Since 2007 all the original members of the band had been in fairly regular touch with one another via email. The re-release of Cressida's two Vertigo albums by Repertoire Records in 2009 generated new interest in the band and through the likes of Facebook a new generation of progressive music fans were introduced to the band's music.
The Cressida Story
"intelligent, imaginative, well-crafted 1970s rock music.............."
A chance meeting in May 2011 between Iain Clark and Damian Jones & Rob Henson of Pop Classics.com, two long-standing fans of the band, kick-started a series of events that propelled the band back into the public eye again after many years.
When Damian and Rob met up with Iain they were very excited as so little had been known about the band since it had split in 1971. They were also keen to know whether any previously unreleased material of the band existed.
For many years it was thought that a single acetate with three songs ('Sad Eyed Fairy', 'Depression' and 'Lights In My Mind') was all that survived of the early demos the band made for Ossie Byrne back in 1969. Whilst the original studio masters of the demos were almost certainly lost or destroyed many years ago, no one knew whether any of the band members might have had some reel to reel copies of those recordings. Everyone assumed that any such copies had also been lost or destroyed during the previous forty years.
However, Iain contacted the rest of the original band members to see if, after all those years, any copies of those first recordings still existed. And so a search began......
Boxes were turned out in store rooms and attics in places as far apart as Los Angeles and the Highlands of Scotland, and over a period of many weeks various old 3¾ i.p.s. audio tapes were unearthed.
The faded labels finally confirmed that copies of those early Cressida demos had been found, but not surprisngly the tapes were in a very fragile state. They were sent to specialists for repair and restoration before they could be digitised.
Things rapidly took off from there. Record Collector Magazine, the UK's longest-running music magazine and the world's leading authority on rare and collectable records, got to hear about the tapes through Damian Jones, and a meeting was quickly set up in London between Damian, Ian Shirley of Record Collector and Iain on behalf of the band.
The band members discussed the proposal and agreed to license the recordings to Record Collector who would release them under their Rare Vinyl Series.
To no great surprise, a rehearsal space had been set up where they were staying and using gear loaned by friends of Iain, they tentatively began playing together for the first time in decades.
Whilst this hive of activity was taking place, Cressida fans were reading about the reunion on the band's recently launched Facebook page (
So plans were put in hand for Cressida to perform live once more. The Underworld in Camden Town was chosen as the venue and a date set for Friday 2nd December 2011. The reaction to this news amongst fans was immediate and tickets were quickly sold to fans from France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Finland, the United Arab Erimates and even Brazil and Japan!
On December 2nd 2011 Cressida fans old and new came together to experience Cressida's wonderful music in the flesh at what turned out to be an extraordinary and unique evening.
The audio files were taken to Fluid Mastering Studios in London where they were re-mastered. It was decided to leave the recordings in their original mono format but great attention was focussed on enhancing the audio quality of the original recordings using state-of-the-art equipment.
Sleeve notes telling the story of the lost tapes were written and together with a number of previously-unseen photographs were supplied to Bold Graphic Design who were engaged by Recored Collector to design the album gatefold sleeve.
The album is called “Trapped in Time: The Lost Tapes” and is dedicated to the memory of John Heyworth whom passed away in January 2010.
As a result of all the activity and communication between the original band members surrounding the new album, it was felt that the time was right for a proper reunion. The four original remaining members of the band had not met together since the end of 1970, and so after much planning Angus, Kevin, Peter and Iain all met up at Iain's place in the Highlands of Scotland in September 2011.
After listening to the recordings, Ian Shirley knew instictively that these never-before heard recordings would be of great interest to progressive music fans, and he made a proposal..........to release a limited edition, high-quality, 12” vinyl LP of these recordings in a full gatefold sleeve.
Record Collector, knew an album of previously unheard recordings by Cressida was something rather special and warranted equally special care and attention in its release.
The Cressida Reunion. September 2011
Cressida making music again!
Finally, after years in which they were thought lost, the original recordings made by the earliest lin-up of Cressida were heard again. Astonishingly, three songs that had never been released also turned up on the tapes!.
After 40 years Cressida was to release a new album of never-before heard recordings!
Sadly, John Heyworth's successor in Cressida, John Culley, was unable to attend the reunion, so Inverness-based Roger Niven was invited to join in on guitar.
It was clear that despite the passing years the band still had that chemistry that had made them such a great live act.
Peter Jennings, Roger Niven, Iain Clark, Angus Cullen and Kevin McCarthy
For Part 5 of the Story: the Cressida Reunion Gig Click Here