Stackridge, St John’s Church (Farncombe, Surrey, UK. April 26th 2013)
I’ve always wanted to turn up to a live music event and be able to say ‘I’m with the band!’ and tonight at Stackridge’s show I was able to do just that because my brother-in-law needed an extra pair of hands to help sell the merchandise and I got in as ‘crew’. Thanks Mike!
Stackridge, a (very) British progressive pop/folk band enjoyed some success in the 1970’s when no less a luminary than Beatles’ producer George Martin put his stamp on their album THE MAN IN THE BOWLER HAT. It was released in 1974 to overwhelmingly favourable reviews and songs from it featured tonight including The Road to Venezuela and The Last Plimsoll.
Stackridge recorded and performed throughout the first half of the 1970’s but disbanded in 1977. Two of the founding members, Andy Davis and James Warren subsequently formed The Korgis and enjoyed hits particularly with If I Had You and Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime, both of which were also included in tonight’s set list.
There was a re-formation of sorts in the 1990’s but Stackridge really re-formed in 2007; currently they tour as a five-piece. In addition to Davis and Warren the line up includes Glenn Tommey, Eddie John and Clare Lindley. The quintet employs a range of different instruments – guitars, keyboards, ukuleles, trombone, flute, violin and drums. They are a tight knit group and excellent musicians – it is no wonder Davis was invited to play on John Lennon’s IMAGINE album. They are known for their somewhat idiosyncratic style – quirky lyrics underpinned by catchy melodies.
Although Stackridge’s canon dates back some forty years or so, they released an album of new material in 2009 A VICTORY FOR COMMON SENSE. It is more commercially accessible than their earlier material and they covered ground from it (Red Squirrel, Lost and Found and Boots and Shoes) and furthermore brought matters right up to date by commencing with a brand new song, Horizon, written by John and Lindley.
Throughout the 90-minute set they showcased their musicianship not least with the extended instrumental God Speed the Plough, acknowledged the influence of John, Paul, George and Ringo on Something About the Beatles and had the audience clapping along from the first note of Fish in a Glass.
An evening in Stackridge’s company is a lot of fun but don’t just take my word for it – fans travel far and wide to see them perform and few are more devoted than a couple who travel all the way from Tokyo to see their favourites play. Said couple were rewarded with an encore especially dedicated to them – Fundamentally Yours. The evening finished on a cheerful note when to much mirth and merriment Dora the Female Explorer bade us all a good night! Jela Webb
Photo credit: Richard Webb