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STACKRIDGE

STACKRIDGE The Final Bow, Bristol 2015

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Although those who love the music really, really love it, Stackridge has always been criminally overlooked in the big scheme of things. They’ve written and recorded some of the most credible/incredible pop music and yet, for whatever reasons, they’ve never really received the attention they deserve. The 2015 band was comprised of Andy Davis, James Warren, Clare Lindley, Glenn Tommey, and Eddie John. And what a band they were. On this hefty double disc set, the band plays twenty-two selections for audiences who were obviously very familiar with the material. Highlights include “Over the Horizon,” “Fundamentally Yours,” “Something About the Beatles,” “Boots and Shoes,” and “Do The Stanley Aviator Brass (Plus Audience).” Sadly it’s farewell to Stackridge after so many years and so much wonderful music. But thankfully the tracks they recorded will always be around for future generations to admire and appreciate. Recommended. Top pick.

babysue (September 2017)


Stackridge in 2015 retained the spark of the early 70s when music was still expanding and they could add solid rock, whimsy and assorted oddness to witty lyrics and fine playing. Mutter Slater guests on two tracks and if you want proof of fine playing just listen to the flute composition, ‘Purple Spaceships Over Yatton’, With Mutter soloing.

RnR Magazine (September 2017)


None of their albums unturned, the ensemble concentrate on deep tracks from both distant and recent past, and throw into the mix a couple of pieces that didn’t make it to a studio LP. The quirkiest numbers aren’t performed here, though, stressing the set list’s sentimentality: from the translucent welcome of “Over The Horizon” to “Do The Stanley” which is passed to a brass section and audience singalong, there’s dewy-eyed nostalgia fogging up the proceedings, what with Mutter Slater’s flute returning to the fold for “Slark” and “Purple Spaceships Over Yatton” to help Andy Davis and James Warren close the decades-wide circle…

…Observing the group’s route from the vantage point of today, it’s almost impossible to avoid the wondering at how many songs in their repertoire bid farewell to a moment the artists’ inhabited at any given time, because the latter-day title track is only a reflection of the “Teatime” delicacy, and there’s a firm logic in placing Davis’ extracurricular “All I Do Is Dream Of You” alongside collective creations like “Fish In A Glass” whose insistent irony wouldn’t be lost on the crowd cheering their exit – because charisma still surrounds them.

The end of the story, then? Time for the band to go? Given their whimsy, here’s hoping they’ll be back one day. ****1/3

DMME.net (August 2017)


Clare’s violin leads ‘The Road To Venezuela’ from THE MAN WITH IN THE BOWLER HAT, one of the most impressive tracks, we also recognize the intro from ‘The Last Plimsoll’ is very BEATLES with always wonderful violin. The famous ‘Syracuse The Elephant’ from the second album is very oriental and sung in a very convincing way with the violin being a true revelation illuminating the concert. The delicious ‘Teatime’ from the same album is also featured, played energetically. If the violin is king, the piano and keyboards also have their time to shine. ‘God Speed The Plough’ has solo piano which is quickly joined by the violin, the piece gains in amplitude with layered keyboards…

Highlands Magazine (Translated – August 2017)


Coming with a booklet mixing a historical perspective with the thoughts and emotions of some of the band’s fans and which also pays respect to some of the more renowned former members, The Final Bow, Bristol 2015 is a wonderful two disc, twenty-two song strong celebration of a band who stuck to their guns and delighted many. It’s never too late to discover good music, and it has to be said that Stackridge’s final goodbye makes for just as strong an introduction to a vastly underrated group, as it is a fitting farewell.

Sea Of Tranquility (July 2017)


…At the end of a moving farewell tour, they decided to give a final concert at the Fiddlers Club in Bristol on December 19, 2015. That evening they were accompanied by Glenn Tommey (keyboards, vocals), old acquaintance who once played on the first album of The Korgis in 1979, Eddie John (drums) and Clare Lindley (violin, guitar, vocals)…long-time friend Mutter Slater honours the group with his presence on two titles, ‘Purple Spaceships Over Yatton’ and ‘Slark’. Still, with the same sense of derision, Stackridge offers a festive show where good mood is in order despite a palpable emotion…

Prog Female Voices (Translated – July 2017)


This new 2CD live set was recorded at Bristol and as the title says was their ‘Final Bow’ after 45 years the band have finally called it a day. I wish them a long and happy ‘retirement’. To those of you who are familiar with their output you will find, probably, a good few favourites here, remember ‘Do The Stanley’? If you are new to the band prepare to enjoy! I found myself repeatedly going back to CD2 tracks 4-6 and just smiling the tracks in question being ‘No Ones More Important Than The Earthworm’ ‘Lost And Found’ and ‘Boots And Shoes’. ‘Earthworm’ was in fact written by Gordon Haskell (Fleur-dy-lys, Ruperts People) Gordon never became a band member but had many connections, but that’s another story! It’s just a delight of a song and a title! Those three tracks just sum up the band for me. But then there’s ‘Slark’ and ‘Dora The Female Explorer’ and…well its all just so bloody enjoyable. Its fitting this should also be Angel Airs 500th release, half a grand, but a whole grand time to be had by all. Enjoy!

ninebattles.com (July 2017)


…Mutter Slater returns to add flute to signature tune ‘Slark’, and the expansive ‘Purple Spaceships Over Yatton’ but there are newer numbers too. A sad, beautiful farewell – but, given their past, one’s never certain that Stackridge have ever split up for good.

Record Collector (July 2017)


Andy Davis shines on so many tracks but Red Squirrel and The Final Bow glow to my ears. Of course we mustn’t forget little James Warren, who many consider to be the band’s Paul McCartney to Andy Davis’s John Lennon. Here that likeness is reinforced with sweet vocals and Beatlesque harmonies and melodic bass lines, amply showcased on Fundamentally Yours and The Last Plimsol. (And yes you do recognise James Warren’s voice – he sang lead on The Korgis worldwide smash Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime.)

Both the two aforementioned songs though, first appeared on the George Martin produced The Man in the Bowler Hat, an album he held in much affection and is often considered to be one of the finest albums he produced outside of the Beatles.

In many ways the Beatles comparison is obvious and fitting, the constant need to develop and change, pulling in influences from disparate musical traditions but always remembering to write a killer tune. The difference of course is that no-one wonders why the Beatles are so under appreciated…

This parting gift is full of similar killer tunes, and after 46 years of loving them I am going to miss Stackridge live, but I have this wonderful memory of a wonderful day.

The Progressive Aspect (July 2017)


This 2-CD set captures the band at their final gig in front of a partisan and parochial audience just before Christmas 2015. Of course, we’ve had the previous live set ‘The Forbidden City’ in 2007 so this really is a gentle update as much as a poignant reminder of a great band…Fittingly, given Angel Air’s faith in the band’s more recent restoration, this is the label’s 500th release in its 20th year. Fan and manager reminiscences in the liner notes pad out an excellent souvenir. Stackridge may be history but their music lives on. ****

Get Ready to ROCK! (July 2017)


This recording of their final gig at Bristol’s Fiddlers Club marks Angel Air’s 500th album release and provides an appealing celebration of Stackridge’s quirkily melodic approach to music-making, with former frontman Mutter Slater rejoining their ranks for a couple of perennial crowd-pleasers, “Purple Spaceships Over Yatton” and the epic “Slark”.

Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (June 2017)


Stackridge are at the heart of Angel Air Records, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and is now releasing their 500th album…The Final Bow was recorded at a packed Fiddlers Club in Bristol on December 19th 2015 as Andy Davis, James Warren, Clare Lindley, Glen Tommey and Eddie John were joined on stage by former member Mutter Slater. This double CD includes ‘Over The Horizon’, ‘Long Dark River’, ‘Fish In A Glass’, ‘Slark’, ‘Lummy Days’ and ‘Purple Spaceships Over Yatton’.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (May 2017)

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STACKRIDGE Anyone For Tennis?

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The CD on this set is a ‘best of’ which has been seen before back in 2006 and is a good introduction to this quirky band who cover everything from folk through to pop, whimsical tunes like ‘The Galloping Gaucho’ and a bit of prog as can be heard on ‘Fish In A Glass’. The band are very talented musically and for those new to the band this is a good as place as any to start off.

The DVD was recorded at a concert in Bath last year and is preceded by interviews with avid fans who were obviously really looking forward to the gig. The set list comprise twenty five songs including the Korgis hit ‘Everybody’s Got To Love Sometime’ as the Korgis featured a couple of members of Stackridge. The band’s sound is expanded in the live arena by adding two female violinists, one of whom also adds backing vocals. As an added bonus you get interviews with the band members (conducted on a rooftop of all places!) where the band give some wonderful insights into the first ever Glastonbury festival.

A perfect sound and visual introduction to the band who deserve a wider audience to go with the critical acclaim they have already received down the years. ****

Jason Ritchie, www.getreadytorock.com (August 2008)


Another excellent CD/DVD package from Angel Air, this time featuring the eclectic band Stackridge.

The CD has fifteen tracks culled from the band’s entire catalogue; going back to their eponymously titled debut album from 1971 and coming right up to date with a re-working of ‘Purple Spaceships Over Yatton’.

The instrumental ‘Lummy Days’ is a strong opener, and amongst the collection are favourites such as ‘Syracuse The Elephant’ and ‘Do The Stanley’.

If you’ve never heard any of Stackridge’s music before, this is a great place to start, and it’ll have old fans digging out their old albums again.

The DVD is a gem, a live concert filmed in 2007 at a sold out Rondo Theatre in Bath. Two and a half hours of classic Stackridge music featuring the band’s main four stalwart members James Warren, Andy Davis, Mutter Slater and Crun Walter.

Martin Hutchinson. The Bolton News (August 2008)


An audio CD featuring many of the band’s finest musical moments is coupled with a DVD recorded at their concert in Bath last year…

Kevin Bryan, Stirling Advertiser


…combination of quirky pop, understated classical elements and a pastorally English songwriting maturity retains its charm down the years…

Steve Caseman, RocknReel (October 2008)


…the irresistibly melodic Squeeze-style Last Plimsoll, the gorgeous pop harmonies of Friendliness and the proggy instrumental Purple Spaceships Over Yatton indicate that Stackridge were more than funsters…a fine collection…

Classic Rock Society (October/November 2008)


A perfect melange to lose the game – and be revered now…And then go back to investigate the albums’ context.

www.dmme.net (November 2008)


…while it may be too late for Stackridge to attain any modicum of the fame and fortune that eluded them in their prime, a case could be made that for a deserving ensemble such as this, any attempt – even three and a half decades on — is still none too late.

Of course, one should expect there would be ample evidence as to why anyone other than their original diehard devotees should care about Stackridge resurfacing. So fortunately, these two double discs offer the uninitiated an enticing backwards glance of the group in all their glory via the cream of their catalogue. While ‘Anyone For Tennis?’ offers a basic compilation/compendium (as well as a DVD of the aforementioned The Forbidden City performance),

…while ‘Anyone for Tennis’ is fine for starters, it takes ‘The Forbidden City’ to prove — its intimidating title aside — that catching up on guilty pleasures like these can be ever so liberating.

Lee Zimmerman, November 2008


…many of the band’s finest musical moments…

Kevin Bryan, Stirling Advertiser (January 2009)

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STACKRIDGE Mr Mick

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Fans of the eccentric Bristolians should welcome this opportunity to compare and contrast the two creative visions on display here

Kevin Bryan, Hartlepool Mail (May 2007)


Witty lyrics, discreetly satisfying instrument embellishments and wistful West Country vocals produce a light masterpiece of gentle poignancy

RocknReel (June 2007)


…just as engaging as any of its predecessors

Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine, April 27 2007


Not an easy album to come to grips with, buit one which grows, and sounds better as a CD slab rather than two vinyl sides…

Maverick (October 2007)


Fans of the eccentric Bristollians should welcome this opportunity to compare and contrast the two creative visions on display here…

Kevin Bryan, Stirling News (Dec 2007)


Now here’s something special…they really do sound as fine as ever…They are essentially a rock band with a bluesy and sometimes funky edge and these songs give all the chance to shine, showing there’s plenty in the tank yet.

Classic Rock Society (Dec 2007)

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STACKRIDGE Extravaganza

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…their sterling efforts this time yielded beguilingly memorable tracks…Excellent stuff.

Kevin Bryan, Hartlepool Mail (April 2007)


It follows a similar idiosyncratic and distinctive approach to their earlier work, although with a more focused form of madness…

Rock n Reel (May 2007)


…there was much more to this jesterly West Country bunch than an anarchic stretching of the boundaries of folk into Old Grey Whistle Test territory…an impossible hybrid of jazz-rock and folk, though the CD retains much of the festival-friendly frolics that came as part of the original package.

Record Collector (May 2007)


As surprising as it may sound, here are comedy character vignettes worthy (and reminiscent) of Ian Dury, and a bouncy playfulness that blends music-hall tinkling, cod reggae brass and easy interludes to bring to mind The Buzzcocks, Zappa and even Madness

Derek Hammond, Record Collector (April 2007)


‘an exceptionally well-formed and functioning band with a grasp of their musical history and an ability to craft songs that pulled together an eclectic albeit potentially commercial collection of musical strands.

Danny Moore, Rock&Reel (April 2007)


Desperate recklessness could be the motivation for this record yet its motif is as jolly as it gets…a different kind of gem.

Let It Rock (April 2007)


This likeable outfit continued to mine the same rich vein of peculiarly English musical eccentricity which had won them so many friends in previous years

Kevin Bryan, Mid-Sussex Chronicle (May 2007)


…more professional musically, if lacking in off-the-wall inspiration…

Maverick (October 2007)


Wild, wacky and wonderful, this 1975 set is best described as Stackridge’s answer to Sgt. Pepper, as written by Monty Python, while simultaneously channelling the Gershwins…

Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (November 2007)

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STACKRIDGE Something For The Weekend

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Gorgeous tunes, skilfully played with just the right amount of light and shade, and recorded with evident love and care, rendered one of the band’s best.

With the oxygen of Angel Air, this reissue, with bonus unreleased demos, should fly further than before. And justifiably so.

Peter Muir, www.getreadytorock.com (May 2007)


…lyrically Stackridge remained just as eccentric as ever

Kevin Bryan, Hartlepool Mail (May 2007)


…it’s absolutely flipping, flapping, flupping brilliant. What a stunner of a selection of songs…this is on a level with Rubber Soul and Sgt. Peppers.

Geoff Smiles, Classic Rock Society (July 2007)


Deeply melodic, strikingly hook-laden, Something For The Weekend is classic Stackridge, updated for the modern era, and so much more adventurous than most 70s reunions could even dream of proving. Maybe they should try again?

Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (June 2007)

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STACKRIDGE Friendliness

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Their live shows were described as ’3 Hours of fun, lust and lunacy’ which describes the set here too. But the minds drift as much as the songs do, making for an occasionally disjointed mixture.

Well packaged with 4 extra tracks, should please fans and a few more besides. ***1/2

Joe Geesin www.getreadytorock.com (January 2007)


Stackridge’s sound is delightfully fresh and melodic. steeped in that aura of post 60s flora…Each song is filled with tuneful harmonies and spirited lyrics, backed up by the great piano and guitar of Andy Davis.

Classic Rock Society (February 2007)


…ever ready with melodic ditties that drifted somewhere between folk and the soft end of prog. File under ‘definitely English’

Mojo (February 2007)


…their second album, from 1971, is them at their best. West Country folk-popsters with the knack of great tunes, oddball lyrics and great vocals…At the centre of everything here are beautiful and clever songs, wonderfully sung…

Maverick (March 2007)


…Stackridge’s best work by far. It’s well versed and has some decent instrumental passages…

Record Collector (April 2007)


Marching in boldly with a brisk instrumental ‘Lummy Days’, the sextet immediately go elegiac in the title song and, with the exception of the ‘Keep On Clucking’ boogie, don’t leave this comfortable, harmony-filled furrow until the very end…A (mostly) quiet masterpiece.

Let It Rock (April 2007)

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STACKRIDGE Stackridge

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Inspiration is drawn from Zappa and the Beatles resulting in something that is interesting and can’t be described as the ‘normal’ type of music that follows a fashion. A bit off the wall at times but you would expect that wouldn’t you?

Classic Rock Society (January 2007)


An uplifting blend of folk, rock, the Beatle-like melodies, children’s storybook imagery and soaring harmonies, the 1971 debut album was a beautiful affair…One of the great under-rated albums of the 1970s.

Maverick (April 2007)


…this English band were ahead of their time with playful ‘Dora The Female Explorer’…lyrical extravaganza gelled fine with bright melodies…you never know what’s there ’round the corner…

Let It Rock (April 2007)

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STACKRIDGE The Man In the Bowler Hat

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1974′s career highlight is a small but perfectly formed body of work. Producer George Martin lifts principal leads (and Beatles fans) Andy Davis and James Warren’s capacity for a droll way with words and pastoral melody to new levels, tightening presentation without losing the immediacy and sparkle that trademarked their recorded output and, more importantly, popular live act . ****

Peter Muir www.getreadytorock.com (January 2007)


…What really works a treat on this, probably Stackridge’s finest hour (from 19873) is George Martin’s production…It entitles Stackridge to take their place as significant contributors to the rich diversity of the rock scene of the early 70s…

Rock n Reel (May 2007)


Stackridge’s tuneful charm at its most endearing

Kevin Bryan, Hartlepool Mail (April 2007)


‘the songs’ maintain a coherent level of arrangements. The nearly homogenous treatment helps in gluing the songs together and results in a better album flow’ 8.75/10

Avi Shaked, www.maelstrom.nu (May 2007)


‘a thoroughly good-natured project. What really works a treat on this, probably Stackridge’s finest hour (from 1973) is George Martin’s production’

Rychard Carrington, Rock&Reel (April 2007)


…a more concentrated listening reveals clever and amusing lyrics with more musical complexity than at first thought…

Classic Rock Society (February 2007)


This time progressive tendencies give room to playful songs…here the music goes everywhere – meandering from calypso to country…

Let It Rock (April 2007)


…an uplifting collection of songs, from the beautiful Road To Venezuela to the quirky Galloping Gaucho…

Maverick (October 2007)

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STACKRIDGE Purple Spaceships Over Yatton – The Best Of

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They really do cover all musical bases from the sublime folk tinged instrumental ‘Lummy Days’ through to harmony soft rock of ‘Friendliness’ – very CSNY. Then you have ‘Do The Stanley’ which sounds like a Monty Python musical number! ‘Consiton Water’ with its sax verges into jazz rock territory. The title track was re-recorded especially for this compilation making it an enticement for fans of the band getting this release.

One for collectors of quirky English rock/folk bands of the 70’s and the good news for fans is that Angel Air will be releasing their back catalogue.

Jason Ritchie, www.getreadytorock.com (September 2006)


If there ever was a band to inherit The Beatles it was Stackridge. Why the band has never received the deserved level of admiration (eventually leading key members to form the alternatively poppier The Korgis) is a mystery, even though this compilation is only my first attempt at confronting the band’s classic material.

This best-of release is, in a way, a preview to the Angel Air re-mastered series of the entire Stackridge classic catalogue, set to release in 2007 (so they promise). It represents most of the band’s 1970s releases, showcasing different aspects of the multifaceted sound.

Maelstrom (October 2006)


Equally close to traditional music and rock ‘n’ roll…the band were brave enough to go out on a sophisticated pop limb

www.dmme.net (October 2006)


Memories of a time of musical experimentation, free expression and parties in hazy rooms…are rekindled in this diverse and entertaining collection.

Classic Rock Society (November 2006)


Amazingly, this is Stackridge’s first Best Of set, fifteen songs strong…In reality, this compilation is just a taster for what Angel Air has to come, reissues of all the band’s original albums.

www.allmusic.com (November 2006)


There’s music that could have made the soundtrack of Teletubbies and music that could be turned into orchestral pieces – and plenty of fantastic tunes.

Maverick (November 2006)


This best-of marches resolutely through the original group’s five-album career and draws
representative magic from each of them Dora the Female Explorer, Syracuse the Elephant, and no fewer than six tracks from the landmark Man In A Bowler Hat – and that’s only the half of it.

Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (December 2006)


…their entire back catalogue is scheduled for re-release during the course of 2007, and until then discerning punters can revel in the delights of melodic gems such as ‘The Road To venezuela’, ‘Syracuse The Elephant’ and ‘Dora The Female Explorer’

Kevin Bryan, Hartlepool Mail (January 2007)

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STACKRIDGE Sex And Flags

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While the metal frothing masses would not necessarily dig this stuff; anyone who enjoys rock music with a bit of folky edge would love this stuff. It’s perfect for a laid-back Sunday afternoon sitting in the sun reading the paper getting slowly pickled.

Jason Ritchie, www.getreadytorock.com (June 2005)


…draws its material from 1999′s Something For The Weekend and the whole of the 2003 website only album Lemon with some previously unreleased material thrown in for good measure…will undoubtedly please the legions of Stackridge fans.

Classic Rock Society (July 2005)


…The band’s English humour and Fab Four-style tunes…are nowhere better illustrated than on Wonderful Day, about, er, driving an Austin Maestro…

Record Collector (August 2005)


No longer quite as eccentric as old, the members have mellowed with age, although their love of pastoral stylings, Beatles’ chord progressions, and a very English sound is as passionate as ever.

It all makes for an incredibly eclectic mixture of music, ranging from the epic ”Beating a Path”, into the bright lights of the music hall-esque ”Grooving Along the Highway on a Monday Morning Once”, then ”Sliding Down the Razorblade of Love” into blues… a splendidly entertaining set all round.

Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (July 2005)


The polished, cultured songs come off as a modern take on psychedelic pop, with their finessed elaboration never reaching bombastic dimensions. With all the wittiness, keyboards, guitars, flutes and violins that Stackridge is known for intact, this is a true celebration.

www.maelstrom.nu (August 2005)


Imagine Donovan mixing with Barclay James Harvest and ELO with 10CC along for the ride…as a pop album it is all good clean fun with some great pop tunes…

Feedback (August 2005)


…became synonymous with amiable eccentricity during their heyday in the early 70s…the band were tempted out of retirement two decades later and this anthology showcases some of the tracks they recorded during this second incarnation…

Kevin Bryan, Stirling Advertiser

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