MEET THE BAND
David Cousins (guitar, vocals), Dave Lambert (guitar, vocals), Chas Cronk (bass, vocals), Dave Bainbridge (keyboards), Tony Fernandez (drums)
A BLAST FROM THE PAST: The Strawberry Hill Boys began their musical journey way back in 1963 with David Cousins (now 71) as the one and only member in all manifestations. By the 1970s, the British folk group was transformed into the Strawbs when they shifted from a folk band to the progressive rock band. Their 1970 live album, Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios, features future Yes keyboard virtuoso Rick Wakeman. The song "Part of the Union" from the 1973 album Bursting at the Seams was a Top 10 hit in their native England. The band first toured the States in 1974. That tour included a show here in Cleveland at the Agora Ballroom (when it was located on East 24th Street), as the band promoted the release of The Hero and Heroine. The band came to town again in 1975 with the followup album Ghosts. For that gig, it opened for Blue Oyster Cult at the Allen Theatre. "We are very excited to be touring in the U.S.A. after a number of years," says Cousins. The electric band last performed in Cleveland in 2004 just before their headlining slot at NEARFEST (the Northeast Art Rock Festival) in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM:
The punk movement of the late '70s didn't quite put the spike in the heart of progressive rock as some might have hoped. The Strawbs, along with Yes, Camel, and Van Der Graaf Generator, still tours and records. The current set features all of the intense mellotron-driven prog rock featured on Hero and Heroine. The current lineup features longtime collaborators Dave Lambert, Chas Cronk and the return of Tony Fernandez, with a new lad, David Bainbridge, from the band Iona. "The band gelled very quickly after a few dates in the U.K. and is sounding better than ever; we are looking forward to meeting Strawbs fans old and new," says Cousins.
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: strawbsweb.co.uk
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: The Strawbs perform at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, at the Music Box Supper Club.