TREDEGAR finally found a permanent vocalist in Russ North just before the album's release and the band would prove club regulars including many old BUDGIE numbers in their set. Guitarist Andy Wood bailed out in the Summer of 1987 but did cut a new demo utilising TREDEGAR frontman Russ North as session vocalist. Prince quit to join ex-ANGEL WITCH drummer Dave Dufort's act PHANTASM and was replaced by Mike Taylor.
|1986 Lineup (L-R): Tony Bourge, Mike Taylor, Russ North, Ray Phillips, Andy Wood|
The band recorded a second album in 1991 with vocalist Trixie Thorne but this never saw the light of day until the 'Remix And Rebirth' CD in 1994. 'Remix And Rebirth', contained Tredegar's 1986 full-length debut in its entirety, their unreleased 1991 album in its entirety, and some extra tracks. All tracks were re-mastered.
Jones jumped ship joining HAMMERFIST for a brief period before TREDEGAR were resurrected by Phillips in 1993 retitled SIX TON BUDGIE, the pre-recording name of BUDGIE.
TREDEGAR elicited this response when we received a package from the Welsh quintet containing not only their debut album, but also a letter from main man/drummer Ray Phillips. In this epistle, he explained how, when faced with total disinterest from the country's record labels, he had taken out a second mortgage of some $26,000 on his farmhouse in order to put out some product.
Thus, with our consciences severely pricked, 'twas decided 'm that a feature article had to be done on this most Welsh of bands and that's how Phillips and I recently came to be sharing a glass of pineapple juice plus a couple of straws on a brawny afternoon.
"The band (who take their name from a village in wales, wherein reside not only Phillips but also Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock, both members of the Gonzo Drood Da Da band) first came together about three years ago. It was formed by myself and guitarist Tony Bourge."
Now, at this point, lemme interrupts and explains that both men had initially made a name for themselves with Budgie, alongside Burke Shelley. To many, Budgie represented the epitome of the UK hard rockin' ethic during the mid-Seventies and although I could never stand'em, it cannot be denied that they did achieve a certain credibility. Anyway, after trying to put together his own post-birdie act called Ray Phillips Woman, the affable drummer eventually found his way back to Bourge and the notion for Tredegar."Tony had built a four-track studio at his house and we spent six months recording with Welsh session musicians and just took our time getting all the songs ready for the public to hear them. We then began yo audition for a long-term touring band and about two years ago set foot onto the road, initially doing local gigs and building from there. The current line-up (featuring lead vocalist and Paul Stanley freak Russ North, lead guitarist Andy Wood and bassist Mike Taylor) came together some time later.
So far, it's the usual local band tale. However, here's where things begin to enter new realms. Faced with total indifference from all record companies (The major ones weren't at all interested in hard rock and the smaller ones didn't wanna know 'cos we weren't a Trash Metal band), Phillips, Bourge and Scottish manager Jimmy Kelley went for broke and raised the money themselves to lay down the vinyl. They formed Aries Records and recorded 'Tredegar', the debut album I reviewed in Kerrangl #123
"We wanted to go beyond just putting out another independent LP, so I designed a gatefold sleeve with our logo embossed in gold on the cover and we've also put out a single "Duma", again with an expensive sleeve. To be honest, we've had so many problems along the way that at one time, I did wonder what was gonna come out of this but I think the records are ones we can all feel proud of"Tredegar then hired a small video company to shoot a live version of "Duma" at the Hatfield Forum, using a 15-strong crew, one camera and just three-and-a-half hours of time and then, having persuaded PRT to distribute to opus in the UK, tried to garner some interest in the States.
"I'll never forget going up to see someone at Atlantic Records in New York. It amazed me how the guy could sit there only half listening to the music, taking phone calls all the time and then at the end of it all proclaim, "You'll never get any radio airplay with this'. But that's what happened. It really depressed us because it seemed as if our dream was being cut from under us, especially as the other companies were also unimpressed, but we persevered and got a really amazing response from the US radio/video stations.We then took another chance and hired a stand at the recent Montreux Music Video Festival. We were the only independent company to do something like that and the response again was great. We got assurances of airplay from 'Sky Channel/Music Box/Much Music' of Canada and as a result of our presence we also got a recent slot of TV AM - quite a coup!"The money is starting to run out now for the band, but the job is done. Records are in the shops on both sides of the Atalantic ('Important' picked up the LP/Single in America for distribution) and touring plans are now being laid. It's far too early to tell whether or not the boys' heavy gamble has paid off (sales of some 60,000 worldwide are needed for the quintet merely to break even on this project), but I can't help but wish 'em well.
Any act who show the enterprise to do what they have done without any big-time aid, deserves all the success available to 'em.
The story of Tredegar is a salutatory lesson for us all.
This post consists of a MP3 rip (256kps) taken from a CD release, and includes full album artwork for both the CD and their LP release (debut album). I have also chosen to include some Budgie tribute tracks taken from a live concert at Chistlehurst Caves, London on 31 October 1983. I have also included a copy of the heavy metal magazine 'Kerrang123' interview with Tredegar, as transcribed above.
If you are a big fan of Budgie or any NWOBHM then you are really gonna like this release. Ray Phillips is one of the best drummers around and Tony Bourge does not disappoint with his great guitar licks and riff based compositions (although I'm not sure about his new 80's image)
Re-mix - Blended to Perfection (Tracks 1-9):
02. The Alchemist
03. Way Of The Warrior
04. Richard III
05. Battle Of Bosworth
06. The Jester
07. Which Way To Go
09. Sabre Dance (previously unreleased version)
Re-birth - The Pleasing Sounds (Tracks 10-19):
10. Love It Or Hate It
11. Burn In Hell
12. Dead To Rights
13. Love No Other
17. Heaven On Earth
18. No Surprises
19. 3.45 In the Morning
Budgie Tribute Tracks
01 - Parents
02 - Breadfan
03 - Napoleon Bona Parts One and Two
(Performed live at Chistlehurst Caves, London on 31 October 1983)
Tredegar Link (168Mb)