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Wurzels Sessions

Adge Cutler & The Wurzels Recording Sessions

This page provides sketchy details of recording sessions of Adge Cutler & The Wurzels. We intend to add details of The Wurzels' recording sessions if we can find out any. If you can help, please let us know.

Most of Adge Cutler & The Wurzels' material was recorded in front of a live audience, to give the appropriate cider-soaked atmosphere. The early records were produced by Bob Barratt of EMI, and some of the early material, including the highly influential first album recorded in 1966 and the follow-up 1967 album, was engineered by the up and coming young engineer at EMI's Abbey Road studios, Geoff Emerick.

As an interesting aside for trivia buffs, Geoff's work on the first Adge Cutler & The Wurzels album apparently made such an impression on The Beatles and their producer George Martin that they approached him early in 1967 and asked if he would engineer the recording for the Magical Mystery Tour, booking a session for May 3rd.

Passion For Scrumpy

Geoff was initially keen to work with The Beatles. However, when he found the date clashed with the recording of Adge Cutler & The Wurzels' second album in the Royal Oak at Nailsea, the lure of the free scrumpy on offer proved irresistible and he politely turned the Beatles down.

Disappointed, but realising there was no way they could persuade Geoff to miss out on such an important event in the history of recording, The Beatles reluctantly had to find a substitute engineer for their own session, and before Geoff went down to Somerset, they made him promise to engineer their next album, which turned out to be equally influential in its own field of music: Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Cyderdelia and the Summer of Scrumpy

Geoff has been unreliably reported as saying that making sense of the strange drug-influenced sounds emanating from the Abbey Road studios would have been virtually impossible had he not previously worked with The Wurzels - after the experience of deciphering the baffling cyderdelic (scrumpy-induced) flights of fancy from Adge and the boys, such as Champion Dung Spreader, Thee Cassn't Kill Cooch and The Shepton Mallet Matador, it was apparently a comparatively simple matter to interpret the likes of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite and A Day In The Life.

The primary recording sessions are listed below. I assume it's possible that some material was recorded at these sessions which was never released - if anyone has any info on this, please let us know.

Date

Session Information

2 November 1966

Royal Oak, Nailsea, North Somerset

All the songs on the first album Adge Cutler & The Wurzels were recorded at this session, including the legendary Drink Up Thy Zider and Twice Daily, issued on the first single. The Royal Oak was an appropriate venue, being in Adge's home town of Nailsea in North Somerset. The session was produced by Bob Barratt (who also announced Adge & The Wurzels at the start of the record) and engineered by Geoff Emerick. The session was recorded using Abbey Road Studios' mobile unit, and the recording gear had to be set up in the Royal Oak's cellar, surrounded by crates of beer and barrels of scrumpy - much to the inconvenience of the engineers (according to them anyhow)...

The pub is still there (well it was when I last looked), although sadly I could find no obvious trace of its illustrious place in Wurzel (and indeed scrumpy drinking) history inside. Maybe some of you Nailseans could get that sorted out...

3 May 1967

Royal Oak, Nailsea, North Somerset

The session which produced Adge Cutler's second Family Album, issued during the so-called Summer of Scrumpy in 1967. Again recorded live at Adge's local pub. The audience were treated to cider 'on the house' - this must have helped with the atmosphere! Again produced by Bob Barratt and engineered by Geoff Emerick.

The pub could only hold around 100 people, but around 500 turned up hoping to get in to see the band (and maybe get some of that free scrumpy?!). There was a riot outside the pub and a brick was thrown through the window! This was the incident mentioned by Adge on the Cutler of the West album.

1968 (exact date unknown)

Webbington Country Club, Loxton, Somerset

This session provided the material for the Cutler of the West album (later reissued as Vintage Zider) and one of the few album released on CD. By this time Adge's popularity was such that a bigger venue than the Royal Oak was needed. The band was preceded on the record by an announcement from the Webbington compere Mike Reasons and a play-on Drink Up Thy Zider from the house band.

I believe that the song Faggots Is The Stuff was recorded at this session - can anyone confirm this or shed any light on the recording details? It's possible that Don't Tell I, Tell 'Ee was also recorded here. Again, any details would be welcome; please let us know!

1969 (exact date unknown)

Webbington Country Club, Loxton, Somerset

Much confusion surrounds the recording of this album. Although the front cover of the Carry On Cutler! album says that the album was recorded at the Webbington, this is only partly true, as confirmed on the back cover. Although some of the material for the Carry On Cutler! album was recorded at this session, the rest was recorded at the White Buck Inn in Hampshire.

The record cover and label don't make it clear which songs were recorded at which session - does anyone have details? It's also complicated by the fact that the label lists two tracks on this 1969 album as having been recorded in 1967 (All Over Mendip) and 1968 (Aloha Severn Beach). These two songs were issued on singles in 1967 and 1968 respectively, which ties in with the dates on the label. However, the 1967 single version of All Over Mendip is clearly different from the album version, so I don't know if the latter was actually recorded in 1967 or not. If the dates are correct, this would mean that the members of the Wurzels would have been different on those two tracks from the 1969 line-up, although the cover doesn't mention this. I can only assume there was not enough material from the Webbington session to fill the album, so these two earlier tracks were added. If anyone knows anything more about this, or can clear up any of this confusion, we would be interested to know, please let us know

A further addition to the confusion (or could it be a clue?) is the fact that two different drummers were used to supplement The Wurzels on the album. The cover states that Douggie Wright played drums on Down On the Farm, The Chewton Mendip Love-In, Saturday Night At The Crown, Ferry to Glastonbury and Willie The Shake; and that Eddie Clayton played drums on the rest (which would include the two possibly earlier tracks mentioned above). So maybe one drummer played at each of the two sessions - but which played on which? Maybe we shall never know... unless anyone out there can remember the sessions or was actually there?

The producer was again Bob Barratt and the engineer was Peter Bown. The announcer on the record was Tony Harding.

1969 (exact date unknown)

White Buck Inn, Burley, New Forest, Hampshire

The rest of the material used on the Carry On Cutler! album was recorded at this session. See above for further details and confusion. Presumably more material could have been recorded at this session - does anyone know if it was, or if any of it survives?

1976 (exact date unknown)

Yew Tree Country Club in Langford

This was apparently the venue for the recording the 1976 live album The Combine Harvester. I have no other information about the venue, or indeed the location (probably the village on the outskirts of Taunton)

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