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Mick Underwood's Glory Road The fact file...
— Mick Underwood — Jeff Summers — Gary Summers — Roy Shipston — Luka Ravase —

Mick Underwood - drums
Mick Underwood's professional career kicked off with him working with his friend Ritchie Blackmore in The Outlaws, resident house band for legendary independent producer Joe Meek.

In those days musicians were expected to work a full "apprenticeship", and during his formative years Underwood drummed for rock 'n' roll icons such as Gene Vincent. His career continued on an upward curve, also playing alongside Peter Frampton in The Herd.

Mick Underwood
Underwood soon built such a reputation that Peter Grant invited him to join Jimmy Page's new band, The New Yardbirds, after the former line-up disbanded. Ironically, given that Led Zeppelin is one of Underwood's favourites, he declined, as his career was developing with Episode Six, featuring amongst its ranks, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover.

After Gillan and Glover quit Episode Six to join Deep Purple, Underwood created the iconic progressive rock band Quatermass, whose one and only self-titled album has become one of the most collectible records of its genre.

When legendary British band Free split, Underwood found himself working with vocalist Paul Rodgers in his new creation Peace. Sadly, Rodgers soon re-formed Free, leaving the Peace recordings in the can, although one track appeared on the compilation "The Free Story".

As the seventies rolled on, several albums with Strapps finally gave way to a hugely successful four-year period in the early eighties with his former Episode Six colleague Ian Gillan.

Having quit Deep Purple a few years earlier, Gillan brought Underwood into his eponymous band to kick-start a renaissance. Gillan achieved four UK Top 20 albums, (two of which made the Top 3), countless hit singles and TV appearances, plus sold out tours throughout Europe and beyond, including headlining performances at the prestigious Reading Festival.

In more recent years Underwood's career has included Quatermass II, producing the highly acclaimed "Long Road" album with a band that included original Deep Purple bassist Nick Simper and Rainbow/Deep Purple keyboard player Don Airey guesting.

Underwood has kept his hand in with numerous recording sessions and now, after much thought, has formed Mick Underwood's Glory Road. The band will be featuring material he recorded with Gillan, Quatermass, Peace (Paul Rogers) plus originals from the band and "anything else they fancy that fits"! He's back where he belongs — assaulting his drum kit in ways that have made him so admired by fellow musicians and rock fans alike.

Luka "Twitch" Ravase - vocalsLuka Twitch Ravase
Luka "Twitch" Ravase is a hard rock singer whose career has rapidly taken off from the age of 15. His vocal style is strongly influenced by the big names of the heavy rock scene of the early 70s, to mention a few: Purple, Zeppelin and Sabbath. Currently living in London, Luka has performed up and down the country with such bands as Cavalar (metal), Future Shock (hard rock), Metalworks (hard rock/metal), and many and varied covers and tribute bands too numerous to mention.

Luka's discography includes a stint with Randys (Italy) - album "Family tree" (1994), EP "Living This Life" (1995) and demo "Pigs and Roll" (1996); Pancacula's eponymous debut album (1998); Cavalar's albums "As a metal of fact" (2006) and "Recoil" (2009); and the newest EP from Future Shock (2012).

Roy Shipston - keyboards
Roy Shipston studied music theory and classical piano but made his first
public appearances at the age of 11 with his father's dance band.

Artistes he has worked with since include: Peter Green, Carl Palmer (ELP), renowned singer Chris Thompson (with guitarist Robbie MacIntosh), Terra Nova (with Chris Slade, Colin Pattenden, Pete Cox and Chris West), Nico McBrain (Iron Maiden), Spooky Tooth vocalist Mike Harrison (with Mick Underwood), Micky Moody (Whitesnake), Biddu, Crawler, Stevie Smith (Ruthless Blues) and Sandy Shaw.

Roy Shipston
Before turning professional in the early 1970s when he joined London-based American soft-rock band Formerly Fat Harry, Roy worked as a journalist on Disc & Music Echo. He also leads his own prog-rock outfit Rococo, who have had three albums — "Run From the Wildfire" and "The Firestorm and Other Love Songs" plus "Losing Ground" released on Angel Air Records. The CDs, released between 2010 and 2014, received rave reviews. The tracks on the first two albums were recorded in the mid-to-late Seventies, when Rococo were one of London's top rock acts. They reformed in 2004 with virtually the original line-up and recorded Losing Ground. The title track is a protest song about the lack of action being taken to combat climate change. The lyrics by writer/author Geoff Ward were written in the 1970s but the meaning and sentiment still apply.

In the jazz field Roy was a writer-member of highly-respected fusion outfit First Light, which in the 1980s appeared regularly at Ronnie Scotts and toured North America, and he also worked with top British saxophonist the late Pat Crumly.

Roy has appeared on more than 45 albums and is also an arranger, singer, songwriter, composer, MD and award-winning producer. In the early 1990s he formed a music production company with Rococo guitarist Rod Halling, writing music for films, TV and commercials, and produced albums for several artists. They also bought Jimmy Page's studio in Cookham, Berkshire, which they transformed into the Mill Recording Studios. Clients at The Mill included George Harrison, Elton John, Chris Rea and Clannad.

Gary Summers - bass
Inspired by The Beatles, Gary first picked up the guitar at the age of 11, persisting to the point where he became good enough to join his first band. The Moonbeats played in dance halls, pubs and social clubs, and later toured the Middle East as The Impulse, performing on TV and radio shows and bringing a little bit of London's "Swinging Sixties" to such exotic places as Beiruit! The Impulse later toured Germany, entertaining US troups in Frankfurt and Bavaria, and made an appearance on German TV program Beat Club following a stint at Munich's premier 60s club "Blow Up".

Gary Summers
Further touring followed in Germany and Switzerland with 70s band Sleep. After he returned to the UK, Gary joined Liverpudlian band New Image, touring the UK extensively, and then teamed up with brother Steve in Lip Service (enjoying success with their single "I Am A Fighter"). Musical differences led to Gary's departure, but shortly formed his own band Masochest (playing all their own material), going on to support Souixsie and the Banshees and other well known punk bands in the late 70s. He later teamed up with Bruce Bisland (Sweet, Statetrooper) to form rock/jazz influenced band Bullitz.

After an 8 year layoff, Gary was invited to join his brothers' band The Loudshirts as bassist/vocalist (something of a departure from lead guitar!) playing classic rock covers in Surrey and South London.

Gary has been pivotal in the organisation of various musical charity fund raising events notably Help for Heroes and in recent years has teamed up with Kip Trevor from 70s occult band Black Widow and performed many acoustic guitar/vocal harmony shows as Aged to Perfection. Gary also co-wrote the song "I Believe", with brother Jeff, which appeared on the 2005 Statetrooper album "The Calling".

Jeff Summers - guitar*
"Jeff's career began in the mid-seventies playing with various London based rock cover's bands including Flex and Fast Relief the later had seen him pen the seminal "Set the Stage Alight" a future NWOBHM classic which would be cited in various biographies as a huge influence on the early METALLICA. During this period, Jeff had met and befriended Bruce Bisland, who had been introduced to Jeff's older brother Steve and was working with London based recording Band Lipservice but it soon became evident that Jeff and Bruce had a musical bonding that would see them accelerate fully into the NWOBHM and Classic Rock scene.

WEAPON was born from the ashes of Fast Relief incorporating Irish vocalist Danny Hynes with Baz Downes on bass both formerly of Snatch and complemented by Bruce on drums with Jeff on Lead guitar. WEAPON went on to sign with Virgin Music Publishing in 1980 recording an album full of material and touring (on the success of Set the Stage Alight) the UK with MOTORHEAD on their highly acclaimed promotional tour of the Ace of Spades album. The "ACE UP YOU SLEEVE" culminated in 4 sold out shows at London's premier music venue Hammersmith Odeon! Their own highly successful headline tour followed in early 1981 which incorporated major Universities and small Theatres. After Weapon disbanded at the end of 1981 Jeff was asked to join and played with a number NWOBHM acts, never finding the right chemistry or approach to music he was seeking (musically exciting & song based) until teaming up with Bruce again in 1982 to form Wildfire along with Martin Bushell and Paul Mario Day.

Jeff Summers
WILDFIRE recorded two influential, internationally released albums: Brute Force and Ignorance (1983) and Summer Lightning (1984) respectively and supported their recording efforts with intensive touring and radio/TV appearances. Amongst the live promotion was a full tour of the United Kingdom supporting HAWKWIND and various festival and club appearances around the UK and Europe. In 1985 WILDFIRE we asked to appear live to promote their current single "Jerusalem" on the now defunct hard rock show ECT where Steve Glover from Gary Barden's STATETROOPER jammed with WILDFIRE leading to an intro to the man himself.

STATETROOPER was the band fronted by ex MSG vocalist Gary Barden and Jeff was approached along with Bruce Bisland to join the ranks and help write the album which was going to launch Gary's career as a separate entity to his previous musical partner MICHAEL SCHENKER. The band quickly wrote, produced and released the internationally acclaimed 1987 album, which was applauded as amongst other accolades as "The Saviour of British Metal". In support of the 1987 album and the Summers penned single "She got the look" the band went out on the road with BLUE OYSTER CULT playing to packed out Theatres around the country again culminating in a stint at the Hammersmith Odeon. Video promotions and UK and European festivals followed including top of the bill shows. At this stage, Martin bushel left the band and was replaced by ex-THIN LIZZY six stringer Brian Robertson. This incantation of the band was however short lived and following some highly acclaimed festival appearances in Europe, Jeff reluctantly left the music business and got himself a proper job whilst continntinuing to follow his love of writing and performing music on a more part time basis.

PADDY GOES TO HOLLYHEAD were Jeff's first port of call. PGTH formed around Jeff's former WEAPON cohorts Danny Hynes & Bruce Bisland, plus musicians hanging around together and having fun covering their favourite songs. Danny Hynes continues to work this successful band to this day.

The Fabulous LOUDHSHIRTS were put together at the end of the 1980's to provide a creative musical outlet which wouldn't impede on the members "day jobs" Steve Summers, Reg Robinson and Gary Summers joined Jeff in putting this highly successful pub and club band together, which continues to entertain classic rock fans around the West London and surrey pub circuit.

Fast forward a decade or two and this highly motivated guitarist gets a telephone call out of the blue from his old friend, song writing partner and vocalist Gary Barden. Gary pointed out that STATETROOPERS 1987 album had continued to garner great sales figures since its initial release in 1987 and that an on line petition had been set up by the fans, demanding its release on CD. The boys investigated the potential release options for the CD with various record companies. ESCAPE MUSIC picked up the option immediately and the now digitally enhanced 1987 album was released world-wide in 2002. Following on from this hugely successful re-issue, The bands 2nd album "The Calling" was released in 2004 notching up formidable sales figures and again garnering many reviewers best album of the year accolades.

While all this was happening for STATETROOPER, WILDFIRES first 2 albums were re-issued World-wide and the early WEAPON recordings were digitally re-mastered and then released in CD format in 2003. WEAPON were then asked to perform at various NWoBHM festivals around Europe and the UK and this inevitably led to the clamour for a new album from the band. WEAPON continue to record and tour to this day and following on from the success of the on-line single release "Ready 4 U" the band are in the process of completing a new album!"

* Jeff Summers' biog by Laura Kaufman

MUGR  ∗  ©2012-7  ∗  design: Carol Hynson
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