Affinity (band)

Affinity (band)

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Affinity were an English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 jazz-rock fusion band, active from mid 1968 to January 1971.


The origin of Affinity was, circa 1965 in the science department of the University of Sussex
University of Sussex
The University of Sussex is an English public research university situated next to the East Sussex village of Falmer, within the city of Brighton and Hove. The University received its Royal Charter in August 1961....

 in Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. Three science students Lynton Naiff (keyboards), Grant Serpell
Grant Serpell
Grant Serpell was a member of several bands during the 1960s and 1970s, including Affinity and Sailor, and was an encouraging influence over two of the members of The Hoosiers while being their chemistry teacher at Waingels College.Serpell enjoyed a revival of Sailor's success, which started in...

Drum kit
A drum kit is a collection of drums, cymbals and often other percussion instruments, such as cowbells, wood blocks, triangles, chimes, or tambourines, arranged for convenient playing by a single person ....

), and Nick Nicholas (double bass
Double bass
The double bass, also called the string bass, upright bass, standup bass or contrabass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra, with strings usually tuned to E1, A1, D2 and G2...

) had formed the US Jazz Trio, they played at University events and local gigs. When Serpell graduated a year later he was replaced by Mo Foster
Mo Foster
Mo Foster is a British session musician, playing primarily jazz, jazz-fusion and rock bass guitar. He is also a music producer and songwriter/composer. In over 40 years as a musician Foster has played on and produced countless albums, singles, and film soundtracks...

 who had earlier been playing bass guitar
Bass guitar
The bass guitar is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb , or by using a pick....

 in his school band but had now adapted to playing drums.

After university Naiff and Serpell, along with members of other bands gathered from other university bands, formed the pop group Ice. Although Ice was moderately successful commercially it only lasted for about a year before it disbanded.

Although Ice had disbanded, Naiff and Serpell were keen to continue with a career in music. They decided to start a new jazz-influenced pop band. To this end they invited Foster to join them, only this time on bass guitar as Serpell would be carrying out the drummer's duties. After holding auditions they met ex-Tridents guitarist Mike Jopp. They liked his playing and his ability to play both jazz and pop, and perhaps more importantly he had his own amp and a car.

The auditions continued for a singer. They unanimously decided on an English teacher they had met previously, Linda Hoyle
Linda Hoyle
Linda Hoyle was the vocalist of English jazz-rock band Affinity. Her singing style combines rock, blues, soul and jazz. Her brief musical career, and the fact of non-commercial play, caused her music to be obscure....


After obtaining a loan, which was guaranteed by Jopp's father, they bought the equipment needed to start the band. They bought Impact amplifiers, a Hammond M102
Hammond organ
The Hammond organ is an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond in 1934 and manufactured by the Hammond Organ Company. While the Hammond organ was originally sold to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ, in the 1960s and 1970s it became a standard keyboard...

 organ, a Gibson EBO bass guitar, some microphones and a grey Ford Transit
Ford Transit
The Ford Transit is a range of panel vans, minibuses, and pickup trucks, produced by the Ford Motor Company in Europe.The Transit has been the best-selling light commercial vehicle in Europe for 40 years, and in some countries the term "Transit" has passed into common usage as a generic term...

 van. They then spent the summer of 1968 rehearsing, writing, and generally chilling out at a rented bungalow on the edge of Brighton. The first thing they needed to do though was invent a name for themselves, eventually they settled on "Affinity" which came from the name of Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
Oscar Emmanuel Peterson was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. He was called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, "O.P." by his friends. He released over 200 recordings, won seven Grammy Awards, and received other numerous awards and honours over the course of his career...

's 1961 LP Affinity
Affinity (Oscar Peterson album)
Affinity is a 1962 studio album by the Oscar Peterson Trio. - Track listing :# "Waltz for Debby"  – 5:53# "Tangerine"  – 4:41# "Gravy Waltz"  – 4:26...



Affinity played their first London show at the Revolution Club in Bruton Place in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 on 5 October 1968.

One of the gigs they were playing at the time was broadcast on BBC Radio Jazz Club. Ronnie Scott
Ronnie Scott
Ronnie Scott was an English jazz tenor saxophonist and jazz club owner.-Life and career:Ronnie Scott was born in Aldgate, east London, into a family of Russian Jewish descent on his father's side, and Portuguese antecedents on his mother's. Scott began playing in small jazz clubs at the age of...

, heard a recording of the show and subsequently agreed to manage them. He also agreed to give them regular bookings at his world-famous jazz club
Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club
Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club is a jazz club which has operated in London since 1959.The club opened on 30 October 1959 in a basement at 39 Gerrard Street in London's Soho district. It was managed by musicians Ronnie Scott and Pete King. In 1965 it moved to a larger venue nearby at 47 Frith Street...


From this point on they were getting lots of live work in London's discotheque and club scene and on the college circuit. They also toured in Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 and some festivals. They appeared on TV spots, including Disco 2 which was the forerunner to The Old Grey Whistle Test. They recorded the theme for a Shredded Wheat
Shredded Wheat
Shredded wheat is a breakfast cereal made from whole wheat. As of January 2010, it was available in three sizes: bite sized , miniature , and full size, which may be broken into small pieces before milk is added .Both sizes are available in a...

 commercial series ("There are 2 men in my life..."). They released an eponymously titled album on the Vertigo
Vertigo Records
Vertigo Records today is a UK-based record label operated by Universal Music UK.-History:Vertigo Records was the name Philips Records chose in the late 1960s for its record sub-label to counter the progressive labels of its rivals EMI with Harvest Records and Decca Records with Deram...

 label in 1970.

They received many rave reviews, most for the band, but some for individual members, and from Derek Jewell of The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times is a British Sunday newspaper.The Sunday Times may also refer to:*The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times...

, who commented "Naiff is already a virtuso, soul-style, and the whole group is probably the best new thing heard in the jazz-pop area this year." Billboard Magazine
Billboard (magazine)
Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis...

 described Naiff as "a musician of great promise". Naiff and Foster had to write a second album when Hoyle announced that she'd had enough and wanted to quit both the band and the music business. Her last concert with Affinity was due to have been in Cardiff on 8 February 1971, but the show was cancelled. The actual last performance was 10 February 1971 in Bournemouth's Winter Gardens theatre.

Between February and June that year the remaining members, along with their new keyboard player Dave Watts, continued to play a mini tour with Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band were an English based soul band, active from 1965 to 1968.-Career:The Ram Jam Band were formed around 1964 and evolved out of a group called Les Blues who were formed to rival an English group with a Black American singer called Milton And The Continentals...


In June 1971, it was announced that Affinity were reforming, with original members Jopp, Foster and Serpell plus new recruits Vivienne McAuliffe on vocals and ex-Geno Washington organist Dave Watts (Naiff was by now in Abednego, and by the year's end had joined Toe Fat). A 5-day tour of Holland beginning late June and work on a new album were announced. However, a few weeks later Jopp, Foster and Serpell had all been enlisted by ex-Manfred Mann
Manfred Mann
Manfred Mann was a British beat, rhythm and blues and pop band of the 1960s, named after their South African keyboardist, Manfred Mann, who later led the successful 1970s group Manfred Mann's Earth Band...

 singer Mike D'Abo to back him on his upcoming US tour, alongside sax/flautist Jack Lancaster.


Although Affinity only actually ever recorded one album at the time they existed, archived tapes have been compiled and released in four Affinity-related albums.

Studio album

  • Affinity
    Affinity (Affinity album)
    -Personnal:* Linda Hoyle - vocals* Lynton Naiff - Hammond M102 organ* Mo Foster - Gibson EBO bass guitar* Mike Jopp - guitar* Grant Serpell - drums...

    — (1970, Vertigo), (2002, Angel Air
    Angel Air
    Angel Airlines, trading as Angel Air, was an airline based in Bangkok, Thailand, which was operational between 1997 and 2006.-Fleet:Over the years, Angel Airlines operated the following aircraft types:...


Other releases

  • Live Instrumentals 1969 — (2003, Angel Air)
  • 1971-1972 — (2003, Angel Air)
  • Origins 1965-67 — (2004, Angel Air)
  • Origins: The Baskervilles 1965 (2007, Angel Air)

In 2006 a 5-CD limited issue, collectors edition of the Affinity collection was released on the Japanese AMR "Archive" label. It was in a special packaging consisting of a reproduction of the original LP cover, with an expansive write up on the history of Affinity including a Pete Frame
Pete Frame
Peter 'Pete' Frame is a music journalist, who produced outlines of the history of rock bands for various magazines . He founded the English Alternative rock magazine ZigZag in April 1969 and acted as its editor, from its beginning until February 1973, and again from March 1976 until July 1977...

-type family tree diagram designed by Mo Foster and Kurt Adkins.

External links