Latin Quarter (band)

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Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter.JPG
Background information
Origin England, United Kingdom
Genres Pop, rock, reggae, folk
Years active 1983–1999, 2011-
Labels Rockin' Horse Records
Associated acts Steve Skaith Band
The Meridians
The Bhundu Boys
Past members Steve Skaith
Mike Jones
Richard Wright
Yona Dunsford
Greg Harewood
Carol Douet
Martin Lascalles
Dave Charles
Richard Stevens
Steve Jeffries
Darren Abraham

Latin Quarter are a British band formed in 1983. They were popular in Germany and northern Europe and had one top 20 single Radio Africa in the United Kingdom.[1] They originally split up in 1990, but re-formed in 2011. The band toured Germany and UK in early 2012 and have released their latest album The Imagination of Thieves in 2016.[2] Their sound mixes elements of pop, rock, reggae and folk with largely political based lyrics.


Latin Quarter were formed in late 1983 by Steve Skaith and Mike Jones who were both members of the left wing political group Big Flame.[3] 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".[3] The main members between 1985-1987 was Steve Skaith (vocals, guitar), Richard Wright (guitar, vocals), Mike Jones (lyrics, some backing vocals), Greg Harewood (bass), Yona Dunsford (vocals, keyboards), Carol Douet (vocals, percussion).

They released a total of five 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.[4]

After low sales of their third album in the UK, the next two were only released in continental Europe and Jones claims they were the only western pop act to release a contemporary album in East Germany.

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.[5] 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.[6]

When the band split up Steve Skaith went to live in Mexico where he met and formed the Steve Skaith Band with Mexican musicians, and released the albums Mexile 2003, Empires and Us 2005 and Imaginary Friend 2007. He then returned to England and re-recorded some early Latin Quarter songs on Latin Quarter Revisited 2010.[7]

Latin Quarter re-formed in 2011 and released the albums Ocean Head in 2012 and Tilt in 2014. Steve Skaith re-recorded acoustic versions of Latin Quarter-songs on Bare Bones in 2015. In September 2016 they released The Imagination of Thieves.


Year Title
Studio albums
1985 Modern Times
1987 Mick and Caroline
1989 Swimming Against the Stream
1993 Long Pig
1997 Bringing Rosa Home
2012 Ocean Head
2014 Tilt
2016 The Imagination of Thieves
Compilation Albums
1990 Nothing Like Velvet
1997 Radio Africa
2010 Latin Quarter Revisited (by Steve Skaith Band)
2015 Bare Bones (by Steve Skaith)


Year Title UK Singles Chart[4][8] Album
1985 "Toulouse" 93 Modern Times
"Radio Africa" 76
"The New Millionaires" -
"No Rope as Long as Time" -
1986 "Radio Africa" (reissue) 19
"Modern Times" 85
"America for Beginners" 99
"Truth About John" -
1987 "Nomzamo (One People, One Cause)" 73 Mick and Caroline
"I (Together)" -
1989 "Swimming Against the Stream" - Swimming Against the Stream
"Blameless" -
"Dominion" -
1993 "Bitter to the South" - Long Pig
"Like a Miracle" -
"Phil Ochs" -
1997 "Surprised" - Bringing Rosa Home
"Angel" -
"Branded" -


  1. ^ Andrew Beck, ed. (2003). Cultural Work: Understanding the Cultural Industries. Routledge. p. 102. 
  2. ^ "Latin Quarter - News". Latin Quarter Music. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Jones, Mike (May 2000). "Censoring Popular Music: the experience of Latin Quarter". Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 313. ISBN 978-1-904994-10-7. 
  5. ^ Tarte, Bob. "Friends on the Road - The Bhundu Boys - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Politics and International Relations: Marcus Russell, Honorary Fellow". Cardiff University. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Steve Skaith Band". Steve Skaith Band. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  8. ^

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