Claire's Kitchen
by Soho

Songfacts®:

  • On page 3 of the 7 November 1992 issue of New Musical Express appeared a curious article: Sex scandal hits Soho.

    Its subject was the not Soho as in Al Stewart's "Soho Needless To Say", but the band Soho, whose album Thug included the track "Claire's Kitchen" which, they claimed, led them to becoming the targets of "a mysterious spate of illegal surveillance". The song is said to allude to a rumored sex scandal involving a senior Conservative Government Cabinet Minister. The band's Timothy Brinkhurst told the paper it was written after they became privy to information about a leading politician who was not named for legal reasons.

    This may sound like an attempt to hype up the album, but like American, Italian and French politics - indeed politics everywhere - sex and scandal are always in the background, and sometimes in the foreground. The 1963 "Profumo Affair" is alluded to by Al Stewart in his list song "Post World War II Blues", but in 1992 there was something much more recent in the pipeline.
  • In 2010, Timothy Brinkhurst (now Timothy London) named the suspect openly in Soho Story: John Major. Major, who was all but unknown outside of party politics, became Prime Minister in 1990 after the downfall of Margaret Thatcher. According to Brinkhurst/London:

    "Shortly after John Major became Prime Minister of the UK I was given some information about him from a trusted source. Apparently this married champion of back-to-basics, warm beer and family, family, family was shagging the official caterer for number 10 who's company name became the title of the song. It was a blatant attempt on our part to undermine a right wing sod who took over from Margaret Thatcher as leader of the Tory party. Unfortunately, no-one noticed, not until over a year later, when various newspapers started publishing allusions to the affair to which Major responded with threats to sue. We were interviewed by The Independent and others and our studio phone was tapped (probably by a newspaper) and the whole thing blew over and Major was, astonishingly, re-elected, proving that middle-Britain will always elect a used car salesman if he bats well at cricket."

    That may have been the case, but unfortunately for the left wing New Statesman magazine, the rumor was totally unfounded. Major issued libel writs against the rag - and its editor, printer and distributors - and ended up nearly bankrupting it.
  • Clare Latimer was the official caterer for the Prime Minister, but although Major's affair with her was a total fabrication, in 2002, the at times controversial Conservative politician Edwina Currie admitted in her diaries that she'd had an affair with him between 1984 and 1988, much to the chagrin of Steve Platt, who had edited the New Statesman at the time. In an October 2002 article for the Labour Party newspaper Tribune, he blasted Major "liar, cheat, hypocrite."
  • Claire's Kitchen" from the 2008 Remixed Thug album runs to 3 minutes 4 seconds. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above

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