Having formed in 1986 from the remnants of the jazz/funk outfit “Pure Motivation”, we’ve now evolved into the current line-up, comprising of eight musicians.
Fronting the band is the wildly charismatic “J.O.” whose distinctive guitar playing and powerful vocals are complimented by the wonderful vocals of “Cherie”, who also takes the spotlight on a number of tunes.
Driving the band is “Joe 90” on drums and Rick on bass. Many years together, have made them one of the tightest rhythm sections around.
The melodies are provided by “Tom” on keyboards.
Then we come to the infamous “GeeBaby Brass Section”. Almost a show in their own right. Featuring Martyn “Hot Lips” Harries on trumpet, “Savio” on trombone and “Nick” on alto sax.
The Band History
The early years were spent on the south and southwest circuits, before long, we were playing all over the UK, “tuning” our skills and developing our reputation for reliability and professionalism.
We’ve played at a number of “Festivals” both, regional and national, plus, we’ve had the pleasure of supporting or touring with a number of world class bands, “James Brown”, “Jools Holland”, and “Maceo Parker” amongst others.
We’ve also been involved in TV, from regional interviews and documentaries to national broadcasts on BBC1, BBC2, ITV and channel 4. This has led to us playing several “secret” celebrity weddings and events. The bands motto is “passion and respect”, so we won’t mention any names, and Yes! We also received the request that everyone dreams of, “Buckingham Palace”, again, we won’t say too much, but a great time was had by all.
A chorister from the age of 8, he was vocally trained at the Chiswick Choristers Society and the Manchester School of Music. Representing England, he sang all over the U.K. and Europe, including, the Royal Albert Hall, Westminster Abbey and St. Peters in Rome. He formed his first band at age 15, and by the mid 70′s, was touring the U.K. in a punk band called “Raw Material”. By 1985, after a period of rest and recovery, he moved to Bristol, returning to his roots, joining the Clifton Cathedral Choir.
It wasn’t long before the desire to be “gigging” again, took hold and he joined local funk band “Pure Motivation”. After a couple of years, due to musical differences, the band fell apart, the remnants of which, he used to form the original “Gee Baby.” Among his many influences, he considers Wilko Johnson -Dr. Feelgood, Tom Waits and Tony Bennett to be his favorites.
Started singing at school, and was soon singing vocals with various bands of diverse musical styles, during this time she started songwriting, leading to a publishing deal with Bright Music. During the 80′s, she sang backing vocals with Les Gray in the chart band “Mud”, touring worldwide through EMI. She had also recorded numerous “sessions” for major labels, BBC, etc., and has been a front-line member of Gee Baby since 1998.
Martyn “Hot Lips” Harries
Started playing trumpet at ten, and went on to study at the Royal Welsh College of music and drama, (so he should be able to play the right notes in the right order!) He can generally be spotted playing at a classical concert, then “legging” it down the road, to swop Bach for James Brown, at a Gee Baby gig. He loves the variety of playing in different styles and considers that, playing with Gee Baby has taught him as much about music, as his college did. His influences include… Chet Baker, Wynton Marsalis and Marceo Parker.
He started playing sax, when a friend, Rupert (now known as Photeck) gave him a copy of “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis, this turned his world upside down, leading to him moving through Jazz to funk, ending up in a Funk band “Big World Skunk,” playing the Jazz Café, Glastonbury and Phoenix festivals, supporting such bands as The James Taylor Quartet, Finley Quaye and Tower of Power. He moved with the band to Bristol, where he was snapped up by J.O. for Gee Baby.
Grew up to a soundtrack of Motown and Soul on AM radio, nurturing an affinity for the rhythmical low frequencies of the bass guitar. He bought his first bass guitar at the age of fifteen, starting a musical passion that has been burning ever since. Following early forays through various Rock and Punk projects, his path led to the more rewarding areas of Soul, Blues, Funk and Jazz. Originally played fretless when he joined Gee Baby, but upgraded to a five string bass in ’93. In addition to powering the Gee Baby rhythm section, he produced Gee Baby’s first CD, “Flag up the Funk.”
Favorite Band: Fat Freddy’s Drop.
Favorite bass players: Bernard Edwards, Flea, Bootsy Collins.
He studied music at university, and soon moved on to playing with numerous bands, throughout U.K. and Europe, (he even did a 3 month residency in Singapore.) Gee Baby is his main band, but his services are often required by other “name” bands such as Super Furry Animals and Scissor Sisters, for major festivals and T.V. appearances.
Started playing drums in 70′s, while studying music at school, he progressed to playing in every school band, from the Orchestra, to the after school punk band. On leaving school, he played with numerous bands, from rock to cabaret, searching for the right niche, to develop his skills, when, in 1988, he answered an as in Venue Magazine, “drummer required”, placed by J.O., since that day, he has become the mainstay of the Gee Baby rhythm section.