Cahoots 1984: Richard Sinclair, Phil Miller,
Elton Dean, Peter Lemer, Pip Pyle
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When was In Cahoots formed ?
Cahoots was formed in November 1982.
What was In Cahoots' original line-up?
What is the current line-up?
Cahoots started with informal rehearsals involving Phil
Miller, Richard Sinclair and Pip Pyle, who were soon joined by
Elton Dean, then Peter Lemer [this quintet line-up is shown on
the above photo]. The current line-up consists of Miller
(guitar), Lemer (keyboards), Fred T. Baker (bass), Mark
Fletcher (drums), and newest recruits Theo Travis (sax) and
Simon Finch (trumpet).
How did the original members of In Cahoots
meet? Had they worked together previously ?
Miller, Richard Sinclair and Pip Pyle
had been together in Hatfield and the North between 1972-75.
Miller and Pyle had also played together in National Health
Pyle and Elton Dean had been playing together
in Soft Heap since 1978. They had previously toured Europe
in 1976 in the unrecorded quartet The Weightwatchers
alongside Keith Tippett and Jim Richardson.
Why did they choose the name In Cahoots?
"To be in
cahoots with somebody", means "to be planning something
dishonest with somebody".
How many albums have In Cahoots released?
Cahoots are featured prominently on Phil Miller's
solo albums Cutting Both Ways (1987) and Split
Seconds (1989). Later albums have been released under
the name Phil Miller / In Cahoots : Live 1986-89
(1991), Live In Japan (1993), Recent Discoveries
(1994), Parallel (1996), Out Of The Blue
(2001), All That (2003), Conspiracy Theories
(2006) and Mind Over Matter (2011). Which makes a
total of eight studio albums and two live albums. Miller
has also released the solo album Digging In (1991),
which features several members of In Cahoots, and Double
Up (1992), a duo album with Fred Baker.
Why were particular titles chosen for
albums and compositions?
Both Ways" - means "having two appropriate and
opposite ways of being applied", referring of course to the
dual approach on the album, with In Cahoots tracks on the
one hand, and Stewart-Miller duos on the other.
Shoulder" - this phrase refers to the strip of
hardened land beside a motorway for vehicles leaving the
road in an emergency ("bande d'arrêt d'urgence", in French)
Of Speech" - means "words or phrases used for vivid or
dramatic effect and not literally"
Seconds" - a "split second" means "a very brief
Soul" - Phil Miller : "My wife Herm wrote the words to
that song. The title comes from a letter from a Spanish fan
who asked, 'was Richard Sinclair the Dada soul of
Talk" - means "a kind of talk that means something
very different from its apparent meaning"
Remain" - this title is obviously a reference to
"Truly Yours", of which it is actually an adaptation for
Midi instruments by Miller and Stewart
In" - "to dig in" means "to begin eating or working
energetically"; "to dig oneself in" means "to dig a
defensive trench or pit" or "to establish oneself securely"
Holds Barred" - means "all methods are permitted"
To Lydia" - a reference to Lydia Domancich, elder
sister of Miller's ex-Hatfield colleague Sophia?
Gégé" - referring to Gérard Lhomme, a.k.a. 'Gégé', at
whose studio in Chennevières-sur-Marne (Gimini) Recent
Discoveries was recorded.
- "to simmer" means "to be in a state of excitement or anger
or laughter which is only just kept under control"
- a great wave
Who are the band's main composers?
of In Cahoots' material is written by Phil Miller, but
there are exceptions. Live 86-89 includes Hugh
Hopper's "Wanglo Saxon", Elton Dean's "Janna" and Steve
Franklin's "All Is Not Lost". The studio album Recent
Discoveries (1994) includes Elton Dean's "Riffy" and
Fred Baker's "The Opener", while All That (2003) included two
pieces first performed by the band in 1998, Peter Lemer's "Big
Dick" (a tribute to saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith) and Fred
Baker's "Upside" (a.k.a. "On The Up Side Of Things").
How much, and where, has the band toured?
A chronology of In
Cahoots' tours is available on this site.
What were the reasons for members
Sinclair, on his departure in 1985 (from a 1991
interview with Barry H. King) : "We were doing concerts
where people loved the music, but the band felt we were
getting the music wrong, and I think I was probably the
one getting it most wrong, being the most technically
inept. I wanted to do the singing, but there wasn't a lot
of singing for me to do. It was like the end of the
Hatfield days. I really loved the music and tried, but I
didn't come up with the goods. I came up with it in more
my own stance, so I didn't fulfill the role, which was a
problem for Phil. So it wasn't too much of a shock for me
when they said, look, we're going to have other people in
the band... For me, it was quite a relief, honestly,
because I had my own things to do...".
Where are they now?
Miller continued to lead In Cahoots until 2011, when
the band's final album Mind Over Matter was
released. He was also a member of The Relatives, featuring
his old Delivery bandmate Jack Monck on bass. There is a Phil Miller legacy
website with more information and lots of audio and
Sinclair played with various one-off groups until the
end of the decade. In 1990, he reformed Caravan, and the
following year started leading his own group, Caravan Of
Dreams. He released two solo albums, Caravan Of Dreams
(1992) and R.S.V.P. (1994). Sinclair worked with
Miller again, singing and playing bass on the track "Dada
Soul" on Miller's album Split Seconds, and with Pyle
on his R.S.V.P. album and subsequent tour dates in June
1994, and Pyle's Seven Year Itch album.
Hopper concentrated on his own bands, as well as
playing with Short Wave and Mashu among others.
Franklin has since been in the band Conglomerate.
Pyle left In Cahoots in December 2001 to lead his own
group, Pip Pyle's Bash, featuring former In Cahoots
colleague Fred Baker, alongside Patrice Meyer and Alex
Last updated : April 2018