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The Shack story is one of music’s greatest legends, a tale of such woe and wonder it defies exaggeration. It incorporates hardship, bereavement and chaotic misadventure, but above all it tells The tale of beautiful music triumphing over trouble and tragedy. And that’s where we begin: with the beautiful music.

In the ‘80’s, the two brothers from the Kensington area in Liverpool were singer and guitarist with The Pale Fountains, an effervescent pop group who were signed to Virgin for the ridiculous (in those days) sum of £150,000 and commercially imploded under the weight of two albums in 1986. The adventure cost much more than money though, when bassist and Mick’s best friend Chris McCaffrey died of a brain tumour.

The Heads returned in ‘88 as Shack and a debut album ‘Zilch’, an album artistically murdered by the production techniques of the times. Three years passed. In 1991, Shack made ‘Waterpistol’, an inspirational guitar jewel filtered through a haze of E and cocaine, an album that would’ve proved just as influential as any British album made in that era had the studio not burned down, taking the master tapes with it. One tape remained, but it vanished in the producer’s car on a trek across the States for two months and when it turned up the label had folded. Four more years passed, but by the time it was finally released on Marina - to universal critical hosannas - it had developed “lost classic” status only.

The Heads battled on. They toured as their hero Arthur Lee of Love’s backing band.


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