Album Review: The Stairs

The Great Lemonade Machine In The Sky 1987-1994 (VIPER)

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Scouse garage R&B merchants’ demos and rarities found in a loft.

Led by the gravel-voiced Edgar Jones, The Stairs seemed men out of time when debuting with the Weed Bus EP in 1991; the band specialising in snarling British R&B – perfect for London’s Marquee club in 1964 – and garage rock seemingly straight from Los Angeles in 1966. Their excellent 1992 debut album Mexican R’n’B failed to sell and the band were dropped by Go! Discs, but they soldiered on until 1994, experimenting with heavier blues-rock before splitting. This compilation of tracks unearthed by Jones in his parents’ loft varies in audio quality but is a fine testimonial to what a great band they were. Highlights include a 1987 demo of their dope smoking anthem, Weed Bus, a growling cover of Captain Beefheart’s Moonchild, plus early versions of groovy second single Woman Gone And Say Goodbye and the psychedelic Fall Down The Rain.