Ducks Deluxe

Formed in London in 1972, Ducks Deluxe was one of the first and most influential pub rock bands of the era. Founded by former Help Yourself members Sean Tyla (guitar) and Ken Whaley (bass) plus former Brinsley Schwarz roadie Martin Belmont (guitar) and ‘Magic’ Michael Cousins (percussion). Cousins was soon replaced by Tim Roper (drums) and former Flamin’ Groovies roadie Nick Garvey (guitar/bass) was added to the line-up. The band became known for their high-energy shows and soon began a twice-weekly residency at the Tally Ho in Kentish Town. Whaley left the band right before they recorded two live tracks at Welsh band Man’s annual Christmas party. One of those recordings, “Boogaloo Babe”, was released on the double 10” vinyl album Christmas at the Patti (1973). Ducks Deluxe signed to RCA Records, releasing their first single “Coast to Coast”. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1974 and featured Brinsley Schwarz’s Bob Andrews on keyboards. The band brought in Andy McMaster to play keyboards full-time and toured to support the first album while working on writing and recording the second. In 1975, their sophomore album, Taxi to the Terminal Zone, was released. The album was not as well-received as their debut and McMaster left the band. Garvey left as well, replaced by Mickey Groome. RCA dropped the band and they released the Jumpin’ EP on French label Skydog Records. Tim Roper left the band before their final tour and Brinsley Schwarz members Billy Rankine (drums) and Brinsley Schwarz (guitar) filled in on the band’s final gigs. The band – Tyla, Belmont, Groome, and Rankin - reunited in 2007 for a 35th Anniversary show. Two years later, Ducks Deluxe - with only Tyla and Belmont from the original line-up – released the Box of Shorts mini-album. Their 2010 release, Side Tracks and Smokers, featured new material plus raw mixes of old material. A year later, they released the limited edition live release Riviera Shuffle. With Brinsley Schwarz back on board, they did a 40th Anniversary tour and released the live album Rockin’ at the Moon in 2013. The band officially called it quits at the end of 2013. POST-SCRIPT: Band members Nick Garvey and Andy McMaster, who left after the second album, eventually formed the Motors and achieved some success, charting with their single “Airport” in 1978. Martin Belmont, Brinsley Schwarz, and Bob Andrews formed The Rumour and became Graham Parker’s long-time backing band. Sean Tyla formed Tyla Gang and released solo albums before taking a long break from the music business. He reformed Tyla Gang and alongside Ducks Deluxe and performed for several more years before passing away on May 17, 2020 of chronic liver disease.

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