Eire Apparent

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1967-68)

- Ernie Graham (RIP 2001) -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Dave Lutton (RIP 2020) -- drums, percussion

- Henry McCulloch (RIP 2016) -- lead guitar

- Chris Stewart (RIP 2020) -- bass


  line up 2 (1968)

NEW - Mick Cox (RIP 2008) -- lead guitar (replaced 

  Henry McCulloch)

- Ernie Graham (RIP 2001) -- vocals,  rhythm guitar

- Dave Lutton (RIP 2020) -- drums, percussion

- Chris Stewart (RIP 2020) -- bass


  line up 3 (1968-70)

- Ernie Graham (RIP 2001) -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Dave Lutton (RIP 2020) -- drums, percussion

- Chris Stewart (RIP 2020) -- bass

NEW - David "Tiger" Taylor -- lead guitar (replaced Mick Cox)


  supporting musicians: (1968)

- Noel Redding (RIP) -- backing vocals

- Gerry Stickells --

- Robert Wyatt -- backing vocals


  line up 4 (1970)

- Ernie Graham (RIP 2001) -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Dave Lutton (RIP 2020) -- drums, percussion

- Chris Stewart (RIP 2020) -- bass

NEW - Peter Tolson (RIP 2016) - lead vocals, guitar (replaced 

  David Taylor)






- The Alleykatz (Mick Cox)

- Anno Domini (David Taylor)

- Marc  Bolan (Dave Lutton)

- Bombing Run (David Taylor)

- Chips (Henry McCulloch)

- Jim Coghlan's Diesel (Chris Stewart)

- Mick Cox (solo efforts)

- Dr. Feelgood (Henry McCulloch

- Ellis (Dave Lutton)

- The Freshmen (David Taylor)

- Gene and the Gents (Henry McCulloch

- The End (Mick Cox)

- Ernie Graham (solo efforts)

- The Grease Band (Henry McCulloch

- Roy Harper and Black Sheep (Henry McCulloch

- Heavy Jelly (Dave Lutton)

- Help Yourself (Ernie Graham)

- Ronnie Laine Band (Henry McCulloch and Chris Stewart)

- Ronnie Laine and Slim Chance (Chris Stewart)

- Magnet

- Henry McCulloch (solo efforts)

- Frankie Miller's Full House (Chris Stewart)

- The People (Ernie Graham, Dave Lutton, Henry McCulloch, 

  Chris Stewart)

- Pretty Things (PeterTolson)

- The Skyrockets Showbanc (Henry McCulloch

- Spooky Tooth (Henry McCulloch and Chris Stewart)

- Sweeny's Men (Henry McCulloch)

- The Stellas (Chris Stewart)

- T-Rex (David Lutton)

- Teddy and the Tigers (David Taylor)

- Teddy Palmer and the Rumble Band (David Taylor)

- Tony and the Telstars (Ernie Graham, Dave Lutton, 

   Dave Stewart, and David Taylor)

- Trance Mission (Dave Lutton)

- Wings (Henry McCulloch





Genre: psych

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Sunrise

Company: Buddah

Catalog: BDS 5031

Country/State: Belfast, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: punch hole lower right corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $60.00


Not to start out on a depressing note, but with the May 2020 death of bassist Chris Stewart, Eire Apparent has the distinction of being a band with a 100% mortality rate.  Among the few folks familiar with the Irish band Eire Apparent and their sole album - 1969's "Sunrise" that recognition likely stems from the fact the album was produced by the late Jimi Hendrix.  Mind you, if you are going to enjoy fifteen minutes of fame in the shadow of someone, I can think of worse folks than Hendrix.


Eire Apparent morphed out of the Northern Irish band People.  By 1967 People had generated considerable attraction in their native Belfast, a stint in Blackpool and then back to Ireland and time in Dublin.  At that point the band featured a line-up of singer/rhythm guitarist Ernie Graham, drummer Dave Lutton, lead guitarist Henry McCulloch and bass player Chris Stewart.  Determined to hit the big time, the quartet packed up for London where manager Dave Robison got the group some dates at The Speakeasy Club and then a spot at London's trendy UFO Club.  Those performances brought them to the attention of former Animal bassist and Jimi Hendrix manager Chas Chandler and his partner Mike Jeffreys.  The pair signed the group to a management contract; suggested a new name.  Chandler's wife supposedly suggested 'Eire Apparent' in an effort to take advantage of their background.  Chandler then arranged for them to hit the road as opening act for a UK tour featuring Jimi Hendrix, The Move, Pink Floyd and Amen Corner.



The resulting attention found them signed to Kit Lambert's Polydor-affiliated Track Records where they made their debut with the UK single:


- 1968's 'Follow Me' b/w 'Here I Go Again' (Track catalog number 604019)


The single flopped and Track dropped them.




Chandler and Jeffries arranged a North American tour supporting The Animals, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Soft Machine which brought more attention, but also saw a personnel shake up when lead guitarist Henry was arrested in Vancouver, Canada on drug charges.  Rather than be jailed, he agreed to be deported back to the UK.  Rather than quit the tour, the rest of the band elected to continue with the former The End guitarist Mick Cox being brought in as a replacement.  The result publicity saw Artie Ripp's Buddah imprint sign them to an American recording a distribution agreement.


In a clever marketing stroke, Buddah recruited Jimi Hendrix to produce the band's1969 debut "Sunrise."  With all four members contributing to the songwriting chores, the album featured ten originals and proved surprisingly enjoyable.  Perhaps a reflection of Hendrix's participation there were plenty of psych touches.  Still, anyone expecting to hear a Hendrix-styled set of rockers was going to be disappointed.  Instead the album offered up a nice mixture of pop ('Got To Get Away'), psych ('The Clown'), and harder rock ('Morning Glory').  There was even a quick detour into Band-styled roots rock ('Let Me Stay').  The fact these guys were such a tight entity shouldn't have come as a surprise given they'd all spent years cutting their musical teeth on  the Irish show band scene.  In the role of lead singer Graham was an acquired taste.  His occasionally unsteady, nasally voice took a bit of getting acclimated to, but once the music got rolling, it wasn't a major issue.  Cox proved a capable and tasteful lead guitarist (though a sub-par vocalist - check out his painful performance on the ballad 'Captive In the Sun'), while the Lutton-Stewart rhythm section was surprisingly funky. Icing on the cake, for hardcore Hendrix fans, the man reportedly played un-credited guitar (and occasional bass) throughout the album. Lots of great material on this one, including the opening rocker 'Yes I Need Someone,' the glistening, top-40 pop tune 'Got To Get Away' and the unexpected roots-rocker 'Let Me Stay.'


"Sunrise" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Yes I Need Someone (Chris Stewart - Ernie Graham - Mick Cox - Dave Lutton) - 3:13 rating; **** stars

One of two group compositions, the rollicking 'Yes I Need Someone' introduced the band's interesting mix of commercial rock and psychedelic touches.  The opening bluesy vocals have always reminded me of Eric Burden.  As lead singer Graham wasn't any great shakes; his flat delivery sounded like some studio effects had been added, but the melody and lead guitars were good enough to cover up his shortcomings.  Hendrix reportedly added the backwards guitar and some overdubs. Buddah tapped the track as the lead-off US single:





- 1968's 'Yes I Need Someone' b/w 'Let Me Stay' (Buddah catalog number BAD 67)






2.) Got To Get Away (Ernie Graham) - 3:20 rating; **** stars

With a breezy, radio-friendly melody, melodic guitar and "ear candy" refrain, Graham's 'Got To Get Away' was about as close to radio-friendly as you could imagine. This one's always reminded me of an early-'70s Nether pop performance - think along the lines of The George Baker Solution.  It's one of those tracks I find myself humming in spite of myself.

3.) The Clown (Chris Stewart) -  2:50 rating: *** stars

Complete with wild, phased guitars, Graham's flat, stoned vocals and in-studio background noise, 'The Clown' was the album's most psychedelic performance.  I also have to say Stewart's lyrics were disturbing.  I certainly don't love the clown ...  The "laughing guitar" ending was pretty cool.  Hendrix?   The Soft Machine's Robert Wyatt (whom they had toured with) and The Jimi Hendrix Experience's Noel Redding provided backing vocals on the song.

4.) Mr. Guy Fawkes (Mick Cox) - 5:55  rating; **** stars

Once you got acclimated to Graham's nasally voice, 'Mr. Guy Fawkes' offered up one of the album's prettier melodies.  Perhaps urban myth, but Hendrix supposedly provided the awesome bass lines.  Given the prominent refrain, I've always wondered why the song wasn't entitled 'I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm.'  Interesting Beatles-styled orchestration throughout the song.  Wonder what the end-of-song explosion sound effect implied ... Gawd only knows how they stumbled across it, but The Dave Miller Set enjoyed an Australian hit with a cover of the song.

5.) Someone Is Sure To (Want You) (Ernie Graham) - 2:36  rating; **** stars

'Someone Is Sure To (Want You)' bounced back into top-40 pop territory.  Great melody and this one gave drummer Stewart a chance to showcase his powerhouse rhythms.


(side 2)
Morning Glory (Mick Cox) - 3:26  rating: *** stars

Phased guitar and some sort of effect on Graham's vocals gave 'Morning Glory' a harder-rock orientation.  Loved the instrumental break section where each member got a moment in the spotlight.  The intertwined lead guitars make this a nice track to hear with a good pair of headphones.

2.) Magic Carpet (Ernie Graham) -  2:51 rating: **** stars

'Magic Carpet' was propelled by a fantastic, country-tinged guitar riff, Graham's dry and pinched vocals, and goofy call-and-response vocals.  Love it - call it the album's guilty pleasure.

3.) Captive In the Sun (Mick Cox) - 4:39 rating: ** stars

Written and seemingly sung by Cox, the heavily orchestrated 'Captive In the Sun' was the album's lone outright misstep.  The big problem with this one  was Cox's thin, unsteady voice made Graham sound great.  In contrast Cox's treated guitar work was exceptional.  Docked a star for that vocal.

4.) Let Me Stay (Chris Stewart - Ernie Graham - Mick Cox - Dave Lutton) -  2:39  rating: **** stars

Musically the album's biggest surprise, hearing Graham's growling vocal on 'Let Me Stay', for a second I thought I was listening to something by The Band.  I had no idea Americana roots-rock existed in 1968 ... Love the busybody guitars and the sweet harmony vocals that graces this one.  It was the second group composition.

5.)1026  (Chris Stewart - Ernie Graham) - 4:10 rating: *** stars

Technically '1026' was best described as an instrumental since there were voices, but no lyrics.  Opening up with soft acoustic guitar and choir-boy styled group harmonies it was a pretty, but odd offering.  Imagine something penned for an inspirational film soundtrack - the part where the hero comes down the mountain.  Redding and Wyatt were featured on  harmony vocals.  No idea what inspired the song, or what the title refers to.  I'm sure some Eire Apparent scholar will have the answer ...



Shortly after the album was released Cox tendered his notice and was quickly replaced by former Teddie & the Tigers guitarist David Taylor.  With Hendrix featured on guitar, the new line-up recorded a non-LP 45 (that wasn't released in the States) and then headed off on a European tour opening for Hendrix.

- 1969's 'Rock 'n Roll Band' b/w 'Yes I Need Someone' (Buddah catalog number 201039)


With Buddah finally releasing the LP in the UK and the rest of Europe, the band spent the next year touring in support of the album and trying to land a new contract.  It didn't happen.  By mid1-970 Taylor had left to form Anno Domini.  No sooner had the band recruited former Pretty Things guitarist Peter Tolson, than they decided to called it quits.


As you can see from the related bands list above, the members went on to scores of follow-on acts.


  • Cox formed the Mick Cox Band, releasing a decent solo album; formed and played with Magnet and then briefly joined Van Morrison's recording and touring band.  Cox died in August, 2008.



  • Graham recorded a rare, in-demand and expensive 1971 solo album "Ernie Graham" Liberty catalog number LBS-83485).  He briefly appeared in Help Yourself.  He then helped found the band Clancy. In his later life he dropped out of music, worked for a railway and began training as a counselor before his April, 2001 death.






  • Lutton joined Jackie Lomax in Heavy Jelly followed by stints in Ellis and supporting Marc Bolan.  He then became an in-demand sessions player before passing on in 2020.


  • McCulloch reappeared briefly in Sweeney's Men. After backing Joe Cocker he recorded an album with The Grease Band.  He spent some time with a mid-'70s line-up of Paul McCartney and Wings.  He also recorded a pair of solo album's for George Harrison's Dark Horse label.  He died in June, 2016.


  • Stewart joined Frankie Miller's Full House and did a brief stint with Spooky Tooth. Suffering from cancer, he passed on in May, 2020.