Fruupp

By Erik Neuteboom: Fruupp was an Irish progressive rock band formed in 1971. Despite their hard work and slots opening for the likes of King Crimson, the band never caught on in their time, though their albums are well-regarded by fans of progressive rock.

Guitarist, singer and writer Vince McCusker had spent some months in London to find musicians for his musical ideas. Disappointed he returned to Belfast and recruited musicians to play his material: Miles McKee, Stephen Houston, Peter Farrelly and Martin Foye. They called themselves FRUUPP, the name is derived from an Electroset page, the band added a U and a P.

Fruupp signed a contract with Dawn Records and in ’71 they released the debut album titled "Future Legends", in ’74 followed by the "Seven Secrets" and "The Prince of Heaven’s Eyes". The band was making real progress but Stephen Houston left for religious reasons the band and was replaced by John Mason. In this line-up FRUUPP made their last but acclaimed LP "Modern Masquerades" (’74).

The best introduction to the very distinctive sound of FRUUPP is the compilation CD "Songs for a Thought (Sequel Records 1992) featuring 14 tracks from their four albums. Fruupp showcases a great maturity in writing, combining several styles and showing lots of instruments and changing atmospheres: classic with oboe, folky with acoustic guitars and symphonic with propulsive interplay between electric guitar and organ.

This CD also includes the previously unreleased track On a clear day: an alternating piece with powerful electric guitar playing, tasteful keyboards and strong vocals. The best comparison to the unique Fruupp sound is YES-rooted band like Druid and England but Fruupp sound more sophisticated and more colourful.

Stephen Houston is busy recording this colossal musical experience and for all progressive aficionados, this could be a reawakening into where the band would have developed to musically.

"The Thaumaturge" will be an album where the spirit wind of creativity has been let loose and no one is trying to hold onto the rudder. Will there be 'a tour'? Houston has not given any definition to this, but people are talking about the fact that he is recently in receipt of a five and a half thousand watt PA system.

Town/Village/County: Belfast

Vocals: Myles McKee
Lead Guitar:
Henry McCullough
2nd Guitar:
Bass:
Peter Farrelly
Drums: Martin Foye
Piano/Organ/Oboe:
Stephen Houston
Other:
Manager:

  FRUUPP INDUCTED INTO FRIARS AYLESBURY HALL OF FAME  (July 2011)


Northern Ireland’s finest, Fruupp, have received a special award marking their past achievements. The world renowned Friars Aylesbury rock club in Buckinghamshire has awarded the band its highest honour, the Friars Heroes Award, effectively inducting them into the legendary venue’s hall of fame alongside artists such as Mott The Hoople, Stiff Little Fingers, The Jam, The Pretty Things, Steve Harley, Steve Hackett, Howard Jones, Marillion and many more.


Friars Aylesbury was established as a club ‘for the musically aware’ in 1969 and presented over the following 15 years a Who’s Who of the music world (everybody from Free to U2 to Captain Beefheart to Kid Creole and the Coconuts) and is acknowledged as the catalyst for national success for many now legendary bands including Mott The Hoople, Cockney Rebel, Genesis and a certain David Bowie whose Ziggy Stardust performance in 1972 remains the most talked about gig. The club reopened in 2009 to commemorate its 40th anniversary and since then has started presenting gigs again including the spiritual ‘homecoming’ of Stiff Little Fingers and a never to be forgotten gig by Paul Weller in 2010.

Fruupp drummer Martin Foye (left) pictured with the  Friars Heroes Award and friend, Brian O'Neill


The Friars Aylesbury website documents the club’s entire history and has been honouring those very special and diverse artists who made a huge impression in Aylesbury. Website curator Mike O’Connor said:
“We are delighted to honour Fruupp, a hugely popular band at Friars in the mid 1970s. They first played Friars supporting an on the up Queen in 1974 and made such an impression on the discerning Friars audience that within months were making the first of several successful headlining gigs. Our congratulations to them”  
~ Brian O'Neill 2011


Sheba's Song from 'Modern Masquerades'
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