom Pregnancies, Huggy Bear, Headbutt, Ye Nuns, Animals That Swim, The Senseless Things, Jolt, Gallon Drunk
Past members Lenie Mets
Delia Sparrow
Andrea Stallard
Karin Rapp
Ella Guru
Anjali Bhatia
Notable instruments
Farfisa organ

Mambo Taxi were a London based British band that were linked with riot grrrl,[1] who formed in 1991 and split up in 1995.[2]

History[edit]

Mambo Taxi were inspired by the UK garage rock scene and US punk. They formed after Lenie was invited to join Anjali, Delia, Ella and Andrea who were all living together (bar Delia) in a squat in Islington to form a band. They became part of a vibrant music scene in the early nineties which centered around 3 indie labels in London at the time namely Clawfist, Too Pure, Wiiija. Their sound was a mixture of garage, punk, and pop[2] and they had links to British riot grrrl bands such as Huggy Bear. Drummer Anjali Bhatia left in 1992 in order to form the Voodoo Queens and guitarist Ella Guru joined her in 1993. The other members of the 1992 line-up appearing on the first single, which was a double A side 'Prom Queen' written by Anjali and 'Insecure' written by Lenie were: Lenie (lead vocal/bass), Delia (guitar/vocals), Andrea (organ/vocals).[3] Karin Rapp (drums/vocals) joined the band from the second single onwards.

Mambo Taxi, after the departure of Anjali and Ella, went on to record one album 'In Love With' which featured songs composed by all band members, but with most of the lyrics written by Lenie and covered topics as diverse as sexual abuse (Velvet Youth written by Lenie), love, religion (Evangelical written by Andrea) and women's issues such as single motherhood (Push that Pram written by Lenie), depression and self harm (Happy Claire written by Karin Rapp) - all other tracks on the album were written by Lenie including the 'hit' single 'Poems on the Underground' and 'Do you Always Dress like that...' (not featured on the album). Mambo Taxi videos were early works by Nicholas Abrahams

The band's name was taken from the film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown by Pedro Almodovar and was a reference to the Mambo Taxi used by the film's heroine.[4] Ella Guru, in an interview with NME’s Sam Stallard in 1992, described it as “tacky” but “with all sorts of different things in it that sort of clash, but everything’s useful as well as fun.”[3] thus describing the band. Lenie is from Belgium, Delia and Andrea are British, Karin Rapp comes from Germany. Ella hails from Ohio, USA and Anjali is also British.[3]

Following the band's dissolution, Lenie formed Jolt with former Senseless Things frontman Mark Keds, they formed their own label 'Scared of Girls' and were signed by Warner Chappell. They released an EP 'Punk Jungle Rules'. She briefly played in 'Square Mile Group' and has been writing music ever since whilst bringing up a family. She has contributed songs to plays and The Libertines song 'Can't Stand Me Now' features lyrics taken from a song written by Lenie and Mark Keds recorded in Brittania Row Studios called 'Walking in LA'. Delia went on to be in The Phantom Pregnancies along with members of Huggy Bear and Wat Tyler,[5] and has proved to be the most prolific of the band, later appearing in the line-up of Baby Birkin, the Family Way, the A-Lines, and others.[6][7]

Andrea and Delia are also in Ye Nuns (previously The Nuns), a cover band which plays songs by The Monks; also in the band is Debbie Smith, formerly of Echobelly and Curve.[8]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Prom Queen" / "Insecure" (Clawfist, HUNKA 13, 1993)
  • "Poems On The Underground" / "A&E" (Clawfist, HUNKA 19, 1993)
  • "Do You Always Dress Like That In Front Of Other Peoples Boyfriends?" / "I Want To Marry A Serial Killer" (Clawfist, HUNKA 20, 1993)
  • "Tom" (Echostate, Echo 5-6, 1995) - split single with Breed

Album[edit]

In Love With… (Clawfist, HUNKALP7, 1994)

Track listing:
Pink Side

  • "Tom"
  • "Kiss Kiss Kiss"
  • "Belgian Blues"
  • "2 Nice Boys"
  • "Happy Claire"
  • "(Push That) Pram (Under The Train)"
  • "Evangelical"

Green Side

  • "Screaming In Public"
  • "Poems On The Underground"
  • "Reasons To Live"
  • "Insecure"
  • "My Room"
  • "Velvet Youth"

Compilations[edit]

V/A – Seek Refuge From Your Intolerable Situation, Say No To Male Violence (Garden Of Delights, 1994) Features the track "Foolish Little Girl"

V/A – Gay Pride (You Don’t Know What You’re Missing) (Rugger Bugger, 1994) Features the track "Brett From Suede (It's About Time You Got Laid) By A Man"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bayton, Mavis, "Frock Róck", OUP, 1998
  2. ^ a b Mason, Stewart "Mambo Taxi Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 2011-02-01
  3. ^ a b c Stallard, Sam, "Cab Happy", NME, late 1992
  4. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 855
  5. ^ "Damaged Goods Records: Phantom Pregnancies". Damagedgoods.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  6. ^ http://www.discogs.com/artist/831409-Delia-Sparrow
  7. ^ http://allthebootboys.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/delia-sparrow.html
  8. ^ O'Keeffe, Niall (2008-06-17). "When it comes to singing The Monks' praises The Nuns can't shake the habit". The Stool Pigeon (17). 

External links[edit]