Features / Retrospective

Retrospective | Mambo Taxi

Mambo Taxi. Copyright Mark Bukumunhe.

The early 90s were a magical time to hear interesting, independent music. Ok, you could hear interesting independent music any time in history, obviously it wasn’t limited to that one era but for now cast aside all logic and remember the riot grrrl scene in London in the early 90s. Along with Huggy Bear and Voodoo Queens, Mambo Taxi were also a heavy feature on the scene.

Formed in 1991, the band was made up of Ella Guru (guitar / vocals), Andrea Stallard (organ), Lenie Mets (bass / vocals), Delia Sparrow (guitar / vocals) and Anjali Bhatia (drums). Heavily influenced by UK garage, girl groups such as thee headcoatees and the emerging riot grrrl scene the band mixed pop sensibilities with punked up power chords to create memorable ditties such as ‘Poems on the Underground’ or funny songs such as ‘Do You Always Dress Like That’.

According to Wikipedia the band took their name from the film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and it refers to the mambo taxi the film’s heroine uses. I’m not really sure how much you can rely on Wikipedia so believe that if you want, if it is true it’s a vaguely interesting piece of information.

In 1992 Anjali left to form Voodoo Queens. She was replaced by Karin Rapp from Huggy Bear. Mambo Taxi went on to release a number of singles and their only album, In Love With, in 1994. After their debut release the band released another single and contributed the song ‘Brett From Suede…’ to the Gay Pride (You Don’t Know What Your Missing) compilation and broke up in 1995.

There really is much around about Mambo Taxi. It took all I had to find those tidbits of information. Although there isn’t much left of their impact on music history for us to take in, what we do have is enough to know that they were a great band that deserved to be remembered.

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