25 October 2013

Stackridge at The Borderline (October 2013)

From a casually aware name in the 70's Stackridge have become one of the few bands that I see regularly, though having been unable to see them at the Boom Boom Club earlier in the year this was my first chance since December 2012.

After last year's disaster with the travel I set off in good time and was there around 8pm, not long after the support act started. The place was still filling up and I was easily able to get a place right at the front next to the stage.

I quite liked the support's first two numbers but they were far too folky for my taste.

Stackridge came on stage around 8:30 and were immediately comfortable with each other and with us. The current line-up of five had been in place a little while now and that shows.

The Borderline stage is a reasonable size, I've seen Space Ritual squeeze a dozen people on to it, so each member had plenty of space to play with. Their line-up of choice was James Warren, Clare Lindley and Andy Cresswell-Davis across the front, and Glenn Tommey and Eddie John at the back.

I deliberately omitted the instruments from the line-up as Stackridge is something of a multi-instrumental team with even the drummer joining in on the ukulele for one song - Clare and Andy played theirs several times. And it was good to see Glenn come out from behind his keyboards to play the trombone.

A lot of the songs had been in place for some time too, even the so-called new ones, and that made for a familiar and comfortable evening, which is exactly what everybody wanted.

That's not to say that Stackridge were lazy or just going through the motions, far from it. It felt like wearing a best suit which always fits and always looks good.

Their sound was still pleasingly folk-prog, helped significantly by Clare's violin, and that is what I had gone to hear. I am not that familiar with their repertoire as I only hear it once or twice a year, so it is the general sound and feel that I appreciate, and I appreciated it that night a lot.

I was especially pleased to see God Speed the Plough included though.

Stackridge played for all but two hours (the Borderline's 10:30pm curfew was a significant constraint) and managed to make the most of that by spending as little time as possible off stage before coming back on twice more for the encores that we demanded. They played three extra songs not shown on the set list; Fundamentally Yours and Boots 'N' Shoes for the first encore before returning again to end the show with the crowd pleaser Dora, The Female Explorer.

With concerts like this it is easy to see why Stackridge have such a loyal following, despite the many changes over the many years, and why I seem to be becoming one of them.


  1. Nice review but, on a nit-picking note, there were three encore numbers on Friday: Fundamentally Yours, Boots 'N' Shoes and Dora, The Female Explorer. Always glad to see others bitten by the decades-long 'Stackridge bug' that has so happily infected many of us for over four decades.

    1. Thanks. I've updated the post to show that they sang these three songs in their two encores.


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