GRIPTIGHT THYNN 1968-1969
Andy Davis was born in Yatton, Somerset, UK in 1949. By the mid 60’s he was playing guitar in various local bands around Bristol and Weston-Super-Mare and eventually ended up in 1968 in a blues band called Griptight Thynn. The other members were Crun Walter; guitar, Dave Fortune; drums and Duncan Graham on bass.
In 1969, Andy and Crun, had become bored of the blues and disbanded Griptight. Six months later they had a new batch of songs and a new band. They were originally christened Stackridge Lemon. After much experimentation the line-up settled on Billy Blake; drums, Crun Walter; bass, James Warren; acoustic guitar, Mutter Slater; flute, Mike Evans; violin and Andy on guitar. They got themselves a manager; Mike Tobin and debuted the new band in winter of 1969 The following year they claimed a small footnote in musical history by being the first band on at the first ever Glastonbury Festival. By the end of 1970 they had built a strong following and had come to the attention of MCA Records who signed them on a five album contract. Their first album “Stackridge” appeared next year.
During this period Andy played guitar and sang backing vocals on John Lennon’s imagine album.
The band toured almost constantly for the next few years and produced two more albums for MCA; Friendliness and The Man In The Bowler Hat produced by Sir George Martin. They signed to Elton John’s label Rocket Records in 1974 and recorded two more; Extravaganza and Mr. Mick.
During their time on Elton’s label they played an extraordinary show in front of 100,000 people at Wembley Stadium. The line-up was: Stackridge, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Joe Walsh, The Eagles, The Beach Boys and Elton John. Despite such exposure the band never really rose above their status of “cult band.” Several line-up changes during the last couple of years didn’t help and Stackridge finally called it a day in 1976.
KIM BEACON AND THE SERENEDERS 1977-1978
Kim Beacon and the Serenaders had a sound and feel not unlike Little Feat. Andy had quickly discovered the advantages of writing with a truly outstanding singer, which Kim undoubtedly was, and they wrote several memorable songs together. The band were tipped for great things but somehow never quite fulfilled their promise. The breakthrough should have been when Andy Newmark (Sly and the Family Stone) and Willy Weeks flew over from the States to produce them, but after a few days in the studio it was obvious that things were not going to work out. Kim went on to record 2 albums for Rialto which included several songs written with Andy. Kim passed away in 2001.
THE KORGIS 1979 – 1982
In 1978 Andy re-established contact with former Stackridge colleague James Warren. The pair decided to concentrate their efforts on more commercial material. Their eponymous first album was released the following year on Rialto Records and their second single “If I Had You” was a huge hit just about everywhere but the USA. On the strength of the album though Warner Bros USA did sign them and their faith was rewarded by the massive world-wide hit taken from the second album; “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime.” The Korgis went on to record a third album without Andy.
SLOW TWITCH FIBRES 1982-1984
It was unlikely that Slow Twitch Fibres was going to be a big commercial success. Fuelled by the huge talent of Peter Brandt the band were uncompromising in their search for the weird and wonderful. The permanent members were Roy Dodds on drums and Dr Dan Altman on keyboards. The group only managed to release 2 singles; “Face The Music” and “This Is Your Lunch.”
TEARS FOR FEARS 1983-1985
In 1979 there was a band in Bath called Graduate. They were big fans of The Korgis, in fact they played a few of Andy’s songs in their live set.
Later, in 1983 two members of the band Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith formed Tears For Fears. Andy was a member of their expanded live band, along with Manny Elias and Ian Stanley.
BILL NELSON 1984
In between Tears For Fear’s gigs Andy fitted in a tour of the USA with the Bill Nelson Orchestra. Particularly memorable for the fact that this was the first time he met Will Gregory.
JULIAN COPE 1984
Then he was asked to play keyboards on Julian’s “World Shut Your Mouth” tour. To say Julian was a tad eccentric would be an understatement. The drummer got the job largely because he ate nothing but grapes. Andy got the job because he’d been a member of Stackridge. Nevertheless, it was a great tour and Julian was a lovely bloke.
PETE BYRNE 1985
Andy started writing songs with Pete Byrne from Naked Eyes who the previous year had 2 No 1’s in the US singles charts. Pete suggested they relocate to California to write and record an album. For a songwriter, this sounded like an opportunity too good to miss so Andy had to opt out of Tears For Fears all-conquering world tour of 1985. Another reason for going was that the recording was going to take place in Stevie Wonder’s Wonderland studios in LA. Apparently Stevie had written 2 songs for the album. For a number of reasons the project hit the buffers about 9 months later, but not before Andy had met Mr Wonder. On one occasion Andy was playing his rather plodding version of Night And Day, the Cole Porter classic, on the grand piano. Stevie sat down next to him and started playing the shit out of the tune and Andy continued with the bass part. To this day no-one really believes him when he says he played a piano duet with Stevie Wonder.
3 CABELLEROS 1987-2006
In the mid 80’s Andy started playing with a talented slide guitar player and singer-songwriter named Kevin Brown. This was another radical change of musical direction. The line-up consisted of Slide, string bass, violin andukelele and the repertoire covered western swing, blues, some jazz standards and the back catalogue of Robert Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders.
The band went through several incarnations including at one point a 9 piece band featuring 3 ukeleles. The photo shows 5 Guys Named Mo. Kevin Brown, Eric Scott, Andy and Stuart Gordon.
After the band split Andy got together with Stuart Gordon; violin and Peter Allerhand; guitar and ukelele to continue the tradition with the 3 Caballeros..
This trio lasted for over 25 years. It’s the longest lasting, most durable band he has ever been in and wowed audiences the length and breadth of Britain. The secret of their longevity was that hey never rehearsed. Sadly Stuart Gordon passed away in August 2014.
TEARS FOR FEARS 1989-1990
Andy rejoined Tears For Fears for their “Seeds Of Love” world tour, which started off in Argentina, Brazil then Europe and across to the States. Relations were a bit strained between the two main players and led to a 15 year standoff between the two until their reunion in 2005.
Andy was asked to write and produce some demos for Yaz in the early 90’s. They spent several months writing and recording in Bath and eventually Yaz’s debut album, “Wanted” appeared including one of Andy’s songs. It also included her No 1 hit “The Only Way Is Up.’
SOLO WORK 1989-1996
Clevedon Pier was recorded in 1989 in Bath with Stuart Gordon co-producing. It was Andy’s first solo project.
1994 saw the formation of the Andy Davis Band, a country rock influenced 6 piece band featuring Alun Thomas, Clive Deamer, Richard Stubbings, Alex Gifford, Steve Robinson and Andy. They played the acoustic stage at Glastonbury Festival in 1995-96-97 and recorded a limited edition live album.
After playing guitar and ukelele on tracks for their first album, “Felt Mountain,” Andy joined the touring Goldfrapp band for 3 enjoyable years. He left the group in April 2003.
Andy’s been playing on sessions for such diverse artists as Spiritualised; Hammond organ, the Cracker TV soundtracks; electric guitar and Moondog where he sang in a male voice choir.
Andy has written the music with Leon Hunt for an animated film of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers movie “Grass Roots”. The movie has been in start stop mode for some time but recently encouraging signs are appearing and it seems that the film may actually be about to go into production.
In 2013 Andy teamed up with Clare Lindley and Brian Mullan to form Davis Lindley Mullan aka DLM, an acoustic trio. This led to the release in 2015 of 2 cds: Desire Lines, co-produced by long time collaborator Pete Brandt and also Emergency Love, co-produce by Leon Hunt. Both are available as digital downloads from the merchandise page on this website.