This is a band that called Northern Ireland home, the oddly named Fruupp, indeed, on their debut had all the elements of a prog powerhouse in the making.
Written by: Eric
ALBUM: Future Legends
SERIAL: DNLS 3053
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Northern Ireland, England
LINEUP: Vincent McCusker – vocals, guitars * Stephen Huston – keyboards, oboe, vocals * Peter Farrelly – bass * Martin Foye – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Future Legends (intro) * 02 Decision * 03 As Day Breaks With Dawn * 04 Graveyard Epistle * 05 Lord Of The Incubus * 06 Old Tyme Future * 07 Song For A Thought * 08 Future Legends (outtro)
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any progressive rock bands that called Northern Ireland home other than the oddly named Fruupp. Seriously, its hard to imagine much opportunity for an upstart prog band in that segregated and embattled part of the world, so it had to be no surprise after a 1971 gig opening for Rory Gallagher in Belfast, they packed up the van and left for London.
They had better luck getting gigs as both a headliner and support band for an unbelievable list of future stars including Queen, Supertramp, ELO, Focus and Genesis.
Signing to the legendary Dawn label in early 1973 and releasing ‘Future Legends’ in October of that year, Fruupp had plenty going for them with stellar musicianship and quality songwriting that for some reason never really took off in a big way.
Indeed, on their debut Fruupp had all the elements of a prog powerhouse in the making. Opening with a string quartet and keyboard accompaniment on the title track the journey begins between symphonic orchestrations and hard rock influences that sum up the Fruupp vibe.
Not necessarily groundbreaking, ‘Decision’ is truly uplifting and one of the band’s best songs throwing everything and the kitchen sink into the composition and not making a mess of it seemed to be Fruupp’s forte, something that can’t be said for many of their more successful and overindulgent peers.
Comparisons to Genesis can be drawn although Fruupp were often heavier and had a one up in the vocal department on tunes like the dreamy Graveyard Epistle’, the hard rocking ‘Lord Of The Incubus’ and in particular ‘Old Tyme Future’ with odd yodeling that brings to mind the Dutch band Focus.
Three more excellent albums followed culminating with 1975’s brilliant Ian McDonald (King Crimson, Foreigner) produced ‘Modern Masquerades’ featuring keyboard player John Mason who replaced Stephen Huston earlier that year. Unfortunately, it was not to last and Fruupp split in late 1976 leaving in its wake a treasure trove of quality prog – Irish style.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)