Mo Foster: bass
Mike Jopp: guitars
Linda Hoyle: vocals
Lynton Naiff: Keyboards
Album: Affinity 1970 (Germany) Vertigo Records
reissue: 1993 (Germany) REP 4349-WP Repertoire Records
reissue: 2002 (UK) SJPCD 111 Angel Air Records
I Am And So
I Am And So
Eli's Coming / United States Of Mind (Vertigo 6059 018)
I Wonder If I Care As Much / Three Sisters (Vertigo 6059 007) 1970
More Affinity CDs...
The 2002 CD version
of the "Affinity" album,
I Am And So
information go to
Album: If You Live
The "Live Instrumentals 1969" songs were recorded before the first official album release in 1970 when vocalist Linda Hoyle had an operation. During her absence the other four band members played instrumental music at Ronnie Scott's Club in London. The first nine tracks on this CD were recorded by the four-piece at the club in January 1969. An extra four tracks are taken from an FM radio broadcast and the final tracks features the University of Sussex Jazz Trio, which was an early incarnation of Affinity:
information go to
information go to
During the recording of this album the line-up of Affinity had changed to: Grant Serpell: drums / Mo Foster: bass / Mike Jopp: guitars / Vivienne McAuliffe: vocals / Dave Watts: Keyboards.
Fronted by vocalist
Linda Hoyle Affinity's one and only LP is now worth around BP60
on the collectors' market. Not bad for a band whose entire
recorded output consists of just the "Affinity" LP and
the single "Eli's Song"/"United States Of
Mind" (Vertigo 6059 018) which is in itself worth around
BP10. Ably supported by guitarist Mike Jupp, bassist Mo Foster,
organist Lynton Naiff and drummer Grant Serpell, Affinity were
one of several UK jazz-rock groups signed up by the influential
Vertigo Records. But although the band's seven-track debut was
well received by the critics, it didn't dissuade the group from
splitting up soon after its release in 1970.
Linda Hoyle continued to record for Vertigo, releasing the "Pieces Of Me" LP (Vertigo 6360060) in 1971 on which she was backed by Chris Spedding and Soft Machine members John Marshall and Karl Jenkins. The LP was a much more varied one than Affinity's, ranging from ballads to hard rock, and though it wasn't a commercial success, it's now worth something like BP125 to a dedicated devotee Vertigo Records collector. Drummer Grant Serpell went on to join Sailor, playing on hits like "Girls Girls Girls" and "A Glass Of Champagne", whilst organist Lynton Naiff gigged with Toe Fat, the band led by ex-Rebel Rouser Cliff Bennett. Mo Foster later resurfaced in Ray Fenwick-led Fancy, in the mid 70s.
Taken from the 1993 reissue of "Affinity"
Affinity had its
origins in the mid-60s at the University Of Sussex when three
science students - pianist Lynton Naiff, drummer Grant Serpell
and double-bass player Nick Nicholas - formed the US Jazz Trio.
One year later another science student, Mo Foster, who had
originally played bass guitar in his school band, adapted to
playing drums for the trio when Grant Serpell graduated.
After University, and incorporating members gathered from other University bands, Lynton and Grant formed the pop-group "Ice" and achieved moderate commercial success. Sadly within a year they had disbanded.
Still keen to pursue a career in music, Lynton and Grant invited Mo to revert to bass guitar in a proposed new jazz-influenced pop band. The guys held auditions for a guitarist and were delighted to find ex-Tridents guitarist Mike Jopp who had both jazz and blues chops. (More importantly he also had his own amplifier and a car!).
They also held auditions for singers but finally realised that the only person for the job was Linda Hoyle, a qualified English teacher who they had earlier met through a friend at University.
With a loan guaranteed by Mike Jopp's father the band bought some Impact amplifiers, a Hammond M102 organ, a Gibson EBO bass guitar, some microphones, and, eventually, a grey Ford Transit van.
They spent the summer of 1968 "getting it together" - writing and rehearsing - in a rented bungalow on the edge of Brighton. The name "Affinity" was taken from the title of an Oscar Peterson LP.
At the end of the 60's an exciting new hybrid music form, "Jazz/Rock", was evolving. Musicians such as Miles Davis, Brian Auger, Jimi Hendix, and bands such as Blood Sweat and Tears, Cream, Chicago, Lifetime and Colosseum were all experimenting with this blending of jazz improvisation with the power of rock rhythms. This liberating and exciting approach suited Affinity perfectly since it separated the band from other contemporary new outfits such as Yes, genesis, Led Zeppelin, Family and Humble Pie.
Affinity's first-ever London gig took place on 5 October 1968 at the Revolution Club in Bruton Place, just off Berkeley Square.
As a result of hearing a tape of a broadcast on BBC Radio Jazz Club the late Ronnie Scott agreed to manage them and to book them into his club where they played alongside countless world-class players including Elvin Jones, Gary Burton, Les McCann, Stan Getz and Charles Mingus. (They may not have been earning much at this point, but they did get to see these incredible artists for free - every night).
Live work was plentiful: there was a thriving discotheque and club scene in London, the college circuit paid well, there were European and Scandinavian tours (which didn't pay well!), festivals, the occasional TV show (two sings were recorded for "Disco 2", the predecessor of "The Old Grey Whistle Test"), and even the occasional jingle session (Linda, Mike and Mo recorded an advert for Shredded Wheat - "There are two men in my life"...) Things were looking good. The band was able to buy the ultimate instrument, the 'split' Hammond B3 that had once belonged to Brian Auger.
Affinity recorded a critically-acclaimed first album for the Vertigo label and DJ Anne Nightingale who proclaimed that Linda was "the girl most likely to succeed in 1970."
Lynton and Mo started to write for a second album (see "Yes Man") and the band was lined up for a USA tour, but in January 1971 Linda announced she had decided to leave the business. It was a sad, but inevitable, decision: the band had worked hard for two and a half years and yet had little to show for it. The fun had gone.
The remaining contracted gigs were honoured and the guys went their separate ways.
Linda Hoyle recorded a solo album "Pieces Of me" co-written with Karl Jenkins, and backed by Soft Machine members Chris Spedding, John Marshall, Jeff Clyne and Karl. Linda renounced live performances and now teaches Art Therapy at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She still sings and occasionally works with Juno nominee guitarist Oliver Whitehead.
Lynton Naiff niched himself into the field of orchestral arrangement on pop records leading to various projects with artists such as Queen, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.
Mike Joop joined the Mike D'Abo Band together with Mo and Grant. This particular line-up recorded a couple of albums and toured America. Mike quit playing professionally in 1973, became a guitar-dealer, and, after many years as a specialist audio consultant for Sony and Fairlight, now has a successful career in broadcast television with his own company, Hyperactive Broadcast. He still plays and has a collection of interesting guitars.
Mo Foster met ex-Manfred singer Mike D'Abo - an encounter which led to his career as a studio player. He has since recorded and toured with artists as varied as Jeff Beck, Phil Collins, Gil Evans, Gerry Rafferty, Joan Armatrading, Hank Marvin, Maggie Bell, Van Morrison and the London Symphony Orchestra. Mo has produced three solo albums, and his first book "17 Watts?", an anecdotal history of British rock guitar, is published by Sanctuary.
Grant Serpell played with Geno Washington and then Mike D'Abo before becoming a founder member of SAILOR, a band which achieved recording success - "Girls Girls Girls" - in the mid 70's in most countries except the States. When SAILOR temporarily disbanded (for 11 years!) he pleased his mother by getting a "proper job" as a Chemistry teacher. The rebirth of SAILOR in 1989 surprisingly resulted in hits all over Europe, so for eight years he juggled two careers, eventually quitting teaching in 1997.
Taken from the 2002 reissue of "Affinity"
Reviews of the "Affinity" album and re-releases:
Their sound is great, organ led
progressive rock reminiscent of their Vertigo label mates
Cressida but occasionally they do venture into Jazz Rock
territory with the use of a brass section a la Chicago,
Colosseum, etc etc.
In Linda Hoyle they had a wonderful vocalist with a powerful rock voice in the Maggie Bell mould and the combination of her vocals and the heavy organ driven sound makes for inspirational listening
Of the originals 'Night Flight' and 'Three Sisters' are fine examples but 'Yes Man' stands head and shoulders above everything else and is a wonderful piece of progressive rock which incorporates a fantastic instrumental section and complex tempo changes galore, and was written for a never to be released second album, hence it's appearance here as a bonus track.
Steve Ward, Wondrous Stories (April 2002)
The reissue of Affinity's only
album (originally released in 1970) with an added eight bonus
tracks is pure class. Jazzy progressive psychedelic rock
propelled along by Lynton Naiff's exquisite Hammond playing and
Linda Hoyle's stunning vocal work. Solid from start to finish and
I can't recommend it enough
Absolutely one of Angel Air's
very best releases.
Colin Bryce, Mohair Sweets (April 2002)
collectors unite! Of the bonus material, both sides of the band's
super-rare single ('Eli's Coming/United States of Mind) are
included (yep, the Three Dog Night song) plus two songs cut for
radio sessions and four more intended, in some form, for the
band's second album. Of course, that never happened, and Affinity
remains this remarkable band's sole legacy. It's one to be proud
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (August 2002)
rock...Swirling organ and a sumptuous horn section...
Hartlepool Mail, (November 2002)
A lot of
thought, heart and emotion went into the making of this
Would make a nice gift for someone who enjoys today's
adult oriented rock.
Mike Reed - Banzai (February 2003)
Reviews of "Live Instrumentals 1969":
...Nine live tracks
recorded in January 1969 and at a time when long sideburns and
frizzy hair was de rigueur ... and that was just the women! Some
jazz standards expertly played and some less familiar, this is a
real archive find. The music hasn't dated at all.
There is some great Hammonding from Lynton Naiff and authoritative jazz rock chops from Mike Jopp. Bassist Mo Foster went on to work with Ray Fenwick in Fancy and Jeff Beck amongst others but this release captures a superb band and drips with cool soul jazz that is perhaps now best enjoyed with a good wine, and with the headphones on. Nice.
James Rutherford, Get ready to ROCK! (January 2003)
While Mo Foster and
Grant Serpell kept the rhythm section nailed it allowed guitarist
Mike Jopp and organist Lynton Naiff to play melody or go off at a
tangent as they desired. Given how powerful their arrangements
are it is probably of little surprise to see that Lynton later
worked as an arranger for bands as diverse as Gene, Gay Dad and
Page/Plant! Good sleeve notes and photos as well as powerful
jazz make this an album that can easily be enjoyed.
Feedback, (February 2003)
intelligently arranged and tastefully played
John Sturdy, Record Collector (March 2003)
They are polished and
classy and the sound qualiy is very good. I found it surprisingly
Any aficionado of the Hammond/guitar relationship
should add this CD to their collection.
Alan Taylor, Pipeline (Spring 2003)
...Serves as a
reminder that the band were damn good.
Modern Dance, Issue 43 (March 2003)
Last updated: 15 June 2003