Formed in Bristol in 1970 (originally as Stackridge Lemon), Stackridge gained a strong reputation as an eccentric live folk rock act with a very dedicated fan base.
Their live shows were largely improvised (all members were superb musicians) and combined theatrical elements with eccentric monologues from Davis and “Mutter” Slater. Their loyal supporters often attended gigs armed with sticks of rhubarb or dustbin lids to use as cymbals!
Their 1971 self-titled debut album introduced characters like ‘Slark’ – a friendly monster who had a 14-minute acoustic track dedicated to his tale.
Their 1972 album, Friendliness, was well-received, but it was their 1974 album, Man In The Bowler Hat (released in the US as Pinafore Days), which cemented their success.
Produced by George Martin the LP produced memorable tracks such as Galloping Gaucho and God Speed The Plough and is regarded by most as their finest hour, containing Beatlesque harmonies, unusual instrumentation, strong melodies and fanciful lyrics.
Drummer Bill Bent (Billy Sparkle) left to become George Martin’s chauffeur, prompting Davis to ditch his guitar and keyboards and sit in behind the drum kit.
Extravaganza (1975) introduced a new addition in saxophonist Keith Gemmell, and the album revealed a harder, jazzier edge to the band, as evidenced on instrumentals Pocket Billiards and Who’s That Up There With Bill Stokes?
Their final studio album was Mr Mick (1976) – a rambling story of an unloved tramp.
The album was not popular with fans or critics and the band broke up shortly thereafter.
Andy Davis and James Warren resurfaced as The Korgis in 1979, finally tasting chart success with Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime.
Vocals, guitar, keyboards, drums
Mike ‘Mutter’ Slater
Vocals, flute, keyboards
Jim ‘Crun’ Walter
Billy Bent (Billy Sparkle)