Stackridge being interviewed at the 2008 Glastonbury Festival. From the left: Andy Davis, James Warren, Mutter Slater and Crun Walter.
|Genres||Folk rock, pop rock, progressive rock|
|Labels||Helium Records, Rocket|
|Associated acts||The Korgis, Mutter Slater Band, Little Dixie, The Scrotes, The Blue Meanies, The Next Best Thing, James Warren & Friends|
Jim "Crun" Walter
|Past members||Mike "Mutter" Slater
Billy "Sparkle" Bent
Peter Van Hooke
Stackridge are a British folk, pop and progressive rock group who were at the height of their success during the early 1970s. The band's output is characterized by quirky humour and rhythmic catchy sing-along tunes.
Stackridge Lemon was formed from the remains of Grytpype Thynne by Andy Davis and James "Crun" Walter during 1969 in the Bristol/Bath area of the UK. After initial experimentation, the word Lemon was dropped from the band's name. The band played its first London gig at The Temple in Wardour Street on 6 February 1970. Stackridge were the opening and closing act at the first Glastonbury Festival between 19 September and 20 September 1970. During 1970 the band shared a communal flat as their headquarters at 32, West Mall in Clifton, Bristol, the address of which Davis and Warren later used as the title of a song which appeared on the debut album.
During 1971 Stackridge began serious gigging, although Crun left to take up bricklaying. The group (Davis,Warren,Bent,Evans,Slater) embarked on a UK tour supporting Wishbone Ash. Later in the year they signed to MCA Records and recorded their first album Stackridge, at De Lane Lea Studios, London. They toured the UK as headliners with Renaissance supporting and played their first John Peel session for the BBC, which included a version of The Beatles Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown).
The group continued on a year of touring, again with Wishbone Ash and Forever More. The second album Friendliness was quickly recorded in August 1972 and released in November with some songs that had started life in pre-Stackridge days. By this time Crun had rejoined the band which consisted of Davis, Warren, Slater, Evans, Walter and Billy Sparkle.
In February 1973 the band made their first television appearance on BBC2's "The Old Grey Whistle Test". They then toured during February and March with Camel in support. The third album The Man In The Bowler Hat was recorded during 1973 at AIR Studios, London with producer George Martin. The album was released in February 1974 to excellent reviews, but failed to sell in large quantities. This was their highest charting album in the UK, reaching no. 23. A different version of the album was released in the U.S. under the title Pinafore Days and became their only U.S. chart entry, peaking at no. 191, although a US tour never materialised. Almost as soon as the album was finished Warren, Walter, Evans, Sparkle and Mutter Slater were replaced by Paul Karas (bass) from the band Rare Bird, Keith Gemmell from the band Audience and Roy Morgan (drums) as Andy Davis took control. The group that went on tour to support the album sounded quite different than the one on the record.
The fourth album Extravaganza on Elton John's record label named The Rocket Record Company was recorded at AIR Studios with Tony Ashton producing and Rod Bowkett joining to contribute to the songwriting. The band now consisted of Davis, Bowkett, Gemmell, Karas and Morgan, along with the returning Slater, Evans, and Walter. Non-Stackridge written songs and cover versions became more prevalent. With more touring and an appearance at Wembley Stadium concert with Elton John and The Beach Boys, 1975 saw the recording of the band's fifth outing in the studio, the concept album Mr. Mick. It was based on stories/poems by Steve Augard and was eventually recorded at Ramport Studios, Putney with the revised line-up of Davis, Slater, Walter, Gemmell plus the addition of ex-Greenslade Dave Lawson on keyboards and Peter Van Hooke on drums.
The Rocket Record Company, the group's record label, performed considerable editing on Mr. Mick, and insisted on the inclusion of a Beatles cover song, "Hold Me Tight". The album received some good press, but some shows were abandoned on the grounds that the stages were too small. They performed a final show in April 1976, and shortly after the band disintegrated. MCA Records released the compilation Do The Stanley late in 1976. It contained songs from the first three albums along with singles and a previously unreleased song "Let There Be Lids", taken from their live performances.
Stackridge officially announced in 1977 that they had disbanded; James Warren and Andy Cresswell-Davis formed The Korgis a few years later, and had some commercial success in the early 1980s.
Stackridge Live In Concert was released by Windsong, which raised renewed interest in the band. John Sherry, Roy Morgan and Rod Lynton proposed a reunion tour, which never materialized.
During 1996, talks were held between original members about possible reunion and recording started. And the following year, 1997 Stackridge - The Radio One Sessions was released by Strange Fruit Records.
By June 1999, the Come Back To Front UK tour was under way and June that year saw Something for the Weekend released, featuring the line-up of James Warren, Jim "Crun" Walter, Mike Evans, Richard Stubbings, John Miller, and Tim Robinson. This album featured "Something about the Beatles". Then in 2001 Pick Of The Crop and The Original Mr. Mick were released on Stackridge's own DAP Records. Mike and Jennie Evans were responsible for re-marketing the band, including setting up a website. There were infrequent live guest appearances by Mike 'Mutter' Slater. However, further turmoil within the band occurred as attempts to reunite the original band led to the Evans falling out with Warren, Walter and Slater as Davis came back to the fold.
2005 saw the release of the album Sex and Flags on Angel Air Records, a collection comprising many songs from 'Something for the Weekend', all six songs from the fan release only limited edition 'Lemon' CD in 2002, and two Andy Davis demo recordings. The album was the first since 1973 (apart from the 'Lemon' mini CD) to feature the core foursome of Warren, Davis, Walter and Slater.
A spring 2007 tour was announced featuring this line-up, along with additional musicians. A show at The Rondo Theatre, Bath, on April 1, 2007 was filmed for a DVD, released under the title Forbidden City (also available as a CD release). The band continued to perform during 2008.
Stackridge signed up with reissue experts Angel Air in 2005 and all their albums have the latest Angel Air CD/DVD catalogue numbers ascribed to them. All the CDs have extensive sleeve notes, pictures of memorabilia and bonus tracks and two, Mr Mick and Forbidden City are double CD sets.
In 2008 they returned to the Glastonbury Festival to play the acoustic stage on Sunday afternoon. They also appeared at the 2008 Rhythm Festival in Bedford, England and Fairport's Cropredy Convention.
An album (A Victory For Common Sense - including a rework of the Korgi's "Boots and Shoes") was released on 13 July 2009 on Helium Records.
As of June 12, 2010, it was announced that Mutter Slater had resigned from Stackridge. The stated reason was that, because of his full-time job, he could not always accept weekday bookings without taking a day out of his holiday entitlement. The announcement concluded "The rest of the band are very sorry to see him go, but will continue as a seven piece at least until the end of the year. Rehearsals will take place over the next two months to create a new direction, ready for Autumn/Winter gigs."
On March 14, 2011, the band performed live on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson performing "The Last Plimsoll".
- Andy Cresswell-Davis - lead guitars, keyboards, ukulele, vocals (1969–1976, 2002, 2007–present)
- James Warren - guitars, vocals (1969–1973, 1999–2002, 2007–present)
- Glenn Tommey - keyboards, trombone, vocals, sticks, flute, ukulele (2007–present)
- Eddie John - drums, ukulele (2007, 2008–present)
- Clare Lindley - violin, guitar, ukulele, vocals (2009–present)
- Jim "Crun" Walter - bass (1969–1971, 1972–1973, 1974–1976, 1999–2002, 2007–2012)
- Mike 'Mutter' Slater- flute, vocals, keyboards, penny whistles (1969–1973, 1974–1976, 2002, 2007–2010)
- Mike Evans - violin, vocals (1969–1973, 1974–1975, 1999–2002)
- Billy "Sparkle" Bent - drums (1969–1973)
- Keith Gemmell - saxophone, clarinet, flute (1973–1976)
- Roy Morgan - drums (1973–1975)
- Rod Bowkett - keyboards (1973–1975)
- Paul Karas - bass (1973–1975)
- Dave Lawson - keyboards (1975–1976)
- Peter Van Hooke - drums (1975–1976)
- Richard Stubbings - flute, accordion, keyboards, guitar, pennywhistle, vocals, whistling (1999–2002)
- Tim Robinson - drums (1999–2002)
- John Miller - keyboards, vocals (1999–2000)
- Ian Towers - keyboards, vocals, guitars (2000–2002)
- Ruth Evans - violin, backing vocals (1999–2000)
- Nina Smith - violin, backing vocals (1999–2000)
- Sarah Mitchell - violin, vocals, keyboards, whistle, tambourine (2007–2011)
- Nigel Newton - lead guitars (2007)
- Katy Salvidge - violin (2007)
- Rachel Hall - violin (2007–2009)
- Andy "Codge" Marsden - drums (2007–2008)
- Stackridge (1971) Angel Air SJPCD 230 (original vinyl; UK MCA and US Decca)
- Friendliness (1972) Angel Air SJPCD 231 (original vinyl; UK MCA and US MCA)
- The Man In The Bowler Hat (1974) Angel Air SJPCD 232 (original vinyl; UK MCA)
- Pinafore Days (US release of The Man in the Bowler Hat; 1974; original vinyl, US Sire)
- Extravaganza (1975) Angel Air SJPCD 233 (original vinyl; UK Rocket and US Sire)
- Mr. Mick (1976) (original vinyl; UK Rocket - no US issue)
- Do the Stanley (1976, compilation, one previously unreleased track "Let There Be Lids") (original vinyl; UK MCA - no US issue)
- BBC Radio 1 In Concert (1996, originally Windsong WINCD 019) Strange Fruit SFRSCD 032
- The Radio 1 Sessions (1996) Strange Fruit SFRSCD 40
- More (4 alternative 'Something for the Weekend' mixes) (1998, fan club only CD)
- Something for the Weekend (1999) Angel Air SJPCD 235
- Pick of the Crop : Official Bootleg No. 1 (2000, live at Cropredy Festival, 12 August 2000) Dap 104CD
- CD-Romp: The Official Stackridge Bootleg No. 2 (2001) Dap 105CD
- The Original Mr Mick (2001, with Rocket Records official 'butchered' version and extra CD with album as intended by band) Angel Air SJPCD 234
- Lemon 2002 (2002; fan club only; no label)
- Sex and Flags (2005, compilation of most of Something for the Weekend, all of Lemon 2002 plus two Andy Davis demos) Angel Air SJPCD 205
- Purple Spaceships Over Yatton: The Best Of [2006, 19 track compilation, with new recording of title track, October 2006] Angel Air SJPCD 228
- The Forbidden City (2008, live at Rondo Theatre, Bath, 1 April 2007) Angel Air SJPCD 251
- Anyone For Tennis (CD and DVD set, combining Purple Spaceships Over Yatton: Best of CD and Forbidden City DVD with new photos and new, extensive sleevenotes, September 2008) Angel Air SJPCD 271
- A Victory For Common Sense (2009) (Helium B002C6K7UI)
- The Forbidden City (July 2007 - live at Rondo Theatre, Bath - 1 April 2007) Angel Air NJPDVD 630
- Lewis, Paul (2008-05-31). "T. Rex, the Kinks ... Stackridge? Return of unsung band that started it all off". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-05-31.