About Shack

Shack was formed from the ashes of the Pale Fountains, cult favorites led by Liverpudlian singer/songwriter Michael Head. Chris McCaffrey, the Fountains' bassist and Head's best friend, died from a brain tumor in 1986 and Head began experimenting with drugs, including heroin, which was especially prevalent in his neighborhood. Despite his drug problems, he formed a new group with his brother John, the L-Shaped Room. The brothers later changed the band's name to Shack and released their debut album Zilch in 1988, with friend and roommate Ian Broudie as their producer. Though the album's sales were poor, Shack persevered, recording a new album, Waterpistol, in 1989. However, a fire destroyed the studio and all of the group's tapes, save one copy that the producer had kept; this copy was lost on a road trip in America. The tape was found a year later by the car rental agency the producer had used, and the album was released soon after by the German label Marina. Waterpistol received strong reviews, but the band had disintegrated by then and the Head brothers went on to back one of their musical heroes, ex-Love singer Arthur Lee, while bass player Pete Wilkinson joined Cast. The Head brothers kept working on new music together however and with the support of French promoter Stephane Bismuth, they recorded an album in 1993 under the name Michael Head & the Strands titled The Magical World of the Strands. Though it was a critical success when finally released in 1997, it didn't catch on with the masses. Michael's heroin addiction continued and his creative output slowed until the late '90s, when Shack began work on their third album, H.M.S. Fable. Though it was delayed several times by Michael's stays in detox, the album was released in the U.K. in the spring of 1999 to critical raves, and a U.S. release appeared in the fall. The follow-up album, Here's Tom with the Weather, arrived in 2003, and the Head brothers, along with drummer Iain Templeton and bassist Pete Wilkinson, appeared on Shack's 2006 album, On the Corner of Miles and Gil, released by Noel Gallagher's Sour Mash label. Drummer Iain Templeton died on December 20, 2022. ~ Heather Phares

Liverpool, England

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