The Extraordinaires

The Extraordinaires

The Extraordinaires were a roots-based London band in the early 80s, playing their own compositions. The band was mainly a duo, with John Evans on guitar (Fender Strat) & Chris Tulloch (AKA Mandolin Jack) on keyboards (Fender rhodes piano & Korg "hammond" organ).

Check out the Extraordinaires YouTube page here

Chris and John first met up when John played a couple of sessions on the folk-band Frogmorton's album "At Last" in 1976. After Frogmorton split up, Chris & John, plus Terry Newbury (drums) and John Cook (bass) from Frogmorton, formed "Trucker's Mugs" in 1977, playing some of Chris & John's own compositions.

In October 1978 Chris Tulloch made a long road & rail trip through the States & Mexico. On his return he joined up with John again and played keyboards in a local band in Twickenham, the Bob Lewis' "Red Hot Pickup Band".

That gave birth to The Extraordinaires.

The early 80s, especially in London around that time, was a fruitful mix of many sub-cultures. In the charts were the synthpop bands with wide shoulders and big hair; but simmering underneath was a hotbed of Rockabilly, Latin Jazz, Calypso, Funk and Soul.
It was in this atmosphere that The Extraordinaires flourished and created some great music. The band soon had regular gigs around London plus weekly residences in The Queen's Head in Islington and The Latchmere in Battersea. In 1980 they did a bunch of recordings in Chas de Whalley's studio in Battersea.

Chris & John were also members of The Brian Knight Blues Band and played on his album A Dark Horse in 1981.

More Extraordinaires' recordings were done in 1982 with Charlie Hart (bass) and Russell Greenwood (from Brighton band "The Chefs" on drums) & some later gigs were done with other added bass & drums.
Also in 1982, UK rockabilly band "The Jets" recorded one of their songs - Blue Skies - for their single release on EMI records and took it into the charts.

In 1983, Chris & John were joined by Eve Ferret on vocals, and together recorded "Under My Skin" in the basement of EMI studios in Manchester Square, London.

However, tastes and times change and in 1985 The Extraordinaires called it a day with a final fun spot at Ronnie Scott's in London's Soho.

At the end of the 90s they got back together for occasional gigs with a more Americana acoustic-feel and in 2014 they collaborated on Mandolin Jack's album Phoenix In The Ashes