The British prog pioneers CRESSIDA were not allowed to succeed

27. July 2020


Den britischen Prog-Pionieren CRESSIDA war kein Erfolg gegönnt

They smile beaming with joy into the camera: Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth and next to him Kevin McCarthy and Iain Clark, bassist and drummer of Cressida respectively. The joy is justified, as Cressida's performance at the Melloboat Festival in September 2013 was something very special for all three of them, as the group is one of Åkerfeldt's absolute favourites - and in 2013 Cressida's active musical career began more than 40 years ago. But who is the band that Mikael Åkerfeldt described in 2004 as "Cressida are absolutely fascinating, but totally unknown. No one has heard of them. That's a shame, because it was a great band."

In 1968, the English band Angus Cullen (vocals), Kevin McCarthy (bass), Iain Clark (drums), John Heyworth (guitar) and Lol Coker (keyboards) got together, played concerts in London and the surrounding area and worked on their own song material. In 1969, the band was on the move: With the Australian producer Ossie Byrne, the musicians found a manager who also arranged for them to perform in Switzerland and Germany. Amongst others also in the famous Star-Club in Hamburg. Iain Clark: "We were booked for nine nights in the Star-Club. But that went so well that we played there twelve nights in a row. We started early in the evening and played until 3am. Only with a 15-minute break."

The hard work was worth it, the band was able to gain experience and lay the foundation for their own style: a song-compatible artrock, carried in equal parts by the feeling for catchy melodies and by the virtuoso skills on the instruments...

Cressida - To Play Your Little Game (1970)

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