Keef Trouble

Keef Trouble

Keef Trouble (born Keith Trussell, 1949, Greenwich, London,) is an English composer, singer and musician.

Trouble studied at The Slade School of Fine Art, London, from 1968 to 1972. He is a founding member of the still performing cult British country-blues band Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts [ [ The official Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts website ] ] as vocalist, guitarist, and player of the Zobstick, (also known as the Lagerphone or Monkey stick,) and electric ironing board. Commercial success came in 1972 under the guise of Terry Dactyl and the Dinosaurs with "Seaside Shuffle" with fellow band members Graham Hine, John Randall, and Jona Lewie (of "Stop the Cavalry" notability). This record became a hit in Europe and Australia, and reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart. The signature audio enhancements associated with 'Seaside Shuffle,' including the use of thunder and rain, seagulls, and moving cars, were promoted by performance and fine artist Trouble, the other members of the band being initially reluctant.

Trouble has produced two albums of his own: Oasis and Kix 4 U, for Sun House Records, available on CD Baby. He has collaborated with Tony O’Malley [] , previously from the bands 10cc, Kokomo and Arrival, recently writing the lyrics for O’Malley’s Mr. Operator and Naked Flame. O’Malley has also contributed to Trouble’s recordings, as have artists such as saxophonist Mel Collins, ex Roxy Music and The Grease Band guitarist Neil Hubbard, and vocalists Dyan Birch and Frank Collins. He recently produced the Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts' album Keep on Moving. Co-producer and audio engineer of Keep on Moving was Pete Ker, another long-standing associate of Trouble, who produced The Motors, Man, and Arthur Brown (musician), co-writing Brown’s Fire.

Keef Trouble is also part of the folk rock band The Okee Dokee Band, writing much of its original material. This band plays throughout West Sussex and Kent, and is a regular feature at the Broadstairs Folk Week. []

Trouble’s association with Jona Lewie has been long-standing; he wrote the lyrics and title for Lewie's Top 10 hit You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties. Lewie found the complete set of lyrics written out in Keef's unreturned lyric book that was lent to him in 1978, and added some minor word changes of his own, eg: ‘then I met this sexy thing’ to ‘then I met this debutante,’ and ‘heavy rock' to ‘new wave rock.’ However the initial signing, pressing and distribution of the hit record for some reason omitted to credit Trouble; this subsequently rectified.

The first recordings of Trouble’s compositions ‘Oasis’ and ‘Mix ‘n’ Mingle’ from the album 'Oasis' took place at Lewie’s 'home-built studio' in Streatham. Trouble had been for years a regular visitor, carrying out many decorating and maintenance works out of friendship for free or expenses. Under Lewie's suggestion, Trouble was encouraged to re-fit Lewie’s bathrooms as agreed payment for the recording of the two songs. Lewie, waiting for re-fit completion and recording to finish, decided that he wanted more than was agreed, and held back the tapes. The intersession of the great jazz artist and friend of Trouble, Tony O’Malley, who had arranged ‘Mix ‘n’ Mingle’ and contributed the backing track and vocals, aided by Roxy Music guitarist Neil Hubbard, ensured that reason prevailed; Lewie finally relinquished the tape of ‘Mix ‘n’ Mingle.’ Trouble had already secured a deal with Rod Buckle (Habana Music) for the release and distribution of ‘Mix ‘n’ Mingle.’ Unfortunately, through difficulties caused at the Lewie studio, lateness in the production of the product caused this deal to fall.

The recording of ‘Oasis’ was produced at the Lewie home-studio by the experienced and notable record producer and expert engineer Pete Ker, (mentioned above,) ‘overseen’ by Lewie. After Lewie decided not to release the tape of ‘Oasis,’ (see above,) Ker offered to completely re-record the song at a professional recording studio, Ferry Sound, for free. ‘Oasis’ finally saw the light of day through the grace of a real gentleman, Pete Ker, to whom all thanks were due.

Keef Trouble's original words under the title: 'You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties'

'You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties,' copied verbatim from a 1970's hand-written duplication from his lyrics book still held by Jona Lewie:

I’m no good at chatting up I always get rebuffed
Enough to drive a man to drink, I don’t do no washing up
I always leave the stuff piled up, piled up in the sink
But you’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties
You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties.

Me and my girlfriend argued, she ran away from home
She musta found somebody new, now I’m all alone
Living on my own, what am I supposed to do
You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties.

I met this sexy thing, she laugh and talk with me
She was into French cuisine, but I aint no cor-don-blea
This was at some do in Palmer’s Green, I had no luck with her
You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties.


Jona Lewie’s complete additions and adaptions, with Keef Trouble words in brackets:

‘At last (I met this) pretty girl, (she laugh and talk with me.)'
‘(Then I met this) debutante (I said I like) new wave rock,’
'We both walked out of the kitchen and danced in a brand new way.’ and
‘Done my time (in the kitchen at parties.)'

Interview Extracts:

Keef Trouble on London's Greater London Radio where he talked extensively about his time with Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts (April 14th 2002):

"It was blues singer Jo Ann Kelly, sadly no longer with us, who helped and encouraged the Bretts. We were all art students - still at school in '68, even before Ry Cooder got going properly!"

"Everything was 'Orange Bicycle' and 'Technicolor Yawn', so we became Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts as a reaction against the prissy flower power movement."

"Quite incredible really, we ran the 'Blues Club' on Sunday afternoons at Studio 51 in Great Newport Street, London - the Rolling Stones had done it before and Jo-Ann handed it on to us. It was, of course, run by Pat and Vi - Ken Collier did the Jazz in the evenings."

"Howling Wolf came down one afternoon and jumped up to jam. Ronnie Watts and the Blues Federation had brought him over from the United States. I got him to autograph one of his albums - he signed his real name, Chester Burnett! Then he quizzed me, concerned about whether he'd received his rightful royalties or not. The giant bottle of whisky he was holding looked like one of those miniatures in his hands! He was 6 foot 7, you know!"

"By then, Jo-Ann Kelly had recommended us to London deejays Mike Raven and John Peel, who'd both played our album on national radio. We performed a live session for John Peel at the BBC, which brought our music to a far wider audience."

"We supported our hero, Son House, at Euston Town Hall in London - he sported thecustomary big bottle of whisky!"

"Arthur Big Boy Crudup played with us at Studio 51. He's the guy who wrote 'That's All Right (Mama),' Elvis Presley's first hit, and he played that song all night long! 'that's alright mama, that's alright for you......' Mind you, he musta been ninety-years-old, even then!"

"And Fred McDowell at the Bridge House near the Elephant and Castle, we backed him, too."

"The band signed up to Robert Stigwood's Agency in 1970 and toured the U.K. supporting Eric Clapton's Derek & the Dominoes."

"In 1972 the band scored a huge hit with 'Seaside Shuffle,' which got to No. 2 in the U.K. charts under the guise of Terry Dactyl and the Dinosaurs. In those days it was weird. Anything with a commercial edge was frowned on, so we went under different names, apart from when we played the blues."

This interview with further information about Keef Trouble and 'Oasis' found here. []


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