The Chequers - Hard Times / If You Want My Love (Vinyl 7")
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The Chequers - Hard Times / If You Want My Love (7", RE)
Started as a reggae band, Chequers were formed by the Matthias Brothers, John & Richard, in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire in 1973. Inititally releasing in the early part of the 1970s (with their first single Rudi's In Love charting in the UK) their sound then developed to also incorporate Philly soul influences in the mid-70s, then releasing a rare but solid LP 'Check Us Out', in 1976. The group eventually evolved into a seven piece funk outfit in the late 70s, playing shows to larger and larger audiences and touring throughout the UK & Europe.
1980 saw the birth of the Matthias brothers' own small independent outlet for the group, Matthias Records. The press release of the new label's first single declared that their "roots in the reggae and soul music of the last mod era" were being brought up to date, now embracing "the music of today and tomorrow...". That 45 (the cheeky pop-punk meets ska cover version of Midnight Hour, backed with the uptempo instrumental funk of Move Up) didn't necessarily come good on that promise. 3 years would then pass until this 45 showcased the throughly-updated & stellar electro-boogie sound of Hard Times and it's equally strong b-side If You Want My Love.
Following this neither Matthias Records nor Chequers as a group ever released anything further - the record's scarcity (and hideously inflated prices on today's secondhand market) hint at low sales and potential distribution problems upon it's original release, perhaps leading to the label and the group calling it a day. Conjecture aside, there's really no denying this record slaps, and with discogs prices reaching beyond ridiculous levels there is only one option - get it before it's gone!
(Click Track To Listen)