Dando Shaft Biography

Formed in Coventry, England, in 1968, at a time when hippie culture was in full swing, the original members of the group were Kevin Dempsey (29 May 1950, Coventry, West Midlands, England; guitar), Martin Jenkins (b. 17 July 1946, London, England; violin), Dave Cooper (vocals, guitar), Roger Bullen (bass), and Ted Kay (percussion). After moving to London, the unit received a boost with the inclusion of Polly Bolton. In the early 70s the albums Dando Shaft and Lantaloon included such titles as ‘The Harp Lady I Bombed’ and ‘The Magnetic Beggar’, testifying to Dando Shaft’s own particular brand of humour. During 1972 the band tried to become a rock group, but this caused dissension, and Dempsey and Bolton left to form a duo, eventually moving to the USA. Subsequently, Jenkins went on to Hedgehog Pie who recorded for Rubber Records of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. When Rubber decided to record Jenkins and Dave Cooper, the addition of Dempsey, Bolton and Kay made it into a Dando Shaft reunion. During the mid-80s Jenkins and Dempsey reunited in Whippersnapper, and performed the occasional Dando Shaft song. In 1989 an Italian promoter caused the group to re-form for a week’s worth of what they described as ‘funky’ concerts. At around the same time, archive label See For Miles Records issued a revival compilation. Their legacy was further enhanced with the release of Anthology in 2005.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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