Druid

Druid was an English symphonic-rock band that released the 1975–76 albums Toward the Sun and Fluid Druid, both on EMI. Drummer Ced Sharpley later resurfaced in Gary Numan‘s Tubeway Army and Dramatis.

Members: Neil Brewer (bass), Andrew McCrorie-Shand (keyboards), Ced Sharpley (drums), Dane [Dane Stevens] (guitar, vocals)


Background

Druid formed in 1971 in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, when singer–guitarist Dane Stevens (henceforth known by his forename) teamed with bassist Neil Brewer and drummer Ced Sharpley, a friend since childhood. Their name refers to religious leaders in ancient Celtic mythology. After two years as a trio, Druid hired keyboardist Andrew McCrorie-Shand, a London College of Music graduate who played in multiple bands in his native Leamington Spa.

In 1974, Druid competed against twelve unsigned acts at the Melody Maker Rock–Folk Contest, an annual contract competition held at London’s Roundhouse. They performed two originals, “Shangri-La” and “Toward the Sun,” before a voting panel that included Clifford T. Ward, Elkie Brooks, Roy Wood, and TV host Bob Harris.

The panel selected Druid, who won £500 for instruments and a contract with EMI Records. Sharpley won an additional £50 as the best musician in the contest. The event’s organizer, Larry Westland, became their manager. Harris produced a set of demos that convinced EMI to greenlight an album. Meanwhile, Druid gained London residencies at the Brecknock and Lord Nelson venues.


Toward the Sun

Druid released their debut album, Toward the Sun, in July 1975 on EMI. Danem composed the title track and co-wrote “Remembering” and “Shangri-la” with bassist Neil Brewer, who co-wrote “Red Carpet for an Autumn” and “Dawn of Evening” with keyboardist Andrew McCrorie-Shand, who in turn wrote “Voices” with Dane. “Theme” is joint-credited to the four members. McCrorie-Shand handled the album’s choral arrangements.

A1. “Voices” (8:16)
A2. “Remembering” (5:27)
A3. “Theme” (5:28)
A4. “Toward the Sun” (5:08)
B1. “Red Carpet for an Autumn” (3:11)
B2. “Dawn of Evening” (10:10)
B3. “Shangri-la” (10:12)

Recorded At – Morgan Studios
Producer – Bob Harris
Engineer – George Nicholson

EMI issued Toward the Sun in the UK and Portugal in a textured sleeve with artwork by Adrian Sadgrove. In Brazil, the album appeared on EMI’s progressive Harvest imprint.

Nothing But Morning” appears on EMI Summer Sounds Volume 1 Rock, a 1976 EMI–Harvest label comp with cuts by Baker Gurvitz Army, Be-Bop Deluxe, Deep Purple, Kevin Ayers, Man, Nazareth, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Soft Machine, Solution, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, and Strapps.


Fluid Druid

Druid released their second album, Fluid Druid, in May 1976 on EMI. Dane wrote “Barnaby” and co-wrote three songs (“Razor Truth,” “Painters Clouds,” “Nothing but Morning”) with Brewer, who co-wrote “Crusade” with McCrorie-Shand, who lone-wrote three short numbers (“FM 145,” “Kestrel,” “The Fisherman’s Friend”) and joint-wrote the epic “Left to Find” with Brewer and Dane.

A1. “Razor Truth” (5:40)
A2. “Painters Clouds” (4:58)
A3. “FM 145” (2:10)
A4. “Crusade” (7:51)
B1. “Nothing but Morning” (4:10)
B2. “Barnaby” (3:12)
B3. “Kestrel” (3:37)
B4. “Left to Find” (7:17)
B5. “The Fisherman’s Friend” (0:44)

Recorded At – Advision Studios
Producer, Engineer – Paul “Rockette”
Engineer [Assistant] – Ken “Superstar” Thomas

Bass Guitar – Neil Brewer
Drums, Percussion – Ced Sharpley
Guitar, Vocals – Dane
Keyboards, Choir and Strings – Andrew McCrorie-Shand

Choir – Choir From The Royal College of Music

Sleeve Design Produced – Cream
Photography [Back Cover] – Peter Vernon
Photography [Inner Liner] – Odile Noël


Discography:


Sources:

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