TRUFFLE - 1st Attempt  LP
TRUFFLE - 1st Attempt  LP
TRUFFLE - 1st Attempt  LP
TRUFFLE - 1st Attempt  LP
TRUFFLE - 1st Attempt LP

HRR 170, limited to 500 copies, 150 x white/ black 2 colour split vinyl + 350 x black vinyl, 4 page insert

Russ Horton - Bass / Lead vocals
Ritchie Stopforth - Guitar / vocals
Pete Patterson - Drums
Mark Mullholland - Guitar / Keyboards

-Rock'n'Roll Dancer
-God of War
-Mystery of the Stones
-633 Squadron
-Bacon Slicer
-Running out of Time
-Do you like Heavy Metal
-633 Squadron


High Roller Records is proud to release not only one but three individual longplay albums by N.W.O.B.H.M. cult band Truffle. The wealth and sheer quality of their never-published material justifies such a step. The ten songs on “First Attempt” were, as drummer Pete Patterson points out, Truffle’s first (unsuccessful) attempt to publish a self-financed debut album back in the days: “ This was indeed our first attempt at recording an album. Ray Dorset (of Mungo Jerry) signed us to his publishing company and asked us to record a demo of some tunes in his studio in Hindhead, Surrey. A while after we had finished the demo, Ray then called us up and asked if we’d like to record a whole album of songs with him producing. We didn't need asking twice! We all chose which of the songs we wanted to record from the ones we were playing live at the time. Three of them, ‘God Of War’, ‘Street Fighter’ and ‘Thunderbird’, we had already recorded on the previous demo with Ray, but Ray wanted us to start again from scratch, which was good for us as we had two new members in the band at that point, so it meant we got to re-record them again with that line up.”
Truffle did concentrate fully on the songwriting for the album. This is how the situation was: “We had a lady manager called Pat Hatch and we used to pretty much all live in her house at that time. She taught us a lot and basically laid down the rules, organized us and kept it all together. We used to write most of our songs when sitting together in her front room. Someone would come up with a riff and then we would just play around with it and add bits and change things. Then one of us would think of a melody line and eventually we’d have a song.”
Pete tells us a bit more about the actual material on this unpublished album: “’Rock ‘N’ Roll Dancer’ was one Russ wrote mostly on his own, while ‘Running Outa Time’ was one that keyboard player Mark Mullholland wrote the music to when his father passed away and I did the lyrics. ‘633 Squadron’ is just a great piece of music, which we played a lot when the Falklands conflict was happening. We lived in Portsmouth which is a seaside town and there are lots of shops that sell buckets and spades and that seaside kind of thing. Well, we used to buy lots of little plastic union jacks from these shops and hand them out to the crowd at gigs for them to wave while we played the tune. It worked well in a patriotic kind of way for quite a while!”
”Do You Like Heavy Metal” sounds like an interesting song title as well, but Pete stresses that not too much thought went into it: “That was just a fun headbanging stomp along kinda song. I liked that one actually, it was good fun to play and I loved the opening guitar riff.”
And then there is “Mystery Of The Stones”, of which I always thought it would relate to Stonehenge and other standing stones. This is not really the case at all: “Not Stonehenge as such, no, the words are just a fantasy type thing based on olden times. It’s one that with the lyrics, we all took turns in writing a line. One of us (usually Russ) would sing the first line and then Rich would think of the next, then me etc until we had our lyric. It’s the type of song that has several different sections to it. A slow moody start, then the main riff in the middle and then we double up for the end section with some odd time signatures thrown in for good measure during the end solo. I particulary like the ‘tell the story’ melody just before the end guitar solo ...”
So who plays on “First Attempt”. Was it Truffle’s first recording line up? “No, it definitely wasn’t the first recording line up”, says Pete. “The single ‘Round Tower’ was our first time in a studio recording our own material. Line up wise it was pretty much Russ, Rich and myself and then one other member coming in. You expect to change the personnel in a ‘gigging band’ situation, but the three of us were together for pretty much all of the band’s existence, certainly from the writing songs point of view. Although of the other members Greg Watkins, Mark Mullholland and Gary Webb had a big input as well.”
The first official Truffle demo goes back even further: “1983 was when we did the first demo with Ray at his studio in Hindhead. It was a fantastic experience for us ... recording is such an unforgiving thing. It’s completely different from playing live and shows up every flaw in your technique. It can drive you mad, but it’s also amazing to put down your own music for anyone to hear. And it’s there forever, how can that not be fantastic? We were all young, I was 19 at the time and we were travelling around the country in a rock band. Good times!”
Matthias Mader