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From: Belfast

Active: Early 1971 - December 1976

Style: Progressive Rock



Fruupp were a progressive rock band from Belfast active in the Seventies. Despite gigging extensively in Ireland and the UK - and Europe - and regularly supporting bigger names like King Crimson, the band never really broke through. Their four albums for Dawn Records are now highly regarded. They contain classic progressive rock comparable to Genesis and Yes-inspired bands like Druid, Asgard and England. They tends towards the lighter side of prog, with folky, classical and baroque passages, acoustic guitars, vocal harmonies and occasional use of oboe, but the music is also laced with heavier electric guitar and organ passages.

Fruupp were assembled in Belfast in 1970 or 1971 by mainman Vince McCusker (born 3.10.1949 in Maghera, Co.Derry). There were a number of lineup changes in the beginning, involving early members such as Ian 'The Beast' Best (bass), Trevor Davis (bass), Marty 'Capone' O'Connor (drums) and Rob McCulloch (rhythm guitar), before the familiar lineup.

The band debuted at the Ulster Hall in Belfast on the 23rd June 1971, supporting Rory Gallagher amongst others. After a few dates in the UK Miles McKee left and Peter Farrelly (born in Belfast in 1949) took over the lead vocal duties. The band gigged regulary through 1972-73 and eventually signed a five year deal with Dawn Records, the progressive arm of Pye, circa July 1973, the same year they played a famous concert at Liberty Hall in Dublin. The debut album Future Legends was released in September 1973. It was originally to have included the track On A Clear Day which is based on a theme by Holst, but the copyright holders refused to clear it and so the track had to be removed. A replacement track Graveyard Epistle was recorded in time for the LP's release.

The band played two free concerts during their summer 1974 tour: the Phoenix Park in Dublin and Nutts Corner in Antrim.

Two albums were released in 1974, Seven Secrets in April followed by the album that's currently regarded as their masterpiece The Prince of Heaven's Eyes in November. Seven Secrets secured a USA release in August 1974 and a 5-week tour of USA was undertaken in December 1974. At this point keyboardist Stephen Houston (born Belfast 18.7.1953) was born again and decided to leave the band. Some say this was a crucial setback for the band at a time when they were gaining momentum.

John Mason joined on keyboards in January 1975 and appears on the final album Modern Masquerades, released in February. The band was still touring this album at the end of the year, during the winter of 1975/76. The Modern Masquerade Show tour kicked off at the Pier Pavilion in Hastings on December 5th, 1975 and took in the Roundhouse, the New Vic in Belfast, Liverpool stadium, the Southend Kursaal and ended at Manchester University on the 7th of February, 1976.

Sequel Records released a compilation in 1992 Songs For A Thought which included 'On A Clear Day' which had finally been cleared for release in 1979.


• Future Legends
LP - Dawn Records - DNLS 3053 - UK - 5 October 1973
CD - Esoteric Recordings - ECLEC 2104 - UK - 2009
Recorded July 1973 at Escape Studios in Kent

Notes: On A Clear Day was originally intended for inclusion but was replaced at the last minute by Graveyard Epistle. It is possible test pressings exist which include the earlier track.

• Seven Secrets
LP - Dawn Records - DNLS 3058 - UK - 19 April 1974 - insert
CD - Esoteric Recordings - ECLEC 2102 - UK - 2009

• Prince Of Heaven / The Jaunting Car (Single Version)
7" - Dawn Records - DNS 1087 - UK - 4 October 1974 - promos exist

• Prince of Heaven's Eyes
LP - Dawn Records - DNLH2 - UK - 8 November 1974 - foc+booklet
CD - Esoteric Recordings - ECLEC 2103 - UK - 2009

• Modern Masquerades
LP - Dawn Records - DNLS3070 - UK - February 1975
CD - Esoteric Recordings - ECLEC 2105 - UK - 2009

• Janet Planet / Why
7" - Pye Records - 7N 45615 - IRL - 1975 - no PS
Taken from Modern Masquerades

• Songs For A Thought
CD - Sequel Records - NEX CD203 - UK - 1992
Collects tracks from all 4 albums plus unreleased track 'On A Clear Day'.

• Future Legends/Seven Secrets
CD - See For Miles Records - C5HCD 645 - UK - 1996
Omits one track from each album and as such is useless:
Graveyard Epistle (Future Legends) and Faced With Shekinah (Seven Secrets).

• Prince of Heaven's Eyes/Modern Masquerades
CD - See For Miles Records - C5HCD 646 - UK - 1996
Omits one track from each album and as such is useless:
Seaward Sunset (Prince of Heaven's Eyes) and Gormenghast (Modern Masquerades).

• It's All Up Now
2xCD - Castle Music - CMDDD 1019 - 2004
Almost but not quite complete, adding some bonus tracks but omitting: Olde Tyme Future (Future Legends), Faced With Shekinah (Seven Secrets), Jaunting Car (Prince of Heaven's Eyes) and Mystery Might (Modern Masquerades)


We need your help to correct and/or complete this entry. If you can provide more information about this band, have scans, photos or any other memorabilia we can use, or spare copies of any releases, then please get in touch.

Last update: May 2013.

See Also: redsquare.html

External Links: Fruupp/Luka Bloom Official Website

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