I still get asked about Stump a lot, even though it’s like ancient history to me now. I hope this little personal, potted history will answer all those questions for good, especially the dreaded "why did you split up?" - which drives me nuts!


Before Stump
I’d always had trouble joining bands and finding musicians from when I first picked up the bass - this was entirely my own fault because I didn't really understand the way most bands put their music together in the conventional way, ie, melody, chords, bassline and rhythms. I’d go along to auditions and get really bored when I was asked to play a bass line in ‘A’ for example and I’d leave feeling pretty useless and very frustrated because there was always someone who could do that much better than me. Where I grew up in Ipswich, there was nothing but country and western bands and 'power-pop' combos. Rather than bother to learn a form of music I disliked, I carried on in blissful ignorance developing my own set of values and working obsessively in relative isolation.
As a young man, I was hopelessly infatuated with the bass guitar. My main interest was finding dynamic riffs, morphing pitch bends into staccato sequences and then compiling it all together to form something startling with a set of contrasts. I never really liked Jaco Pastorious even though I played fretless bass - Percy Jones was the player that inspired me. My approach didn’t always go down well - I remember jamming with ex- members of Selecter and The Specials when I was a student in Coventry and Silverton ( the Drummer) exclaiming to all that I was a ‘frustrated guitarist’. I drove my housemates mad - in fact they thought I was the worst bassist in the world - but I didn’t care - I had a one-track mind and I just kept going!

Getting the band together
In 1982 I met guitarist Chris Salmon in Whitstable during a summer holiday. He had a very distinctive style and I was fascinated with his playing - so we made a vague arrangement to get together in the future after we had finished our Art degrees at Coventry and Canterbury. I originally had in mind a band that would play a cross between ‘Suction Prints’ by Captain Beefheart and ‘DMZ’ by Brand X – splintered structures and dissonant harmonics - combined with a post-punk flavour a singer might bring. Anyway, as planned, Chris and I settled down to play together in London around ’84… and the music began to go it’s own way, quite naturally.

We had no luck finding a singer after advertising in Melody Maker, but an Irish drummer, Rob McKahey turned up. He was an obvious first choice right from the start: his flamboyant, tumbling drum style was only matched by his astonishing facility for self-promotion and bullshit. He liked our music and tackled it with great confidence… and that gave us all confidence. As it happened, Rob had recently moved from Cork and knew a community of Irish musicians who had settled in London - including members of bands such as Five Go Down To The Sea and MicroDisney. Among them was a Brixton squatter called Mick Lynch (an ex-member of Microdisney). Rob thought he might fit in and invited him down to our rehearsal basement on the Old Kent road to see what would happen. Before he had sung a word, Chris and I were immediately taken with his appearance – tall and thin with a Tin Tin quiff. He had a ‘light’ lyrical style and wrote funny little vignettes about Tupperware strippers and American tourists. He admired bands like Madness and Devo. We liked him and he seemed to handle the difficult job of slotting words into the dense arrangements easily.
We began playing our first gigs and Mick emerged as a terrific front man - even people who didn’t like the music were entertained watching his performance and laughing at his Flann O’Brien- inspired patois between the songs. He would play-act and gyrate his gangly form in a comic manner. He extended the appeal of the band immensely: without him we would have been doomed to art-band status – and that was something we were consciously trying to avoid at the time. A highly sociable, mainly Irish audience spread the word fast and it didn’t take long before we began packing out all the venues and becoming one of the hottest live acts on the London Indie scene. In an age of Velvet Underground imitators we sounded very different from all the other bands and stood out a mile. We took our music seriously and invested a massive amount of energy into the gigs. When we recorded our first e.p ‘Mud On A Colon ’ in 1986 on a small budget for the Ron Johnson label, the press picked up on it with enthusiasm and a Peel session followed almost immediately.

Quirking Out
By 1986 we had acquired management and were able to finance our mini-album, ‘Quirk Out’ on our own label. It was recorded at Rockfield studios with amiable producer, Hugh Jones, and enjoyed a long stint around the top of the indie charts. More Peel sessions followed and a track on NME cassette - C86 - added to our popularity (even though it was a terrible recording). When The Tube music programme made a video of the catchy ‘Buffalo’, kids started singing the memorable chorus of “ How much is the fish? How much is the chips?” in the schoolyard… and we were really in business.

This was a happy exciting time. The influences we all brought to the band were working well at this point, even though our democratic writing and rehearsal process was tortuously slow. It took us months to fashion all the wobbly noises, tumbling drums and lyrics into songs. Unlike most bands, we contributed equally: there was no songwriter coming in with a guitar showing everyone the chords. Instead, we relied on a fine balance of each other’s discrete musical contributions. BecMuch was made about the Beefheart influence, but only myself and Rob were fans. Chris and Mick didn’t know his music and didn’t want to get to know it, either. One might equally claim there was a Country &Western thing going on (Mick’s influence) in songs like ‘Everything in its Place’. We goofed around in front of the photographers, surfing on ironing boards and jumping on top of each other (perhaps a bit too much, in retrospect). We were constantly on the road and the gigs were hilarious and always musically exciting. Our audience were divided into three types of people: crazy nutters jumping around at the front, rock punters in the middle, and chin scratching serious types at the back.
It was about this time that Ensign Records started to take an interest – no doubt spurred on by the popularity of the Tube video, the Peel sessions and the live shows. At first we heard that they were only interested in Mick and not the rest of the band but they signed us all anyway.. Ensign were run by Nigel Grange, a very successful old- school record company man and Chris Hill a well-known DJ who had had his heyday in the seventies introducing disco to the UK. They specialised in Irish rock acts and had had huge success with Sinead O’Connor and the Waterboys and to be honest...we were wondering what the hell they wanted with us... after all ...
we were only half Irish!

Recording A Fierce Pancake
The songs had continued to evolve since ‘Quirk Out’ and now with some money behind us we were ready to record our first full album and felt it was time to try a different producer. I’d been a big admirer of German samplist Holger Hiller who had ingeniously blended music concrete forms with pop. This was of special interest to me at the time because I was busy trying to incorporate sampling into the band as much as possible. Ensign agreed to give him a go provided we used the dependable known element of Stephen Street engineering. After some initial recording in London we were booked into the vast, crumbling Hansa studios in Berlin, to begin work on the ‘Fierce Pancake’ album.

Producer No.1
In the strange, spooky atmosphere of Hansa everything seemed fine at first - the recording was going well. However, after a few days a personality clash developed between Holger and some members of the band. Holger had a cool, methodical approach, which did not always suit the more impatient, hotheaded side of the band. It certainly didn’t help when he kept saying ‘Rock music is dead’... even if it was true! Stephen Street provided a calm presence, but when he left after two weeks to start work with Morrisey, the situation deteriorated. I must confess that I wasn’t party to most of this as I had finished all the bass parts in the first few days and was hanging around for the rest of the time waiting to put the samples down. I remember being shocked on the flight back home when it was suggested we throw Holger off the project altogether and call Hugh Jones up again to finish off and mix it - in fact, I had no idea that feelings were running that strong. Back in London that’s just what happened, leaving us in the precarious position of trying to find someone to finish and mix the album quickly. But Ensign had their own ideas about producers and suggested someone called John Robie – ‘the hottest remixer in town’. We had never heard of him but agreed to meet him.
Producer No.2
The first thing Robie suggested was a reworking and rearrangement of two of the songs we had already recorded. I was dubious about this proposal because it was obvious that we regarded arrangement as part of composition and co-operating with him meant overlooking this. His approach was skilled and workmanlike; instead of admiring the constituent parts, he looked for the basic chords and melody that made up the song and worked on presenting it in a more digestible format...presumably under strict instructions from Ensign. They urged us to give him a go.

Events took a rather predictable turn when he began simplifying the bass and guitar parts and got Rob playing really simple beats. It didn’t really sound like us anymore. Worse was to come. When Mick, one day, casually remarked that he wanted to do a cover version of ‘El Paso’ I was aghast when I arrived at the studio the next morning to find 2 professional backing singers (booked by Robie) singing harmonies on a Stump version of El Paso! I couldn’t believe it. He had actually taken it seriously! After a couple of days, I had decided that we were loosing all sense of objectivity and were sliding into oblivion, but when I made my feelings clear it created friction in the band because opinion was divided as to how well the tracks were progressing.

It’s fair to say that Mick and Rob were much better at talking to the Ensign boys than Chris and myself and they almost acted like emissaries while we took care of the music. When Ensign and the management asked us all to be open-minded about the situation and see it through, Mick and Rob were far less critical and more obliging due to their extra contact with Ensign so when I spoke out I was disturbing the peace and openly jepordising the relationship with the record company. Mick in particular did not like confrontation and was very angry with me... maybe it was something to do with the El Paso episode!

The situation was utterly preposterous. We’d gone from an Avant Garde, sample/collage artist who thought ‘Rock music was dead’, to a pop producer who thought we should be doing C&W cover versions! When the Ensign boys came to listen to the results the atmosphere was inflammatory and a ferocious row blew up with everyone shouting at each other. It was an ugly scene.

Money Money Money
The whole situation was exasperated by knowing how much money was riding on a ‘result’. The studio bill alone came in at over a grand a day. Remember, this was the late eighties ... the era of silly money.

When you know there is serious money at stake, you’re under pressure to get it right and there is a great temptation to say ‘yes’ to everything. The general opinion was that we’d fucked-up once already and another fuck-up would finish us. When the tracks were eventually completed I was appalled at how slick, polished and bland they sounded just wasn’t us - in fact, I didn’t even bother to play bass on two of the tracks - the parts were sequenced in my absense. In the end - and an onscene amount of money later- the two reworked tracks and the cover version were dumped with only ‘Charlton Heston ’ surviving - the only song that suited Robie's silky production. The management then asked Hugh to come back and rescue the situation and mix the recordings from Hansa. It was a relief to see him back.

After the Album - and the 'Rave' Scene
We’d survived the recording experience intact and made a good album, but I could see things ahead compromising our future that had nothing to do with record companies, managers or producers. Delays to the completion of ‘A Fierce Pancake ’ meant we’d dropped out of gigging for quite some time and there had been some significant changes on the scene while we were away.

The focus had shifted to 'dance' music. Organised 'raves' were happening up and down the country and the UK was awash with Mockney, DJs. You were made to feel like some sort of soulless, asexual blob if you didn’t like or want to move to their incredibly un-funky, over-quantised, four-to-the-floor marching music. Most of it had about as much rhythmic interest as a dripping tap. Remix DJ’s and ‘keyboard wizards’ were calling all the shots, idolized by huge crowds of spazzed-out zombie youth who stood in muddy fields jigging in front of a DJ stage. The drug dealers also had a field day. One thing was for sure: Rock bands were out.

The musicians who wanted to survive were getting out fast, learning how to make House music and trading their guitars for Atari computers and samplers… or calling themselves DJs. It was unsettling seeing so many Indie musicians desperately trying to re-invent themselves overnight, and renouncing their previous identities in the rush to don a silver hat and log BPMs.
A Fierce Pancake
Despite the difficult time we had making ‘A Fierce Pancake ’ we were happy with the way it ended up. It was an adventurous, arty, complex record – more atmospheric than our previous stuff. The addition of samples had worked well and it was beautifully mixed by Hugh – with a minimum of gated snares and washy reverbs. It was multi-layered and worked on several levels - from the strange slumping drumbeat and bent bass harmonics of ‘Chaos’ with its emphatic chorus of ‘Mutiny!’ to the atmospheric, sampledelic tale of self-delusion that was ‘Alcohol’. The Kurt Weill circus/cartoon music of ‘Eager Bereaver’ - complete with ear popping crashes and eruptions was a great success. Then there was the C&W twang of ‘Charlton Heston’ offset with sequenced frog-like burps and clever, daft lyrics parodying Hollywood epics. The odd one out was the ominous, instrumental, title track- complete with it’s tremolo bass, bodhran beat, nightmarish guitar, pipes and Schaeffer- inspired clusters of squeaking doors, dusty celestes and shopping trolleys – all objects found in the corners of Hansa. ‘A Visit to the Doctor’ featured a Wihelm Reich-style monologue of sexual dysfunction in 5 parts. The album ended with the frantic energy of ‘Boggy Home’ with its wonderful words that could grace a fine folk song’ “those greening, agreeable, arable acres”. There were delights a-plenty all the way through and the two dedications to Wilhelm Reich and Flann O' Brien summed up the spirit of the record. No other rock band sounded like us.

Back on the Road
Now it was time to get back on the road and tour.‘Chaos ’ was the song selected from the album for the first single. I was never clear why this was chosen as there was no discussion beforehand or formal band meeting with Ensign, but I heard from Rob, much later on, that Mick had lobbied hard as it was his favourite track. It was a good track, all right, but hardly commercial! I thought there were more obvious choices on the album but the decision appeared to be final. Despite a lavish promo for the single, initial sales figures suggested a gloomy forecast, both for the single and the album. When we came to do the British tour we played to half-empty venues and returned home demoralised. Ironically, these were our first gigs with tour support involving a road crew with a bloody great truck, P.A. and light show which added to the embarrassment...and Ensign were starting to get switchy about seeing zero return on their investment too.

Charlton Heston’ was chosen as the second single and a promo was made with director, Tim Pope (and a thousand live frogs) at the cost of nearly fifty grand. It was easily the most commercial song on the record, but despite asking the Irrestible Force to do a remix for us, the song proved emanently resistable and only nudged into the top 60 for a week before disappearing altogether.

Time for a Change
This had a depressing effect on the band and for the first time we started looking inward at ourselves and examining the sort of music we were making. The unshakable conviction we had in ourselves slowly started to evaporate and we starting to pull in different directions. Rob and Chris appeared to be looking for active solutions to our lack of commerciality and were drifting towards a more basic rock approach - they were playing Beatles and Stones tapes all the time and enthusing about bands like Husker Du and the Pixies. I was loosing interest in the bass and spending hours programming and sampling and going arty and further left field. Mick remained fairly neutral. It was clear that we couldn’t make another Fierce Pancake, but before the quirky, wobbly Stump sound got an overhaul we all needed to agree where we were going first.

It seemed to me that in order to solve the problem we would have to test our versatility and risk upsetting the fixed roles we had established within the band over the years. We would have to listen to each other seriously and figure out how we could bring new interests together sucessfully and practically. But we never got round to agreeing on anything in the end. We only knew what we disagreed on: I wasn’t interested in going more rocky and playing straight bass; Chris and Rob weren’t interested in moving to the left field. I thought the samples could play an even more prominent part in the sound and we could still retain the set role of the guitar and drums but the others were sceptical about this and it proved impossible to develop the idea further than a few rehearsals with Rob. I could see that Chris felt uncomfortable when I wasn’t playing bass - after all, this was the way we had written everything for the last 4 years. All in all, we seemed unable to make the changes necessary for the survival of the band. All the disappointments and the poor performance of the album and singles had had the effect of lowering our morale and sapping our energy.

When Mick and Rob left for a promo tour of the States, Chris and I stayed back to write as we were desperately short of new material. When they returned home everyone was disappointed because we hadn’t come up with much at all and were finding it difficult to avoid repeating ourselves. Chris had actually had more success writing with Mick around this time. There were about half a dozen ideas hanging around, but not much else. When we eventually came to demo the new songs Ensign were not impressed at all. In a last desparate attempt to get the band kick-started again they released ‘Buffalo’ as a single - we couldn’t even be bothered to tell them it was a lousy idea. When it flopped, as we knew it would, despondency set in with a vengeance. No one wanted to do anything in the rehearsals at Elephant & Castle anymore. We were all making excuses, arriving late and leaving early or getting involved in other projects. It was obvious to everyone around us what was going on and eventually we were persuaded to split by our manager after a truly suicidal gig at the Electric Ballroom in Camden late ‘88 when we rattled through a set that would have normally lasted an hour in 25 minutes - just to get it over with. The audience of mostly loyal fans were horrified. There was relief all round when the decision was made, but great sadness too.

So there you have it: sure, there were some bad decisions made on our behalf, but our biggest problems and our ultimate downfall were all of our own making.

We left Ensign almost a quarter of a million pounds in debt and thought about what we were going to do next as individuals. It was over.

© Kev Hopper 2007

I spent a day labouriously scanning old press clippings I have of the band. Most of them are cut out of old NME's and Melody Makers but I couldn't be sure of some of the writers and sources.There are several large interviews from these papers that I wasn't prepared to scan for for the website as it was too time consuming, but there should be plenty of things of interest, hopefully.

Review of the Astoria gig by Pete Paisley (paper unknown)

Review of the Limelight Club by DJ John Peel at the (The Observer)

Write up by Stuart Bailie with colour pics (Record Mirror)

Review of the Astoria gig by Paul Oldfield (paper unknown)

Review of the Astoria gig by Simon Williams (paper unknown)

Review of the Bay 63 gig by Ian Gittins, Melody Maker, June ’86

Review of the Central London Poly gig by Oskar Matzerath (paper unknown)

Review of the Chelsea Collge gig by Jonathan Romney (paper unknown)

Write-up (with good photo of Mick) in City Limits Mag by Ricky Kidare, May ’86

Write–up ( with excellent group colour photo) by Robin Smith (paper unknown)

Funny interview with group photo (writer and paper unknown)

Gossip and Mighty Lemon Drops bitching (paper unknown)

Interview by Chris Maillard (with excellent photo of Mick & Chris) from International Musician, March ’87

Japanese language feature with colour photo (writer and paper unknown)

Review of the Limelight gig by Sgrifennwr Afiach (with photo of Mick) Melody Maker , January ’87

Review of the Limelight gig by Shaun Phillips (paper unknown)

Embarrassing 2 page interview Vicki Hill (featuring video grabs) from LM magazine

Review of the Manchester International gig by Billy Smith (paper unknown)

Shambolic likes and dislikes (with photo) from the NME, August ’88

Picture of Mick in full shout

Review of the Scruples gig in Wolverhampton by Ian Birrell, Melody Maker, May ‘86

Feature by Simon Reynolds with group photo, Melody Maker April ‘86

Review of Dingwalls gig by Everett True (with excellent photo of Mick) Melody Maker, Aug ’88

Review of a Bay 63 gig (with a pic of Bogshed!) by Simon Reynolds, March ’86

Review of ‘Mud on a Colon’ with cover photo (writer and paper unknown)

Write-up with outstanding photo of Mick (writer and paper unknown)

2 Reviews of ‘Mud on a Colon” Sounds and NME, March ’86 (writers unknown)

Review of Kentish Town Bull & Gate by Dele Fadele, NME, April ’86

Charlton Heston review (with cover illustration) from the NME, July ’88

Feature with big group photo dressed as policemen (writer and paper unknown)

Quirk Out’ review by Simon Reynolds (paper unknown)

‘Quirk Out’ review by Ron Rom (paper unknown)

Review of the George Robey gig by Roy Wilkinson, Sounds, June ’86

Review of Kentish Town Bull & Gate (with photo of Mick) by Ron Rom, Sounds, April ’86

The first ever Stump write up (with group photo) by Neil Taylor, NME

Review of the Town and Country club gig (writer and paper unknown)

Write-up by Bruce Dessau (with outstanding group photo) from London Time Out

Write-up with colour group photo (writer and paper unknown)

Glastonbury 1987 programme (group photo and blurb)

Stump Reunion 2006
In April 2006 all 4 members of Stump met under the same roof for the first time in twenty years and it was a gloriously funny and enjoyable occasion. I travelled from London with Chris (who I still bump in to from time to time in Greenwich).
We all gathered at the invitation of the wonderfully dynamic Louise, Rob’s partner, who was springing a surprise party on the occasion of his 50th birthday in Clonakilty, County Cork.

There were a lot of familiar faces there from days of yore, including lovely Liam (Rob’s brother and now the singer with the band Cousteau)… plus some newer and curious faces – Rob’s kids and their friends (for instance) who all seemed to know a great deal about Stump and obviously held the band in very high esteem. They all play in bands of their own… and we were a little conscious of being reluctant role models.

Anyway, there we all were face to face after all those years. It was great to get together and discuss life stories properly. In good humour, and with great empathy, we compared beer guts, baldness and dentistry over pints of booze. We went on to ponder sex, death, disease and divorce. All four of us had been through the wars it seemed.

Then the live music started – first a local Irish country singer – and Rob (surprisingly, because I thought he’d totally given up) tapping away on drums. Soon after, Rob’s kids and their friends got up and started playing Lenny Kravitz numbers. Of course, after they finished, the crowd began urging us to get on stage and play old Stump numbers. We refused - quite wisely, as it turns out…
The next day, after the party, we all got together at Rob’s recently renovated, vast and isolated house where a room was set up with a drum kit, amps and guitars (normally used by his kids). Mick had prepared a touching little ode to middle age for Rob and performed it in front of us in the front room.

After watching a few old Stump videos and listening to the records someone inevitably said ‘C’mon let’s have a go’ and we all reluctantly and nervously shuffled into the rehearsal room taking our hangovers with us and immediately assuming our old positions on the instruments. The next generation of rock musicians looked on, an air of high expectation on their young, fresh faces.

Rob finally entered the room tripping up on the drums like they were some sort of, alien apparatus he didn’t recognize. Mick fumbled with the microphone failing to get any sound out of it other than howling feedback until one of the boys took pity on him and came and sorted the PA out. Chris couldn’t find the ‘on’ switch or get any sound at all on the guitar…until once again, one of the kids sorted him out. I picked up the bass:
‘Oh no. Frets.’
Finally, after fussing and fumbling, it came to pass Stump were all ready to have a go for the first time in 20 years.

What shall we play?
‘Buffalo’ rang the chorus.
‘Erm, right…how does the riff go?’
Well, as this is probably the easiest bass line in the world I remembered it straight away. After much head-scratching, Chris went back to the TV room to consult the video of us all playing it – then he eventually got the riff. But Rob couldn’t get the drum pattern at all despite having watched the video a moment ago. Mick could only remember ‘Big Bottom Swing’ and none of the other words (it hasn’t got many words anyway, Mick). He also couldn’t remember the names of any Stump songs, any Stump lyrics or any Stump album names. During the racket that followed, miraculously, for one poignant fraction of a second, everything fell into place like a phasing tape loop finally in sync… and my mind was cast sharply back to 1987. Then everything melted down into a sorry, shambling Anglo/Irish middle-aged mess.

In desperation, we briefly attempted ‘Everything In it’s Place’ but that proved far too tricky. The next generation looked distinctly disappointed at our shockingly inept attempt at a comeback, shaking their heads in disbelief and snorting as children do at their fathers dancing at wedding discos.

Shame-faced, we began to collapse in laughter and slink out the room abandoning the instruments.

So…as you have probably gathered…no immediate comeback planned for the foreseeable! A good thing too, I reckon. What a great band we were- and what a lively bunch we still are. Let’s not let the music spoil it all now.

Where are they now? (updated 2007)

Mick Lynch
Soon after Stump folded Mick began playing with Chris in a regular band. I think they did one gig together before they called it a day (for reasons I’m not really clear on). Then he formed a band called ‘Bernard’ with musicians from Stockwell where he lived. I saw them play in a pub in south London and they were quite good – much more poppy than Stump with well arranged songs. They even played a few old Stump numbers that didn’t make it to vinyl.

What happened to them? I think Mick returned home to Cork after his father became ill. I think he lost enthusiasm for the band and was homesick. They never made any recordings as far as I know.

I saw him at the Triskell theatre in Cork early 2002 when I was there with Ticklish. He did a sort of cabaret act called “with chickens” (I think). It’s was quite ‘light’ and he did a few Stump numbers with other people imitating the sounds of the band. Rob McKahey and myself were singing along in a drunken stupor.

We all asked him what his plans were for the future at the Stump reunion of '06 but it was difficult getting a straight answer from him other than he intended to continue doing one-man shows and children's theatre. I got the impression he was 'in between stuff'.

Chris Salmon

Chris was still extremely enthusiastic about playing after the split. At first he had the band with Mick, but when that ended he seemed to give up the guitar completely in favour of painting and printmaking. He was having some success at this already and had begun exhibiting and selling his work on a regular basis. He is now quite a successful artist.

I bump into Chris a couple of times a year as he still lives in London. I went to see him play at the Spitz with a bunch of mates in 2005 (I can't remember the name of the band). It was the sort of group where no one was taking control -or driving through strong ideas -but his guitar shone through the murk of their anonymous jamming like a beacon.

Rob McKahey

One thing a lot of people didn’t realize about Rob was that he had an impressive baritone voice and could accompany himself on the guitar. He had a deep love of Irish traditional folk music. After the split he recorded a lot of songs – I remember the music was a funny mix of traditional and ‘industrial’ – he used drum machines and traditional musicians. Des D’ Moor and myself contributed samples.

However, success (in the form of a record deal) was not immediately forthcoming and Rob became increasingly impatient with the whole music business. Also, he really loathed London with a vengeance and was looking for a good excuse to quit his Edgeware road flat, go back to Cork and start afresh.

After he managed to pull off a series of money-raising scams, he found the ‘excuse’ in the form of a woman he met and later married. They bought a house in county Cork and raised a family. Rob gave up music completely other than giving drum lessons.Several years later, with a divorce behind him, he has sold his drum kit and devotes his time to his two young boys and renovating property. He has since found the woman of his dreams and seems very happy!

Although he had previously told me he has no ambition to return to playing music I was surprised to see him playing drums at the Stump '06 reunion with a local C&W band. He seemed interested in making music again - but seemed unclear what he wanted to do or when he wanted to do it.


©1986 Ron Johnson Music
12" U.K. ZRON 6

A1. Orgasm Way
A2. Ice The Levant
B1. Grab Hands
B2. 55-0-55

Recorded: Point Studio
Producer: Stump & Danny
Engineer: Danny Hyde

Black vinyl. No inserts.

©1986 Stuff Records
12" U.K. STUF/U2

A1. Tupperware Stripper
A2. Our Fathers
A3. Kitchen Table
B1. Buffalo
B2. Everything In It's Place
B3. Bit Part Actor

Recorded: Rockfield (July 1986)
Producer & Engineer: Hugh Jones

Black vinyl. One-sided insert w/lyric

©1987 Strange Fruit Records
12" U.K. SFP019
©1987 Dutch East India Trading
CASS DEI8335-4

A1. Down On The Kitchen Table
A2. Orgasm Way
B1. Grab Hands
B2. Buffalo

Producer: Dale Griffin
Engineer: Mike Engles
Recorded: 26th January 1986
First Transmission: 5th February 1986
Cutting Engineer: Bob Jones, CTS

black vinyl, no insert. U.S. cassette has color
tri-fold cover insert.

©1988 Ensign Records Limited
LP U.S. BFV41641
CD U.K. CCD 1641
CD U.S. VK 41641 / DIDX 3007

A1. Living It Down
A2. In The Green
A3. Roll The Bodies Over
A4. Bone
A5. Eager Bereaver (U.K. only track)
A5. Buffalo (U.S. only track)**
A6. Chaos
B1. Alcohol
B2. Charlton Heston*
B3. Heartache
B4. Doctor (A Visit To The)
B5. A Fierce Pancake
B6. Boggy Home

Recorded: in London and Berlin by Stephen Street
Producer: Holger Hiller and Stump
(* Producer: John Robie)
(** Producer: Hugh Jones)
Post Production and Mix: Hugh Jones

Notes:The U.K. and U.S. versions swap the songs: "Eager
Bereaver" and "Buffalo". LP comes with printed dust sleeve. CD comes with 16page booklet.

©1988 Chrysalis Records Limited
12" U.K. FRIZ 2

A1. Chaos (7" Mix)
A2. Alcohol
A3. Charlton Heston*
A4. Living It Down

Recorded: in London and Berlin by Stephen Street
Producer: Holger Hiller and Stump
(* Producer: John Robie)
Post Production and Mix: Hugh Jones

Notes: Promotional only. Side B has nothing on it.


©1988 Ensign/Chrysalis Records Limited
12" U.K. ENYX 612
7" U.K. ENY 612

A1. Chaos
B1. Ice The Levant*
B2. Safe Sex

Recorded: in London and Berlin by Stephen Street
Producer: Holger Hiller and Stump
(* Producer: Hugh Jones)
Post Production and Mix: Hugh Jones

Notes: The 7" version has a different mix of "Choas", and omits "Safe Sex".
This version of "Ice The Levant" is newly recorded (different from the "Mud
On A Colon" EP version).

©1988 Ensign/Chrysalis Records Limited
12" U.K. ENYX 614
7" U.K. ENY 614

A1. Lights! Camel! Action! (Charlton Heston Meets The Irresistable Force)*
B1. Charlton Heston (7" Version)**
B2. The Rats***
B3. Angst Forecast***

* Sampled and Reproduced by The Irresistable Force
* Produced: John Robie at Swanyard
* Engineered: Charlie Llewellyn at Cold Storage, Gerard Johnson at Advision,
and Orinoco at Red Megaphone. Demon Workshop Mega Mix.
** Producer: John Robie, Remix: Hugh Jones
*** Pruducer: Stump at Red Bus, Mixed: Stephen Street

Notes: The 7" version omits "Lights! Camel! Action!" and "The Rats".

©1988 Ensign/Chrysalis Records Limited
12" U.K. ENYX 619
7" U.K. ENY 619

A1. Buffalo
B1. The Song's Remains*
B2. Thelma*

Recorded: in London and Berlin by Stephen Street
Producer: Hugh Jones
* Recorded: ?
* Producer: Stump

Notes: The 7" version omits "Thelma".


©1986 Ron Johnson Music

Side A Track 4. STUMP - Big End

Recorded: Cold Storage (London 1986)
Producer: ?
Engineer: ?

Notes: This track can only be found on this compilation LP. Put out by Ron
Johnson Music, including 10 other bands. Printed inner dust sleeve.

©1986 NME New Musical Express
LP U.K. ?

Side A Track 7. STUMP - Buffalo (4:30)

Recorded: ?
Producer: Stump
Engineer: ?

Notes: This track version can only be found on this compilation LP.
Publishing credited to Ron Johnson Music, so it is probably from the same
sessions as "Big End", or "Mud On A Colon" EP. The compilation includes 22 other bands.

©1988 Reflex Magazine
FLEXI U.S. Soundsheet #4

Side A: THE SILOS - Out Of Town
Side AA: STUMP - Our Fathers

Recorded: ? (1986)
Producer: Hugh Jones
Engineer: ?

Notes: This 7" Flexi came free with Relex Magazine, Volume 1 Issue 5,
Special Double Issue, June/July 1988. (Same version from "Quirk Out" E.P.?)

All recordings have been deleted since 1990. 'Mud on a Colon' and 'Quirk Out' were never released on CD.
Thanks to Yuko Shimbo for live photos of the band.





post them up on the this sit