1) Leigh, Alex and Ben are the North-London based trio called The Layabouts. The Layabouts produce soulful deep house music, with an emphasis on quality vocal releases. Their sound contains a strong musical element, putting 100% into their production and live performances. Along with the production the guys have maintained their DJ schedule playing all over the U.K. and overseas.
The Layabouts released an album in October 2012 called Future Retro on Reel People Music.
2) The Layabouts sprang from the heart of Detroit’s radical/bohemian community of the early ‘80’s as a more or less direct response to to the musical/political eruption of the British ska-punk scene of the late 70’s. Of the four founding members - all whom are in the band today - two were artists and two were veterans of radical political politics like the Fifth Estate Newspaper (the US’s longest surviving ‘60’s radical paper) and the Eat the Rich Gang (credo: Workers of the world Relax!); thus the name ‘Layabouts’ seemed the only appropriate choice.
Since it’s inception, when we were inspired by the rage and energy of groups like the Sex Pistols, Clash, English Beat, Tom Robinson Band and Crass, the group has always sought to take inspiration from the best in both radical music and radical politics. Over the course of some sixteen years almost thirty people, from places as far away as England and the Dominican Republic, have passed through the ranks of the band, bringing with them musical influences from reggae to salsa to South African township jive.
In addition, the band has played zillions (perhaps jillions) of benefits and political events, including headline appearances at North American Anarchist Gatherings in Toronto and Minneapolis, and has been an active presence in local struggles like the ill-fated effort to prevent the construction of the world’s largest trash incinerator in the heart of our community. In 1985, with the help of community activists and ferocious supporters, we were able to release a ten-song vinyl LP, “No Masters,” in the wake of which we were voted Detroit’s Best Rock Band by the readers of the Metro Times for the second year in a row.
Though the band succumbed, in the early ‘90’s to the familiar pressures of fatigue and creative burnout, a multi-year hiatus ended recently when we were inspired to reunite by the death of much-loved guitarist and sound engineer, Bill Smitka. With the addition of a new keyboardist, percussionist and vocalists, the band has recently enjoyed a triumphant return to its home base in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, and is making plans for a recording project to begin before the end of the year (1999 - 2000).