The Sweets of Sin are an Australian experimental crossover pop band with strong modern classical, jazz and performance influences. The group formed in Adelaide in 1985 by Frank Mankyboddle (aka Frank Möller) on vocals, guitar and percussion; and Steve Z (Stephen Lock) on soprano and tenor saxophones, French horn, flute, clarinet, keyboards, vocals and keyboard programming. The band's name was from Ulysses by James Joyce on the instigation of Steve Z. They relocated to Sydney in 1986 and issued a self-titled debut album in 1987 on Jarra Hill Records. The group moved to Berlin in 1989 and disbanded there in 1994. Mankyboddle reformed the group in 2002 and they issued Me-ism in 2004.
History[edit | edit source]
Adelaide: 1985–86[edit | edit source]
In 1985 The Sweets of Sin were formed in Adelaide by Frank Mankyboddle (vocals, percussion, guitar, songwriting) who had been the lead-singer of an 8-piece new soul band, Del Webb Explosion (1980–83), and Steve Z (French horn, saxophones, keyboard, composition) previously playing with Empty Vessels.
In 1984 Mankyboddle, known as Frank Möller, had formed Ship of Fools immediately after leaving Del Web Explosion. He was joined by Z (aka Stephen Lock) who provided the band's name, The Sweets of Sin, from the novel, Ulysses, by James Joyce. Both Mankyboddle and Z wanted to change their musical styles, they were influenced by modern classical (but also baroque) composers: Stravinsky, Ravel, Messiaen, Debussy, Reich, Arvo Pärt and Cage; to pop artists: Japan, Talking Heads, Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson, Dead Can Dance, Hector Zazou and King Crimson. Their sound formed around modal harmonies and intensive rhythmic patterns. They started performing as a two-piece with theatrical antics, at concert nights sometimes wedged between punk rockers, The Celibate Rifles, and power pop group, The Mad Turks from Istanbul, irritating conservative reviewers. By 1986 the duo realised that Adelaide did not support their style and moved to Sydney adding Daniel O'Shea Clements – previously the trumpeter in Del Webb Explosion – on drums, percussion and vocals.
Members[edit | edit source]
- Frank Mankyboddle - vocals, percussion, guitar
- Stephen Lock - french horn, saxophone, keyboard