Ladies and gents; The Staxs…

It had rained for hours, no let up, all day and long into a night grown cold. 

The crowd in front of the outdoor stage was expectant, restless in the dark, despite the delays, despite the cold and rain, heedless of the water flooding the stage.

Waiting in the wings was The Staxs – a band whose gear was soaked, whose frontman for the night, Cream’s Jack Bruce, impatient. There was no way the set could go ahead. But no way anybody was looking to let things go.

Regulars Stefan Redtenbacher, Kevin Robinson and Mike Sturgis were there… 

‘We were physically drenched,’ Stefan says.

 

Pretty crazy but we were all up for it,’ Mike recalls.

 

Rich Milner, on Hammond, reckoned it, ‘Possibly the worst-ever weather for a band outdoors.

 

Tony Remy, the band’s guitarist; ‘So much rain was blowing onto my effects board, I thought I was going to be fried.‘ 

The ensuing performance – when it came – was chaotic, electrifying – a freewheeling throwback, a kind of Woodstock born again in the rain. The night, it turned out, was to be Jack Bruce’s last on stage, the last live performance he would give. But something of its spirit remains in The Staxs. 

For a group comprised of virtuoso players working with some of the music world’s biggest artists, the band have a lineage that defies easy description. What sets them apart is that free spirit – encapsulated on that night, and many more since.