Relish (Northern Irish band)
|Genres||Pop, Rock, Soul, Alternative|
|Labels||EMI, CCRE Entertainment, Rock Ridge Music, Zephyr Sounds|
|Associated acts||The Players|
|Members||Kenneth Papenfus, Carl Papenfus, Darren Campbell|
Relish are a Northern Irish rock band composed of brothers Ken (vocals and guitar) and Carl (drums, keyboards and vocals) Papenfus, and Darren Campbell (bass and vocals). They have released three albums: 2001's "Wildflowers" (Platinum), "Karma Calling" (Gold) in 2003 (both of these were on the EMI Ireland label), and "Connected" in 2011.
The band are perhaps best known for the songs "Rainbow Zephyr" and "You I'm Thinking Of", from their debut album, "Wildflowers". The former (a big Irish radio hit in its own right) was covered by Westlife with slightly changed lyrics and released as a single "Hey Whatever", which went on to become an international hit.
Relish were fully formed by the mid 1990s when bass player Darren Campbell teamed up with the brothers. The band signed to EMI in 1998 and immediately caught the attention of famed producer John Leckie (The Stone Roses, Radiohead).
The Papenfus brothers are sons of South African jazz singer Jane Londis (of Golden City Dixies fame) and doctor of psychology, author and percussionist Stan Papenfus. Their parents fled South Africa whose apartheid system deemed their inter-racial marriage illegal and settled in Belfast, Northern Ireland in the early 1970s. The Papenfus’ sons early musical upbringing was augmented by their parents record collection of jazz, gospel + world music and 1960s rock; their only possession brought from South Africa.
Early bands and Relish formation
Pre-Relish musical outfits included 50/50 (half cover versions/half original) with Steafán Hanvey and grunge + funk metal band The Id. Darren Campbell joined the band and Relish was formed from the ashes of The Id after the departure of keyboard player, and vocalist Brendan Kelly. Reduced to a 3 piece outfit, all members took up vocal duties with Ken reluctantly assuming lead vocals and named themselves Relish in 1995. After three years of consistent demoing, gigging and building relationships with labels, one demo struck a chord that had record labels visiting the Relish rehearsal room in their home town of Downpatrick.
Following a series of auditions in the Papenfus’ living room in front of a bemused number of record company A&R personnel, the band signed to EMI Ireland in 1998 and began work on their debut album “Wildflowers” with acclaimed producer John Leckie ( Stone Roses, Radiohead), in UK studios Rockfield, Air and Abbey Road studios. Al Clay (Stereophonics, Pixies) was commissioned to produce and mix the next phase of recording at BJG and Windmill Lane studios in Ireland. The 2001 release debuted at No 6 in the Irish charts and was well received in both the UK and Ireland. It spawned a top 10 and two top 30 singles, and a No1 in the airplay charts in Japan with "You I'm Thinking Of" The album, and particularly its lead singles, "Let It Fly" and ‘'"Rainbow Zephyr"’', brimmed over with direct soul and gospel influences, soft in tone but with a clear rock edge. "Karma Calling" was released in 2003 debuting at No8 in the Irish charts. Produced by Al Clay it achieved a No11 Irish hit single with “Father, Brother, Lover and Son”. During this period live slots included appearances at Scotland's T In The Park, the V Festival, Japan's Summer Sonic Festival, and by personal invitation by U2's Larry Mullan Jnr at Ireland's Slane Castle.
After parting ways with EMI in 2005, Relish took a hiatus with individual members enjoying other musical projects, most notably the Papenfus brothers collaboration with Damon Minchella (Ocean Colour Scene), Steve White, (Paul Weller), Mick Talbot (Style Council) in “supergroup” The Players album “From the Six Corners” (2005) supported by a European tour including an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival. Carl appeared as drummer on several projects including “Weightless” (2005) by Juno Falls (V2), “The Paul Brady Songbook” (2002) by Paul Brady, “Unbeautiful” by Lesley Roy (Jive) in 2008, “The Time The Hour” (2012) by Hal, “Nuclear Family” (2013) and “Honeymoon Junkies” (2006) by Steafán Hanvey and toured Europe with The Answer filling in for injured drummer James Heatley on a leg of their support tour with AC/DC documented on the accompanying DVD of their live album “412 Days of Rock ‘n’ Roll” (2011) in what seemed like something of a reunion after the Papenfus brothers first collaboration with The Answer was in producing their first effort Breakdown Honey (2002). Ken guested on guitar with Paul Weller live and on television and is featured on “Studio 150 (2004)” by Paul Weller whilst also appearing on the aforementioned Steafán Hanvey albums.
Because of their varying social and political backgrounds, the band members approach song topics considerately, fashioning socialistic messages in a non-too radical yet left-of-centre style. Relish are one of the first Irish rock bands since Thin Lizzy to feature a vocalist who looks as cool as he sings.
On November 19, 2010 Relish performed their first live gig in five years. It was a charity fund raiser for Brendan Kelly, former band member and ex lead vocalist of The Id. On October 2011 a new album called “Connected” received a low key UK + Ireland release on their own label Zephyr Sounds licensed to US label Rock Ridge Music/ADA Warners (which included radio hits “Something To Believe In”, “Connected” and “Together You”) to positive reviews. Written, recorded, engineered, produced and mixed (almost entirely) by the Papenfus brothers, it was a heavily revised version of “Three Times”; a Japanese only release through CCRE Entertainment in 2009.
In 2013, the distribution end of the Zephyr Sounds label was opened to facilitate artists and labels globally through Ingrooves|Fontana.
"Wildflowers" (2001) "Karma Calling" (2003) "Three Times" (Japan only) (2009) "Connected" (2011)
- Jon Wilde, http://www.rockrealms.com/interrogation/relish.php, Rock Realms, 28th June 2011
- Nadine Ryan, http://www.hotpress.com/music/interviews/Relish-The-Music/8966324.html?new_layout=1&page_no=3&show_comments=1, Hot Press, 12 June 2012
- Lindsay Fergus http://www.questia.com/library/1G1-83640936/we-re-big-in-japan-ulster-band-relish-ing-far-east 10 March 2002
- Kim Porcelli http://www.hotpress.com/music/reviews/live/Red-Hot-Chili-Peppers--Kelis--JJ72--Relish---Red-Hot-Chili-Peppers/1492381.html Hot Press 30 August 2001
- Sergio Pereira, http://www.musicreview.co.za/2011/09/19/review-relish-connected/, Music Review, 19 September 2011
- Ken Stewart http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=uBMEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=relish+best+new+hope+IRMA+award+billboard&source=bl&ots=o0AopMF1Ik&sig=w2boLXPm2K1kuJPS4lkJcvLjkw0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kleWUYjAH4Og0wWH1IHoDQ&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=relish%20best%20new%20hope%20IRMA%20award%20billboard&f=false Billboard 7 April 2001