Credo were once described as “The best progressive rock band you’ve never heard of.” With the the release of their third album - Against Reason - and the critical acclaim of their last two releases - studio album Rhetoric and Live CD/DVD This is What We Do - Credo are certainly changing the ‘never heard of’ bit. Now celebrating nearly 20 years recording and playing history, it seems odd to say that Credo’s recent rise has been ‘meteoric’, but they are fast becoming one of the leading lights of the European progressive rock scene. It is safe to say that Credo have now come to maturity, producing powerful, melodic and lyrically challenging rock music - on record and on stage.
Credo’s earliest roots can be traced back to the mid ‘70s when Tim Birrell (guitar) and Jim Murdoch (bass) took their first steps in the music business together in Scotland. Sadly, success eluded the talented duo and their original band split up and members dispersed across the UK.
Many years later the pair decided to give it another go and recruited gifted lyricist and keyboard player Mick Stovold, followed by Paul Clark on drums. Mark Colton eventually joined the, as yet un-named, band in 1992, having been spotted charismatically fronting cult legends Casual Affair.
The band played their first live show in Aldershot in April 1992 as Ad Hoc, temporarily changing their name to Chequered Past before ditching all-comers to settle on ‘Credo’ in 1993.
Field of Vision
Credo released their debut album - Field of Vision - in 1994, to some success in the UK and Neo Prog strongholds across Europe. The whole album was recorded and mixed in four days. Despite its acknowledged shortcomings, the songs were lyrically and melodically strong and well-received live. The original intention was just to sell the album at gigs on cassette, but UK label Cyclops approached the band, signed them up and released the album on CD shortly after.
Extensive touring followed, when suddenly Mick Stovold decided to leave the band. His replacement, Mike Varty (Landmarq, Shadowland, Janison Edge, Mick Pointer’s Marillion / Script For A Jesters Tour), marked the emergence of the Credo we hear today.
The band immediately set to work on a second album in 1999, but following a horrific run of bad luck, ill health and assorted disasters, few people expected the new album to see the light of day; or even to see Credo on a stage again. However, improved circumstances, a new drummer in Martin Meads and a lot of hard work and determination eventually resulted in Credo releasing their second album Rhetoric in 2005 - exactly 11 years to the day after their debut! The album was engineered and produced by Mike Varty; mixed by Mike and Karl Groom at Thin Ice Studio and released on the F2 label.
Rhetoric was exceptionally well-received, gaining universal praise, and is rightly viewed as a giant leap forward for the band from their debut CD.
What became the almost never-ending “ Rhetoric On The Road” tour kicked off with the band playing their first gig in 6 years, bottom of the bill at a long-forgotten three band show in Reading. Mark's well-documented health issues in particular led to the band and their loyal following all being very nervous about the return to the stage. But the gigs really showcased the new maturity of the music, together with Credo’s traditionally blistering live presence.
The widespread acclaim and numerous plaudits for Rhetoric that followed led to a string of prestigious gigs, awards and unexpected opportunities. In particular, Credo brought the house down in the USA at ROSFEST 2008 and PROGFARM in Holland, with a short tour with Blind Ego to follow.
This Is What We Do
Finally, the Rhetoric Tour culminated in a fabulous show in Katowice, Poland that was released as a double live album and DVD - This is What We Do. With this release, Credo really consolidated their reputation as an exciting and powerful live act.
Credo’s new album - Against Reason - was released on 11 April 2011. Once again produced by Mike Varty and released on the F2 label, the album is launched with extensive live dates in the UK and abroad.
Against Reason demonstrates a more intricate feel, lyrical challenges, fuller soundscapes and powerful melodies. The lead track from the album – Staring at the Sun – has already caused a stir amongst those who have had the chance to hear it.
2011 looks set to be a very exciting year for the band therefore and, once again, Credo are expecting to surprise, with a challenging and powerful 3rd album, a greater confidence and a cracking new live set.