Recently, there’s been a new surge in reforming old bands without proper reunions due to some former members unavailability. This doesn’t get in the way of music, though – or spirit for that matter. And while the resurrection of WILD HORSES seems to have gone in the state of limbo, the first concerts of revitalized GRAND SLAM are receiving enthusiastic response. Still, no one would bet on the return of ATOMIC ROOSTER or FULL HOUSE – given Vincent Crane, the leader of the former, died in 1989, and Frankie Miller, the frontman of the latter, can hardly speak since his stroke in 1994. Yet both ensembles are back – and, among other dates, will grace the stage of The Cambridge Rock Festival in August.
The gigs of FULL HOUSE, formed by Frankie and guitarist Ray Minhinnett in 1976, celebrate their 40th anniversary. While they haven’t played for years, the two continued to collaborate on demos and various projects, and one decade ago, in 2006, Minhinnett resumed the band’s activity for a short period, and did it again now, after three years of work on Miller’s “Duets” album. The record is to be out later in the year, tied in with a one-hour TV documentary, but meanwhile the singer gave Ray his blessing, and now the collective get into gear with a new line-up, Dave “Bucket” Colwell replacing Henry McCullough, who’d suffered a heart attack, and ex-CRAWLER warbler Terry Wilson-Slesser handling vocals, and a rhythm section of Dave Boyce (THE QUIREBOYS) and Clive Edwards (ex-UFO) to round it off. Those who’d like to see them should be in Putney’s “Half Moon” on August 4th or in Cambridge the following day.
It could have been more complicated with ATOMIC ROOSTER, as there were several line-ups of this group through the years, yet there’s only one to have the balls to do it, with a permission from Crane’s widow.
Says guitarist Steve “Boltz” Bolton:
“I was asked a few months ago if I’d be interested in reforming ATOMIC ROOSTER to play a couple of gigs to see how it goes and ‘test the water.’ It’s something that’s been knocking on my door for a while, so I agreed! I call Peter French who agreed, and we’ve had a few days rehearsal with some guys up north of England where the agent is based. Ric Parnell is based in the wilds of the USA so it’s not really practical at this stage! But so far so good. We have a couple of festivals come in for next year, but dates this year are: August 4th at London 100 Club and August 4th at Cambridge Rock Festival.”
Exciting prospects, albeit there’s no word as to whether ROOSTER or HOUSE are willing to come up with fresh material. But there could be more reformations and reunions, so keep your eyes open and prick up your ears, as sung a certain ensemble who are unlikely to get back.