The Enid is a British rock band founded in 1975 by Robert John Godfrey, Stephen Stewart and Francis Lickerish. Another early member was William Gilmour, who subsequently founded his own band Craft and now plays keyboards in Lickerish’s band Secret Green.
Robert John Godfrey - Keyboards
Jason Ducker - Guitar
Max Read - Vocals/Guitar/Keyboards
Dave Storey - Drums
Nic Willes - Bass/Percussion/Guitar
Joe Payne - Vocals’Keyboards
The Enid’s membership has undergone several changes, always with Godfrey firmly at the helm, and its creativity seems to come in fits and starts. Godfrey has diabetes, and has also described bouts of depression associated with periods of writer’s block.
Godfrey also has a tendency to dismiss some of his ideas, such as a brief flirtation with dance music in the early 1990s, as juvenile or misguided, a view that is not always shared by the band’s fans. Now more than 30 years old, the band is still recording sporadically and recently released a brand new album, Journey’s End.
The Enid began recording at about the same time as punk rock burst upon the scene. Godfrey has said that he always regarded The Enid’s ironic takes on classical music as being just as anarchic as anything by the Sex Pistols, but this did not translate into either musical or commercial recognition, despite their work being played frequently by Tommy Vance on BBC Radio One’s Friday Rock Show. In 1981, the band played most of the music for Kim Wilde’s self-titled debut album. After some unpleasant experiences with major record labels, which initially welcomed the band with open arms and then dumped them after failing to promote their records, the band relied on self-publishing and promotion, which was helped by the fact that their settlement with one of the labels included some recording equipment. The band used this equipment to establish The Lodge Recording Studio, hiring its facilities to other bands in between their own projects.
It may be worth noting that unlike many current rock and pop releases on CD and download, The Enid’s music is not processed with dynamic range compression to artificially enhance loudness.
Robert John Godfrey has said that he does not regard The Enid as a progressive rock band and would rather not be associated with the term, but that has not stopped prog rock fanzines and websites from promoting the band. He has also been quite scathing in his criticism of “neo-progressive” bands like Marillion and Pendragon, accusing them of lacking charm, talent and originality.
In 2010 the band released a studio album, Journey’s End, to critical acclaim which they premièred at Birmingham Town Hall. The following year they performed this in its entirety along some old classics, including Fand, with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
In 2012 they recruited talented vocalist Joe Payne, who has brought an exciting new dimension to the band and he has already established himself by re-working some of the older material on the CD Shining. On 10 November 2012, The Enid will be performing launching their next album of new material, Invicta as well as Robert John Godfrey’s solo album of piano music, at Watford Colosseum, when they will play with the Orchestra of The Swan. They will also be performing a re-working of their album The Spell.
Robert John Godfrey