Matchbox wurde ursprünglich 1971 als Rockabilly-Band gegründet und blickt heute auf eine 35-jährige, bewegte Karriere zurück. Die beiden Gründungsmitglieder Steve Bloomfield (leadguitar, vocals) sowie Fred Poke (bass, vocals) sind bis heute Teil der Band geblieben.
Graham Fenton (leadvocals) kam 1977 von den “Hellraisers” dazu, und kurze Zeit später ersetzten Jimmy Redhead (drums, vocals) und Gordon Scott (rhythm-guitar, vocals) von den “Cruisers” die ursprünglichen Bandmitglieder. Dies war die endgültige Formierung der Band, wie sie auch heute wieder besteht!
Der Durchbruch kam damals ziemlich schnell, nachdem Matchbox zuerst “Bo Diddley” und anschließend auch noch “Carl Perkins” bei deren ausverkauften Europatourneen begleiten konnten! Dadurch entstand eine Zusammenarbeit mit “Magnet Records”, einem damaligen “Major Record Label” in England. Diverse “Top Ten”-Erfolge sollten sich bald einstellen und ihre Tonträger verkauften sich weltweit über 5 Millionen Mal!
Unzählige TV-Shows, sowie weitere Tourneen mit Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry und vielen anderen sehr erfolgreichen Rock n Roll-Künstlern etablierten die Band als eine herausragende Attraktion! Während der ganzen Jahre sind Matchbox ihrem eigenen Stil treu geblieben! Zwischendurch, als dieser Stil nicht mehr so angesagt war, haben einige der Bandmitglieder auch an anderen Projekten mitgearbeitet.
Als aber 1996 die Rockabilly- und Rock n Roll-Szene wieder mehr in das Rampenlicht rückte, hatte man die gute Idee, die fünf Musiker wieder zusammenzubringen. Seither bestritten sie einige Konzerte, die so gut ankamen, dass daraus immer mehr wurden. So fand die Band endgültig wieder zueinander und ist heute fast noch besser, als sie es in den Anfangsjahren sowie schon war! Matchbox rock! If this doesn’t move you – you cannot be moved.
Have you ever been to see a band from the 70’s and turned up to find out the only remaining original member was the drummer, singer or bass player? Well, try going along to see Matchbox…. not only will you hear their string of hits from the era, including top tens such as “When You Ask About Love”, “Midnight Dynamos” and not forgetting their million seller classic “Rockabilly Rebel”, but you will also be amazed to find the exact line up that made all those records. If this is not unique, it is very rare indeed.
Matchbox was originally formed back in 1971 with a line-up that included both Steve and Fred. Graham joined them from the Hellraisers in 1977, but it was their amalgamation a little later with Jimmy and Gordon from the “Cruisers” that formed the band we know today. Their big breakthrough came soon after when they were selected to back Bo Diddley and support Carl Perkins on a sell-out European tour. Following reviews in the music press, they were approached by Magnet Records and offered their first major recording contract. The rest, as they say, is history…
The release of “Buzz Buzz” saw the band get enormous airplay as it crept to a respectable position in the charts. The next one, “Rockabilly Rebel”, became a worldwide hit, quickly followed by “When You Ask About Love”, “Midnight Dynamos” and “Over The Rainbow”. Over 5 Million records were sold in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, etc. Numerous TV shows and tours with the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry and many more, established the band as a major headline attraction. Throughout this period, Matchbox always remained true to their roots.
Eventually time and changing tastes meant the hits stopped coming and the various members went off to do other projects. Graham still performed occasionally with whichever “Rockabilly Desperadoes” were available at the time. Then, back in 1996, as the rockabilly and Rock’n’Roll scenes saw another surge of interest, someone had the good sense to get these five guys back together again to do a couple of shows. Then they did a couple more…
Matchbox have come home!
began his Rock’n’Roll career with the Houseshakers; he did a lot of gigs and recorded a couple of albums with them. The band went through a personnel shuffle and re-emerged as the Hellraisers. More gigs and another LP, Demolition Rock, followed. In 1976 the Hellraisers went their separate ways and Graham joined Matchbox.
has the distinction of not only being an excellent guitar player, but of being the band’s main songwriter. He was responsible for their anthems, Rockabilly Rebel and Midnite Dynamos, amongst a host of other fine tunes. He often switches from guitar to electric mandolin, which is very much a part of the distinctive Matchbox sound.
Steve was one of the founder members of Matchbox and has always had a strong influence on their musical direction.
was the other original member from the very early version of Matchbox, along with Steve Bloomfield. He plays both slap bass and electric bass, depending on how the mood takes him. He also joins in on the backing vocals.
was originally lead singer and rhythm guitarist with a neat little Rock’n’Roll band called “Rocking Pneumonia”. In 1976 he concentrated on vocals with his next band, the “Cruisers”, where he met Jimmy Redhead. Along with Jimmy, he was recruited to the new look Matchbox in 1977 to help fill out the sound and provide an extra vocal element.
Gordon takes the lead vocal spotlight at various points in the band’s set, allowing Graham to do a costume change or take a rest.
He also plays the harmonica breaks on several of the band’s songs. He’s even been known to have a go on the banjo when the occasion demanded!
plays the drums and does a lot of the harmony vocals. He was once a member of the “Cruisers”, along with Gordon, but made the move to join Matchbox and has never looked back.
If the 1950’s were the Golden Age of Rock’n’Roll, then the 1970’s were the Silver Age, with such fine British acts bringing back the Big Beat as “Crazy Cavan” and “The Rhythm Rockers”, “Shakin’ Stevens and the Sunsets”, “The Flying Saucers”, “Riot Rockers”, “The Jets” and last but not least, the “Matchbox”.
Matchbox were amongst the very few to enjoy genuine hit record success, including their monster international million seller, “Rockabilly Rebel”. Even at the height of their ‘Pop’ stardom, when many a head has been twisted out of shape, Matchbox remained true to their roots, musical, personal and social. To this day they remain true to these roots and to themselves.
This is the very same line-up that rocked Teddy Boy clubs in the late 70’s, the very same line-up that broke attendance records when they toured the UK with Bo Diddley and Carl Perkins. This is the same line-up that brought Rockabilly into the living rooms of Britain and gave the term to the general public. This is the same line-up that made all the hits. This very same line-up is featured here on this CD album.
From their fiery version of Johnny Horton’s “Comin’ Home”, to their military style rocker “Johnny Come Lately”, to their “Hurricane” with its best of 80’s, 50’s Rock’n’Roll feel. To their new version of hero Ray Campi’s “Rockin’ at The Ritz” to original floor shaking foot breakers as “Why Get Up”, “Baby I Don’t Care”, “Sure Fire Way” and to “Put The Blame On Me”, to their powerhouse re-recording of Hank William’s “Setting the Woods On Fire” and closing with a slab of live excitement taken from a recent rock show in Vienna where they tear it up with a glove full of golden gassers which puts you in the front row, Matchbox rock!
If this doesn’t move you – you cannot be moved.