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Stereo MCs are still connected

PUBLISHED: 16:16 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:27 05 October 2010

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Leaping to fame in the early 1990s, some may have thought acid jazz outfit the Stereo MCs had faded into obscurity. They appeared in Hoxton Square this week to launch their new album, when Eleanore Robinson made a connection with DJ and producer Nick Hallam, also known as The Head’

Leaping to fame in the early 1990s, some may have thought acid jazz outfit the Stereo MCs had faded into obscurity. They appeared in Hoxton Square this week to launch their new album, when Eleanore Robinson made a connection with DJ and producer Nick Hallam, also known as 'The Head'

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MANY of their contemporaries have retired to country piles, but Nineties legends Stereo MCs were in Hoxton on Wednesday (July 16) launching their seventh album Double Bubble.

The band's name was made with hits like Step It Up and Connected.

But rather than basking in their success, the five-piece have kept on plugging away.

Ahead of the performance at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, the band's DJ and producer Nick Hallam explained what has motivated him and fellow members Rob B, Cath Coffey, Owen If and Rachel Birch to keep at it.

"We have more energy and enthusiasm than we ever had," Nick says.

"We love all the new music that is coming out. That is what keeps us going, never larger than life, never wanting to live the high life, putting all our money back into our studios.

"We felt if we moved, we would be out of touch."

Nick says that leaving their record label Island had also given the band a new lease of life.

"I think we felt more back in control of what we are doing," he explains. "We felt we were stagnating where we were."

The band's new album would be more up-beat than previous offerings, he adds, thanks to the influence of the electro outfits that are dominating the music scene at the moment.

Nick confessed that it would be pretty nerve-wracking giving its first play in front of a tiny Hoxton audience.

"It is something quite scary," he confesses.

"We are doing a lot of festivals at the moment and it's kind of hard playing to a small crowd.

"It is nice doing it in a little club and we will hopefully just have a laugh. The Hold Tight DJs will be there and some girls from Brixton called Real Heat doing a half hour set."

The band, from Brixton, chose the venue in Hoxton Square after working with the Hold Tight crew who run a night at Old Street club 333.

Nick and charismatic vocalist Rob B have known each other since they were seven years old and started the Stereo MCs in 1986 after being influenced by the emergence of hip hop in the 1980s.

They recorded their first tracks at Gee Street Studios in Farringdon and used to be regular visitors to the Hoxton area "before it became all restaurants and warehouse apartments."

The group still have a punishing schedule. After the Hoxton gig they were jetting off to play back-to-back festivals in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

"We have got about 15 festivals until October," Nick explains. "Then we're going 'on tour'.

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