This County Down, Northern Ireland-based band was formed in the mid-90s by brothers Ken (b. 26 July 1970, Swaziland; vocals/guitar) and Carl Papenfus (b. 2 May 1974, Belfast, Northern Ireland; vocals/drums), and Darren Campbell (b. 2 November 1972, Kilkeel, County Down, Northern Ireland; vocals/bass). The Papenfus brothers are the offspring of a mixed South African marriage. Their mother was a successful solo jazz artist in South Africa who was signed to EMI Records in the early 70s. Conceived at the height of Britpop, Relish were initially viewed as unfashionable with their distinct funk/soul influence marking them out from other Irish rock bands. Following a series of auditions in the Papenfus’ living room in front of a bemused number of record company A&R personnel, the band signed to EMI Ireland in 1998. Over a period of two years, they recorded their debut, Wildflowers, with producer John Leckie. The album, and particularly its lead singles, ‘Let It Fly’ and ‘Rainbow Zephyr’, brimmed over with direct soul and gospel influences, soft in tone but with a clear rock edge. Because of their varying social and political backgrounds, the band members approach song topics considerately, fashioning socialistic messages in a non-too radical yet left-of-centre style. Relish are one of the first Irish rock bands since Thin Lizzy to feature a vocalist who looks as cool as he sings.
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