Widely regarded as one of the UK’s most influential bands of the 1980’s, their timeless debut ‘Dancing in Outer Space’ has stood the test of time and considered a dance floor classic, still shaking bars and clubs around the world to this day…

The band’s combination of groove inspired bass-lines, future sounding synth patterns and sound FX over fast paced drum patterns, made Atmosfear inspirational.

Originally formed in 1978 in North West London, by the following year they comprised of the following members: Lester J. Batchelor (bass)Raymond Johnson (drums)Andy Sojka (guitar)Stewart Cawthorne (saxophone)Tony Antoniou (lead vocals)Jerry Pike (percussion & sound FX)Peter Hinds (keys) and Leroy Williams (percussion).

With the dance floor success of ‘Dancing in Outer Space’, Atmosfear were soon signed to MCA Records and hit the UK Top 30 which was soon followed up with a double A side single ‘Xtract’ / ‘Motivation’. In 1982 Lester wrote a song called ‘Xtra Special’ that was to showcase the vocal talents of Beverley Skeete, who today is still one of the UK’s most prolific vocalists and more recently is lead singer with Bill Wyman’s band, The Rhythm Kings. The same song was also recorded by Dolette McDonald, who is best known for singing background vocals with Sting andDavid Byrne of Talking Heads.

After the break up of the band in the mid 1980’s, their sounds continued to be well sampled in the years that followed and by the end of the 1990’s a string of re-releases featuring remixes by the likes of Masters at Work & Dimitri From Paris, took place.

In 2010, Atmosfear returned as Atmosfear-2 with Lester and Ray heading up a line-up of the UK’s best musicians including fellow band original Peter Hinds and Ben Pegley on guitar. In June of that year they played their long awaited comeback gig at Summer Soulstice alongside another UK act returning to the live circuit, Savanna.

It was an ‘Xtra Special’ occasion upon the Main Stage on that chilly June evening, as the Summer Soulstice crowd gathered to watch some musical history being made and unlike the weather that day, Atmosfear-2 certainly did not disappoint.

Atmosfear's Lester Bachelor at Summer Soulstice 2010.
Photo by Paul Welch ©Summer Soulstice Ltd.

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