- 27 Aug 20
Maid In Ireland, the remastered compilation from legendary Irish progressive rock band Fruupp, is out now. And therein lies a tale!
Nearly 50 years after their formation in Belfast, the remarkable sound and story of Fruupp is being celebrated once again through recent release of Maid In Ireland – a new 'Best Of' compilation remastered from the original master tapes, featuring fully restored artwork.
The release also arrives with a new essay by "the manager, the agent, the roadie, the sound engineer, the lyricist, the writer of the stories that linked the songs on stage, and... the last one to be paid": one Paul Charles, who is best known now as a music agent and a thriller writer.
"Maid in Ireland was a title we had picked and reserved for a live album, should we ever do one," Charles notes in his essay, which graces the sleeve artwork of the album. "And we did. Well at least we recorded one. We recorded the band at the legendary Friars Aylesbury, on Sat 6th December 1975. Sadly, the tapes, along with all my worldly possessions, were destroyed by a fire in my flat in Peckham the following year."
Fruupp included Vince McCusker (guitar and vocals), Peter Farrelly (bass guitar, flute and lead vocals), Martin Foye (drums and percussion), Stephen Houston (keys, oboe and vocals), and John Mason (keys, vibes and vocals), who replaced Stephen when the latter departed the fold.
The band were a much-loved act on the UK concert circuit – sharing billings with the likes of Genesis, ELO, Hawkwind, Man, Supertramp and Queen.
One of the Fruupp songs included on Maid In Ireland, 'Sheba's Song', was sampled by Talib Kweli for his song 'Soon The New Day', featuring Norah Jones, from his 2007 album Eardrum.
"I've often wondered what Talib Kweli heard when he first came upon the track and decided to sample it for 'Soon The New Day', a line (taken from the original lyric) he used for his title," reflects Paul Charles. "I found it very refreshing that Talib and his people were very generous to us with credits and publishing."
Further insights into the career and legacy of Fruupp can be found in the Maid in Ireland collection, out now.