Flicker’s History

The name Flicker is derived from several sources – primarily, the flame in your heart. Flicker is also an appropriate name for film music, which is something that interests the band a lot. That’s not all. After the word had been printed out, it looked very similar to something rather rude and derogatory involving a letter ‘u’ rather than the letters ‘li’. Similarly, somebody suggested that if one were to put a space or perhaps a hyphen between the ‘f’ and the ‘l’, another term of smut resulted. The Flicker collective found that this rather appealed to their senses of humour, and kept the name.

After enlisting the considerable versatility and talent of Dave, they decided to continue from where they had left off in The Ug Brothers – with Farsight. From there grew a set of strange shanties and curious ditties which formed the first Flicker album, At Least 1000 Words.

A drummer called Adi joined the band and they contemplated changing their name to Firehorse as all three members at this stage were born under that particular Chinese astrological sign. There were a few rehearsals in Adi’s basement which showed great potential.

After a few more sessions there was an extraordinary audition involving two blokes completely off their faces on vodka. There was one who had a bluesy gravelly voice who was able to mumble in time and in tune something that sounded like words but were actually ones he was making up. Meanwhile, his mate blundered drunkly around the place trying to fiddle with things, attempting to play drums at the same time as Adi and making ludicrous suggestions. After a period of general confusion the two were thrown out and the band carried on as before.

Several new tunes were now starting to be written. Then, one day, Adi just disappeared. He stopped answering the phone, stopped answering the door. Gone! As it became more and more apparent that the disappearing drummer had truly disappeared – there were other people living his flat – Dave and George felt it would be great to make an album of their music anyway. Dave was getting his head stuck into the computer at this time. He could play drums and they could both record the bass parts for things. If another drummer or bassist appeared then there could be more work done on the live set.

On a slightly more successful note, Lucy and her buddy Emma joined the throng. Lucy and George had met through the Live Stage where Lucy played beautiful bass for her band Klay and George was on the desk there. Lucy played a 150-year-old cello that shook the whole room and Emma blew sweet things from her magical silvery lovepipe. They both had outbursts of keyboarding as well.

Adam from the band Murdock had a brief fling with the band on bass with Dave moving to drums, but alas he was too busy to keep at it. Dave also found another drummer from somewhere, so this time Dave moved to bass. After a relatively short while it became apparent that this situation was not going to work. Tony also stood in on drums for a while but he was far too busy with numerous other bands to be able to devote much time to the project.

In early 2001 George visited Prague to sell some early tunes from the At Least 1000 Words to Czech TV. Later in the year, as the album was being finalised, he began studying Music Industry Management at BCUC in High Wycombe. This slowed the progress of Flicker although the album was finished, new tunes were written and various jam sessions with other musicians took place.

Then at around Easter of 2002, Dave left Exeter and the two agreed to put the band on hold for the time being.

As time went by, George decided to produce sketches of the latest Flicker compositions on an old Tascam 244 4-track. It was state-of-the-art in 1985 and still produces a lovely rich tone. These were gradually compiled as time permitted with the plan being to record them properly with Emma, Lucy and a new team of helpers.

In late 2008 and around the time that the new Wud Records website was launched, the second Flicker album (HappySad) began being recorded. All of the tracks for HappySad had their guides laid down and then the whole project was paused again with the reassembly of Dark Company. With DC Pete being in such a poor state of health and on a downward spiral, we all felt that prioritising Dark Company would be wise as nobody knew how long Pete would survive his various conditions.

Music can have astounding healing powers and Pete cited Dark Company as one of the things that kept him going for so long, although he eventually succumbed to his disintegrating body and passed away in May 2016.

A few videos were created in the intervening time of George playing some Flicker pieces, and these can be seen at our YouTube channel. Occasionally the new additions to the ensemble, Maxx Damage and Sven Stiglund, our in-house session players, would gather with George to hammer out some new tracks or move the recording of HappySad forward a little.

Then, what with the advent of Brexit and several of the label’s team and their wider families being originally from outside the UK, our people started suffering some of the most appalling treatment at the hands of the British Home Office. It was a horrifying experience for some of them, as if a virulently sinister Orwellian horror movie had come to life. Truly unbelievable. Various lawyers and politicians in different countries and a German TV company all helped which was tremendous. We decided the best thing to do would be to leave the country we no longer recognised as the one where some of us grew up, and move to the European mainland.

We are all hopeful of some definitive Flicker recordings being released in 2018 when the dust has settled. Plans are afoot to begin construction of their third album, The Snail Gauntlet, when more of HappySad is completed.