Presumably, Helen McCookerybook's life story begins with the meeting of Mr and Mrs McCookerybook, but that’s making a whole bunch of assumptions. So moving on and noting that her blog states that ‘Papa was a rolling pin’, we can quickly fast forward to 1976, and Helen’s musical life begins as bass-player in punk band, Joby and the Hooligans, dubbed 'the worst band in Brighton'. The band morphed into The Chefs, a poppy post-punk band that became favourites of the late John Peel, who played their single '24 Hours' constantly, making it an indie hit. (In fact, it remains a favourite with my friend who writes a very good music blog with the mission of bringing Tsonga Disco to the masses – go check it out. Oh dear, as so often is the case, I’m wandering off the point). After the Chefs, our heroine formed Helen and the Horns, which was an unusual band in that it consisted of a 3-piece horn section, Helen on guitar and no bass and drums. Helen tells us that they played to everyone from pogoing audiences in Coventry and waltzing graduates in taffeta at the Café Royale in Piccadilly. Again, Peel championed the band and they recorded several sessions for him before releasing the album 'Hell Hath No Horns' on their own label.
Press fast forward again and after a couple of decades raising a family and working in higher education, a chance offer of a gig by a student led to her resuming her career, this time as a solo artist. Her self-released CD 'Suburban Pastoral' in 2006 led to a deal with Voiceprint, who released 'Poetry and Rhyme' in 2008 and a co-release 'Hamilton Square' with her partner, Martin Stephenson in 2009. She continues to record both solo and with Martin, (and yes, he is the same Martin who penned Boat to Bolivia with The Daintees), and in the last few years has played everywhere from North Carolina to an allotment in Cheshire, which of course makes her exactly the kind of person who is very welcome at The Wild Hare Club.
Helen’s only Wild Hare Club show (so far) was on the same bill as Don Letts and John Cooper Clarke, one of the jolliest evenings in the Wild Hare Club’s history/herstory.