The Mandrakes - Ready Or Not(Unreleased 2005 – 2007)

Personnel
Johnny ‘Thunder’ Fleming – Drums
Colin ‘of Dale’ Kavanagh – Guitar
Richard ‘Dicky Star’ Durasow – Bass/Vox
Christy Mandrake – Guitar/Vox/Keys/Harp

Production
Arranged, Recorded, Engineered & Produced by The Mandrakes

Executive production and mastering by Christy

Who, what and where were The Mandrakes? I don’t know to be honest. Friends jamming, getting loaded, very loaded at times, playing, ‘let’s get some tracks together, enough to do a show’, that was about what we did, enough songs for a show. There were plenty of others tried out, ‘The Cold Streets of London’, ‘Don’t Lead Me Astray’, ‘Grace Says’, ‘I and Time’, there are fragments, half jams, full jams, meanderings, nice passages, a riff that tales off. Focus wasn’t that necessary, it wasn’t really that kind of a gig, that ultimately means there isn’t a huge amount of polished tracks to show for the 2 or 3 years The Mandrakes existed from 2005 to 2007. A few ended up on my solo album Shine & Rise, ‘Rescue Me’, ‘Busy’, ‘Try For The Sun’. We did do a gig though, actually many gigs, some really good gigs, the odd duffer, which is par for the course on the London originals circuit but some great ones. There is video from some, so that will be edited and posted to Youtube as time permits.

So, what’s all this then? Well, i guess it’s an attempt to make sense of the time the band was together. Collect together the tracks that were played and recorded in various basements, rushed free recording sessions at audio colleges etc, to various degrees of professionalism, most on standard home equipment. There was always an intention to go and ‘record properly’ at some point, but some point never arrived and so we have these echoes, these moments. I can see Colin setting up mics in Willesden, Richard singing vocals in a basement in Ravenscourt Park, Johnny to my left on stage at the 12 Bar. Many many Friday nights at the rehearsal space in Denmark Street, ‘who’s brought the bag of beers… what else you got…’. Some good memories, some good moments, some captured here. More will be added as time permits. I’m still finding more on all the data CDs and tapes!

~ Christy, 2011

p.s. Why the title? Well, I suggested Shine & Rise for a Mandrakes album should one ever appear and then used it for my own album, Rich suggested Devil’s Apples. There were others, The Greater Good was one, plenty of others I’ll keep under my hat for possible future use. Ready or Not really just sums up the recordings, Now or Never, Get It or Forget It etc etc. It’s just time to put these tracks to bed finally, and they are better getting heard than gathering dust in a cupboard. As Johnny would say ‘This IS the money shot’

All tracks by The Mandrakes except where noted, for specifics see individual track credits on download page.