Of all the quirky, Captain Beefheart -indebted groups to reside at Manchester’s Ron Johnson label, Stump were not only the most distinctive, but also the most endearing. Unlike their manic stablemates, mad-eyed Mick Lynch (vocals), Chris Salmon (guitar), Kevin Hopper (bass) and Rob McKahey (drums; ex-Microdisney) avoided an aggressive, staccato-guitar onslaught, opting instead for awkward chord and rhythm changes and a wacky, humorous lyrical content, first heard on the charming EP Mud On A Colon in March 1986. BBC disc jockey John Peel was an early admirer and while Stump’s Peel session of that year would eventually surface on vinyl the following January, the band were caught up in the C86 programme organized by the New Musical Express, and appeared on The Tube television show with the offbeat video for their contribution ‘Buffalo’. A debut album, Quirk Out, was issued on the Stuff label as Ron Johnson ran into financial problems, and it was not long before Ensign Records lured the band into major territory. ‘Chaos’ preceded a second album, A Fierce Pancake, revealing a Stump that had lost none of their individuality, but it was ‘Charlton Heston’, with its ‘lights camel action’ line and frog-dominated video, that attracted most attention. A full-scale single release for the excellent ‘Buffalo’ looked set to break the charts in November, but after it failed, the band disappeared. Hopper continued to record as a solo artist.Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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