Steve Hooker and The Heat
Steve Hooker - 1978 - Photograph by Jane Hill
Steve Hooker and The Heat - Music Press Advert
Steve Hooker - 1978 (Photograph by Jane Hill)
Steve Hooker and The Heat - Music Press Advert
...The Story...

Steve Hooker and The Heat - 'The Heat' - 7" EP (TAKE 1 (EJR 577-A) 1977)The Heat were collected from the leftovers of Pre-Punk / Pub band Riff Raff that never found it's niche, our repertoire was neither esoterically right for the London pub circuit and music press, or crowd pleasing enough for Essex drinkers. As the other members had drifted off to find gainful, professional employment elsewhere and I had failed auditions with first The Count Bishops then The Motors, we set about recruiting accomplices to rehearse up songs written on the side - which not completely coincidentally, were more in keeping with the mood of the time. Our debut performance was on the back of a truck at a street party in Leigh-on-Sea on Jubilee Day followed by several surprisingly well attended gigs upstairs at The Railway Hotel in Southend.

Steve Hooker and The Heat - Evening Echo - 07.11.77After a succession of drummers we 'borrowed' Joe (Jaguar) who fronted his own group, with Nick (from Glam Rockers Peaches) - Bass, Jane - Vocals and occasional retro organ, plus yours truly, Steve - Guitar and Vocals. Our style was all New York Punk mixed with British Beat. For a new band we were very lucky, being blessed with offers from Record World boss Trevor to help us make a record, and recently departed Feelgood Wilko of a support slot on his first solo tour, but like Columbo something was bothering me... as the members of the rhythm section were playing with their other Punk and Hard Rock outfits we drafted in Dave - Drums and Rob (who had survived an early incarnation of Eddie and The Hot Rods) - Bass, rehearsed and booked into Spectrum Sound in Westcliff to record 'If You Don't Do The Business' / 'Rock 'n' Roll Doctor' / 'I'm Hooked' / 'Marionette' for The Heat ep on Takeaway Records.

As ever, susceptible to whisperings of the style police, after a hand full of local dates we brought back Joe - Drums, with his associate Clark Kent - Bass to tour. From Uxbridge University to Liverpool Eric's, through Leeds F - Club, Dingwalls, Birmingham Barbarella's, The Hope and Anchor and The Nashville to Aylesbury Friars we lived out most of the Rock 'n' Roll fantasies of violence, sleaze, dope and musical mayhem!

Psychotic R 'n' B - Wilko, The Radio Stars and Steve Hooker and The Heat - Live at Friars, Aylesbury - 10.12.77After Christmas, with no home phone, nobody taking care of business and lack of offers from major labels it hit us that we would have to start knocking on a few doors since lady luck had passed us by. Joe hustled us a date at the by now run down London Roxy Club, which most unreasonably involved a change of name to avoid confusion with the London Heat who had appeared there previously. As The Steve Hooker Band we ran the gauntlet of the mildly curious, a couple of junior skinheads, our two redheaded rock chick fans from Birmingham and the Travolta - suited manger who asked us to leave on account of this mortal sin of playing rock 'n' roll (Chuck Berry and Chris Montez covers) behind the hallowed doors of Punk Rock.

More than graciously putting all of this behind us we resettled in Southend, bravely reverted as The Heat and despite frequent line up alterations notched off Woodlands Basildon, Bardots Canvey, The Van Gogh and Steve Hooker - 1979 - Photograph by Fin Costello - "D.T.K."eventually The Shrimpers (as The Mystery Girls), returned to Woodlands and recorded 'I'm Looking For You' for The Southend Rock album (this time as The Steve Hooker Group). By the end of 1978 a new band - The Vampire Lovers - was at the rehearsal stages.

Everything we learnt from The Heat went into The Vampire Lovers. Hunting new blood brought us George - Bass who introduced Chad Valley - Drums, fresh material and a manager who hated the name. Undeterred, we rehearsed regularly, recorded 'How Did You Know?' and 'Nothing To Say' back at Spectrum (which remain in the vaults unreleased) and made a series of manifestations at The Shrimpers, The Esplanade, Scamps and surprisingly enough The Top Alex.

As not fitting in to the gloomy Pre-Gothic Post Punk style or the budding Mod Revival had became a problem outside of Essex, we slimmed down to a trio with Jane then Nick on bass, dropped the name and ironically our manager too. This line up worked well enough for us to venture out of Southend occasionally to Brighton, the Basildon Double Six and think about surrounding London, arriving eventually at the Brecknock in Camden.

Pumped up on our achievements we solicited a deal with Wax records, recorded 'Keep Dancing' (Co-written and produced by Kursaal Flyer Paul Shuttleworth) and a new version of 'How Did You Know?' for a single and headlined The Shrimpers as The Steve Hooker Band. Subsequent line ups may have been less popular locally, but this good looking record topped the Record Mirror "Other Chart" and broke the ice for us in the London pub venues. By the middle of 1980 we 'did' The Moonlight Club, The Fulham Greyhound and my favourite Hope and Anchor. It became a real pleasure to play at these clubs, often working with bands we would have paid to see like Red Beans and Rice or The Barracudas, however towards the end of the year another personnel change prompted new plans and perhaps greater things!

Profile by Steve Hooker
'Punk Rock 'n' Roll - The Boots That Time Forgot' - CD Details


Steve Hooker and The Heat - 'The Heat' - 7" EP (TAKE 1 (EJR 577-A) 1977)

'If You Don't Do The Business' / 'Rock & Roll Doctor' / 'I'm Hooked' / 'Marionette' - The Heat 7" EP (TAKE 1 (EJR 577-A) - 1977)

'Southend Rock' - Features The Steve Hooker Group song 'I'm Looking For You' - LP (Sonet Records SNTF 806 - 1979)

'Southend Rock' - Features The Steve Hooker Group song 'I'm Looking For You' - LP (Sonet Records SNTF 806- 1979)

Steve Hooker Band - 'Keep Dancing' - 7" Single (Wax EAR 3)

'Keep Dancing' c/w 'How Did You Know?'' - 7" Single (Wax EAR 3 -1979)

Steve Hooker - 'Punk Rock 'n' Roll - The Boots That Time Forgot' - CD (SH003)

'Punk Rock 'n' Roll - The Boots That Time Forgot' - CD (SH003) - 2007

Various Artists - 'Southend Punk Volume One' - Angels in Exile Records (AIECD 004) - Features The Steve Hooker Band song 'How Did You Know?'

'Southend Punk Volume One' - Features The Steve Hooker Band song 'How Did You Know?' - CD (Angels in Exile Records AIECD 004) - 2020



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