Latin Quarter (band)

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Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter.JPG
Background information
Origin England, United Kingdom
Genres Pop rock, reggae rock, folk rock
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 is 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 and have released their latest album Pantomime of Wealth in 2018.[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 album failed to chart in Britain but was a top twenty hit in Germany and Sweden and sold well throughout Europe[4].

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.[5] Jones claims they were the only western pop act to release a contemporary album in East Germany[6].

The main members between 1985-1987 was Steve Skaith (vocals, guitar), Richard Wright (guitar, vocals), Mike Jones (lyrics), Greg Harewood (bass), Yona Dunsford (vocals, keyboards) and Carol Douet (vocals, percussion).

After low sales of their third album Swimming Against the Stream in the UK, they originally split up in 1990. Skaith, Wright and Jones continued as Latin Quarter, but the next two albums Long Pig and Bringing Rosa Home, were only released in continental Europe.

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.[7] 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.[8]

When the band split up in 1998 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[9]. He then returned to England and re-recorded some early Latin Quarter songs on Latin Quarter Revisited 2010.[10]

In 2011 Skaith and lyricist Jones re-formed Latin Quarter with original vocalist Yona Dunsford, bass player Greg Harewood and keyboard player Steve Jeffries. They released the albums Ocean Head in 2012 and Tilt in 2014. Chris Rea was a guest star playing slide guitar on some tracks on the Tilt album[11]. Steve Skaith re-recorded acoustic versions of Latin Quarter-songs on Bare Bones in 2015. In September 2016 Latin Quarter released The Imagination of Thieves, now featuring Skaith, Jeffries, Martin Ditcham (Drums), Yo Yo Buys (Bass and Guitars) and Mary Carewe (vocals).

On 14 February 2018 the new track Pantomime of Wealth was released as a digital release on Westpark Music.[12] . The album with the same name was released 13 April 2018.


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
2018 Pantomime of Wealth
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[5][13] 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. ^ Jones, Mike (2000-05-30). "Censoring Popular Music: the experience of Latin Quarter". 
  5. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 313. ISBN 978-1-904994-10-7. 
  6. ^ Jones, Mike (2000-05-30). "Censoring Popular Music: the experience of Latin Quarter". 
  7. ^ Tarte, Bob. "Friends on the Road - The Bhundu Boys - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Politics and International Relations: Marcus Russell, Honorary Fellow". Cardiff University. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "bandcamp". 2018-02-18. 
  10. ^ "Steve Skaith Band". Steve Skaith Band. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  11. ^ "Interview". 2014-06-04. 
  12. ^ "westparkmusic". 2018-02-17. 
  13. ^

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