So what do we know about Ironbridge? Not a lot really. Flawed Gems didn't give much away with the CD liner notes other than that they were from Telford in Shropshire and released five singles (3 on DJM, 2 on Decca) between 1969 and 1972 under the name Fluff. None of the records charted but the band gained a reputation in France somehow. Their one and only LP was released in 1973 by EMI Columbia in France only. A Japanese issue is mentioned on WreckinRadio.co.uk but I've not yet tracked one down. The band consisted of Alan Millington (vocals/drums), Mick Skinner (lead guitar), B. Shattock & A. Phillips. First names and instruments are unknown for Shattock and Phillips. If anyone does know any more info on these guys, please get in contact.
|Ironbridge posing in front of an iron bridge|
So far that's six out of six ace tracks. Is side two just as good? Pretty much, yes! "It's All Right" is another fab Power Popper and "Frost and Fire" resembles the Raspberries doing what they do best and would've made a killer single, although DJM records would disagree as this was the song that would lead to their contract being terminated back in the Fluff days. What were they thinking?!?! "Simple Man" justifies a late 60's Bee Gees comparison mixed in with the Hollies again with some more of that spine tingling slide guitar which turns up just at the right moments. Ironbridge seem to share lead vocal duties too which appears more obvious on the minute long "Glen" which sounds like the same guy who sang "Hallelujah Days". The singer really lets rip on the throat shredding "I Can Fly", a tune which out grooves the Flamin' Groovies. The band go for the epic finale with "Shanty" clocking in at six minutes forty three seconds, kind of reminding me of "Band on the Run" for the last two minutes when the song changes pace. The album fades out with multi layered vocal harmonies and Mellotron.
I don't know how well the album sold in France, neither do I know what the band did after it's release. I'm hoping someone will fill me in with more details. If that happens, I'll update this post in the relevant places. For the time being, dig this...