I Am And So Are You
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 in the band when Grant Serpell graduated.
After University and a short-lived involvement in a pop group called Ice, Lynton and Grant invited Mo to play bass 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. Mike’s father guaranteed the band’s loan so they were able to purchase some amplifiers and instruments.
They 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.
They spent the summer of 1968 “getting it together” and took the name “Affinity” from the title of an Oscar Peterson LP. Their first-ever gig took place on 5 October 1968 at the Revolution Club, London. As a result of hearing the band Ronnie Scott agreed to manage them and booked them into his club where they played alongside world-class players.
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)
…provided an ideal vehicle fo the talents of stunning vocalist Linda Hoyle...with the addition of eight bonus tracks giving a whole new generation of record buyers the opportunity to revel in the prog Rock delights of cuts such as 'Three Sisters' and 'I Wonder If I'll Care As Much'.
Wexford Gazette (August 2002)
..a wonderful slice of late-sixties funky psychedelic-jazz pop. Groovy!
Tony Shevlin, East Anglian Daily Times (July 27 2002)
Vertigo label 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 of.
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (August 2002)
...colourful 60's 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 record…Would make a nice gift for someone who enjoys today's adult oriented rock.
Mike Reed Banzai (February 2003)
This collection demonstrates the group's range on such cover songs as an organ-dominated "I Am The Walrus," an expansive, 10-minute "All Along The Watchtower," the jazz-folk "Coconut Grove" and "Eli's Coming," a mesmerizing, multi-layered vocal excursion by lead singer Linda Hoyle. It's easy to understand why there was such a buzz about Hoyle at the time.
Joseph Tortelli, Goldmine (November 2006)