Category Archives: STACKRIDGE
Time though has been kind to these eccentrics, whose winding, portmanteau songs wedded Beatles’ melodies to a sensibility grounded in British folk.
The main prize here is ‘The Lyder Loo’, never issued on album. At least as interesting is a fabulous, 15-minute ‘Slark’, which features some extemporised wordless vocals that make it even knottier than the released version.
Probably not an entry point, but nonetheless essential.
Kieron Tyler, www.theartsdesk.com (October 2012)
Looks like nobody seemed to care and tape classic STACKRIDGE performances, and their only live album was recorded only in 2007. The more precious, then, are their sole TV appearance and these six cuts laid down in September 1970 and February 1973.
Blistering and brilliantly rough, the latter is of special interest because it includes apocryphal pub ditty “The Lyder Loo”, bound to land on the forthcoming “The Man In The Bowler Hat”, yet never taken to a studio other to the Beeb one.
More so, “The Road To Venezuela” and “The Galloping Gaucho”, originally split between different vinyl sides, become a sort of vaudeville suite here, while the same Latino rhythm is set in the opener “Three Legged Table” from the group’s debut.
And if this glamorous song comes severely shortened, the compensation arrives with the significantly revised “Slark” which laps lazily across its own album mark, as Michael Evans’ violin and Mutter Slater’s flute claim the funny folksy space over from Andy Davis and James Warren’s soft vocal melange.
But radio or not, “God Speed The Plough” retains its orchestral beauty while expanding the initial classical quotient… and that’s what the whole of this disc does with STACKRIDGE legacy.
www.dmme.net (October 2012)
…some classic examples of their distinctive melodic whimsy…
Kevin Bryan, Stirling Advertiser and other regionals (October 2012)
This 33+ minute disc includes material taken from two BBC radio sessions (September 21, 1971 and February 7, 1973). This disc will mainly appeal to diehard Stackridge fans…
Included are the must have tracks “Slark” (a fifteen minute version) plus the hard-to-find only recorded version of “The Lyder Loo.”
Rounding out the disc are live versions of “God Speed The Plough,” “Road To Venezuela,” and “The Galloping Gaucho” (a fan favorite)…
We highly recommend anything and everything that bandleaders Andy Davis and James Warren are involved with. They most certainly are two of the best pop musicians of the past few decades.
www.babysue.com (November 2012)
…the otherwise unavailable The Lyder Loo, a discard from The Man ln The Bowler Hat album (on which the other three 1973 session tracks appeared in studio form) and a 15-minute version of the classic Slark from !971, with fabulous Mutter Slater flute, make them well worthy of exhumation…Quirky pop like this is a rarity today, and the rude vocal adlibs on The Road To Venezuela still raise a schoolboy smile.
Record Collector, (December 2012)
lf may sound am-dram, but Stackridge embraced their more eccentric proclivities. Besides, the early 70s – when Monty Python, The Incredible String Band and medieval music could influence a band equally – was a particularly purple period for such pure prog-folk oddness.
Stackridge could play too: the exotic rhythms and sub-Saharan singing of ‘Three Legged Table’ is quite a contrast to the early music minstrel strum-along of the unreleased The Lyder Loo. Storytelling folk lies at the heart of these songs but with clear Beatles influences and a West Coast approach to warm harmonies, Stackridge’s early work still holds its own against that of their many colourful contemporaries.
Classic Rock Prog Magazine (Jan 2013)
Only six tracks, ‘The Lyder Loo’, ‘Three Legged Table’, ‘God Speed The Plough’, ‘Road To Venezuela’, ‘The Galloping Gaucho’ and an overlong 15 minute ‘Slark’, but the inclusion of that rare track should ensure good sales. Probably for completists only.
Classic Rock Society (Jan 2013)
…the cheery, tuneful Three Legged Table is given an irrepressible South American makeover, all handclaps and whoops backed up by the harmonies of James Warren and Andy Davis; something that sounds comedic but is actually beautiful, both in sound and execution. The other song is the band’s magnum opus Slark, which is by far the best version ever recorded.
…The recordings here are superb and show the band at their most confident and innovative.
This splendid anthology was assembled by Stackridge founder members James Warren and Andy Davis, drawing on more than three decades worth of exemplary music-making in the process. The gentle quirkiness which became Stackridge’s trademark permeates choice offerings from the early seventies such as ’32 West Mall’, ‘Teatime’ and the single version of of ‘Slark’…
…Sure, there was a break in their activities, and the bittersweet post-reunion gem “Something About The Beatles” sounds polished, more like Andy Davis and James Warren’s other collective, THE KORGIS, rather than STACKRIDGE’s original oeuvre, yet for all the variety on offer, the impression is of genuine continuity.
It draws a bridge to another latter-time track, the elegiac “Charles Louis Dance”, from the fantastic dance of “Slark” from their debut, here in its single variant, less than third in length from the full one but still arresting, as is the acoustic lace of “Can Inspiration Save The Nation”…
…”Preserved”, then, is a wrong choice of the title, and jam on the cover doesn’t reflect this band’s real nature. The STACKRIDGE music is still a vibrantly living creature – strange but adorable. ****
DME Music Site
From the acoustic whimsy of 32 West Mall, from their 1970 debut, to the acoustic delicacy of The Final Bow, from 2002′s LEMON, in between there’s a wealth of inventiveness, grandeur and fine tunes that span almost every genre.
Whether it’s the cut-down single version of the epic Slark, the imaginative 21st century tribute Something About The Beatles or the expansive instrumental God Speed The Plough (produced by Beatles mastermind George Martin) the music is gorgeous and shows how much the band needed the full-blooded reunion that brought us 2009′s aptly-titled A VICTORY FOR COMMON SENSE, one of the finest albums of all time. ***
…Unlike most compilations, ‘Preserved’ doesn’t shy away from including the shorter, quirkier Stackridge tracks, allowing highlights like ’32 West Mall’ and ‘Can Inspiration Save The Nation’ to catch your curiosity as they pass by.
Really that is just scratching the surface of the flavours and textures served up on this excellent introduction to a band that deserves far more recognition than they currently receive. However, what ties it all together are beautifully crafted songs that have obviously been created with great care and attention, making each and every one a journey well worth taking in its own rite.
Anyone not familiar with Stackridge will be pleasantly surprised by this varied and entertaining collection – and, yes, there is an occasional hint of the Korgis that they were to become for a period of time.
Classic Rock Society
With 25 tracks and a running time of 150 minutes this is a ‘bang up’ DVD that should be in everyone’s collection. Stackridge needs to be better appreciated, and I can assure you that if I ever discover them appearing locally I will be buying tickets (unless I can get in for free with press credentials hahaha). I am so impressed with this band that I do plan on seeking out some of their other albums. So if the Stackridge PR people are reading this, drop me a line!
Simon Barrett, Blogger News (August 2007)
…plenty of humour…and no little atmosphere. The crowd are responsive and appreciative, and it helps the band to some really good performances…
An entertaining release for most, pretty rivetting if you are already a fan.
Classic Rock Society (Dec 2007)
Warm as toast, the audience roars its approval, mums, dads, boys and girls, fired by nostalgia and the self-knowing absurdity of it all. Fans will love this. Metal fiends should stay well away, though …
Peter Muir, www.getreadytorock.com (January 2008)
The arrangements are complex, yet the band takes it all easy, and vocal harmonies of the likes of ‘Friendliness’ hit the soft spot of even the hardened listener…
Let It Rock, www.dmmme.net
…a stunningly beautiful piece of work which takes their early 1970s work and recreates it to the full…The sound is just lovely, full and rich…The band doesn’t put a foot wrong during 25 wonderful tracks…
Maverick (March 2008)
This fine 2CD set captures the musical delights of their show…in 2007, an evening of classic English popular music…
Kevin Bryan, Mid-Sussex Chronicle (March 2008)
…the best Stackridge compilation you could imagine…
Goldmine, March 28 2008
Their music still quivers with creativity…A must-have set for all fans, young and old alike.
Jo-Ann Greene, allmusic.com (March 2008)
The band’s blend of soft, breezy pop-rock infused with traces of Bonzo Dog wackiness, Beatle-esque harmonies and even the occasional folk flavour is represented best on the second CD…
RocknReel, April/May 2008
With their inspirational post-Beatles sounding pop,. Stackridge sound like they haven’t missed a beat…performing a great mix of newer songs and vintage Stackridge.
20th Century Guitar (March 2008)
Due to the dedication of the experts at Angel Air the band’s albums have been reissued in recent years. This enjoyable live album was recorded at Rondo Theatre in Bath on 1st April, 2007; there is also an accompanying DVD. As the band are still touring this is an excellent testament to their robust live sets.
The sleeve notes (which are littered with shots of the band on stage) come courtesy of Mike Tobin so it’s a good package. With 11 tracks on the first disc and 14 songs on the second there’s plenty of material, exhaustive but likable. This is really an essential purchase for fans but will probably not be of interest to newcomers.
Neil Daniels, Fireworks magazine (Issue 32)