Stackridge Live 1972 – 1976

Stackridge Live 1972 – 1976
StackridgeStackridge toured endlessly in the early to mid 70s. I must have seen them at least half a dozen times including performances at the Reading Festival in 1972 and 1973, at the Elton John and Beach Boys show at Wembley Stadium, supporting Lindisfarne at Newcastle City Hall, and headlining at Sunderland Polytechnic Wearmouth Hall. I am sure there will have been other occasions which have slipped my mind. For me it was the original Stackridge line-up which was in place up until 1973, which was the classic band. This was the band which was fronted by Mutter Slater, recorded the album “The Man in the Bowler Hat” (Mutter would always wear a bowler hat on stage), and had great songs which married intricate prog, Beatle-ish tunes, with fascinating storytelling, great hooks, and some west country humour thrown in for good measure. The song “Slark”, from their first album was the highlight of the set. “Slark” tells a somewhat dark, yet poignant story of a (friendly, I think) monster and was an eccentric lengthy prog/folk epic, during which Mutter captivated us all, and lead us in the sing-a-long chorus. I would look forward to seeing them play “Slark” and would go home disappointed if the song wasn’t aired. But there were other classics songs: “Dora the Female Explorer”, “Let there be Lids” (the band would all bang dustbin lids, while we clapped along with them), “Do the Stanley” (the “Stanley” was Stackridge’s very own dance, which the band invented, and encouraged us all to join in with on several drunkens ocassions), and other great Stackridge stories including “Amazingly Agnes”, “Purple Spaceships Over Yatton” and “The Road To Venezuela”.
Stackridge always seemed to be on the verge of bigger success, but it then somehow seemed to allude them. Perhaps the ever-changing line-up didn’t help. At one point, Mutter and a couple of other members left the band, and a new Stackridge went out on tour with a very different line-up to promote their third album “The Man in the Bowler Hat” (and of course the man who actually wore the bowler hat wasn’t there!). The album was produced by George Martin and should have ensured great success. Mutter and the others did return to the fold, and the band were signed to Elton John’s Rocket label. However by 1976 it was all over, and Stackridge split, leaving fanatical followers up and down the country and a bunch of great memories and excellent songs. For me, Stackridge were an important, yet often forgotten, part of the early 70s music scene.
Stackridge reformed ten years or so ago, and are touring again.
“Careering along in my creosote car
From Kebeeble to Kenn I didn’t get very far
The sky turned black and a dark cloud grew
The monster Slark came in to view
I pleaded with Slark to pass me by
“I’ve done nothing wrong, I don’t want to die”
He scooped me up in his huge grey claws
And bore me away without any cause”
(Slark, Stackridge, 1971)
This is absolutely the last (at least for now) of my blog entries on acts beginning with the letter “S”. I will definitely move onto the letter “T” tomorrow 🙂

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by davidx66 on September 26, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Never even heard of this band, but you’re made me want to check them out. Great job, thanks!


  2. Posted by eyesoremerchalex on September 26, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Haven’t said much for a while but still getting my daily fix, thanks. Getting to the end of letter s, well done. Keep them coming. Hoping you went to see Taste.


  3. Posted by eyesoremerchalex on September 26, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Replying to my earlier post….you’ve done it already on the 14th Dec. You saw the master live, 6 weeks before me in 1970 !


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