1975 - What a year! Microsoft was founded, the US pulled out of Vietnam and Tiger Woods was born. For those with long memories you'll remember Harold Wilson and Dennis Healey, the National Enterprise Board, 25% inflation and wildcat strikes. Ah! Happy days!

Dwarfing all these historical milestones was the formation of a folk-rock band in Leyland, Lancashire by 4 trainee accountants at Leyland Truck and Bus Division. Leyland was beset by rabid industrial relations, the dead hand of the National Enterprise Board and a resource drain to the newly acquired car manufacturer, BMC. It's small wonder that these guitar-toting number-crunchers called their band Cash Crisis.

The Band Members
Click on any of the band members to find out more about them.
Nigel Newman, Londoner, economics graduate, songwriter and lead vocalist. Not known much for cheerful lyrics, he occasionally writes words to make you smile, such as the summery Beach Bar Serenade. Every now and then, the soapbox comes out in his lyrics, most recently in ‘Put Down Your Phone’, a rant against impolite use of mobiles. Nigel used to drive a Ford Focus, and in some senses still does!
Ron Fisher, Cumbrian, maths graduate, snooker-player and lead guitarist with a predilection for Lindisfarne and Al Stewart. Despite this, Ron is the band’s rock influence and, we suspect, is also a master of air guitar when Clapton or Gilmour are playing and no-one’s looking. Known to the band as ‘Carlos’ (after Santana).
Jon Francis, engineering graduate, Coventry City and Fairport fan, who loves 60s music and spaghetti westerns. Despite being the youngest of the band (a whole 11 months younger than Ron, the senior citizen) Jon is also geriatric, but still creaks around the tennis court and the golf course, and has never been known to say no to the prospect of a game of any kind. Ever.
The Early Years (1975 - 1977)
Aiming for the high notes!
For two years the band wrote and recorded a number of their own songs as well as a number of contemporary hits by the Eagles, Lindisfarne, Steve Stills, Leo Sayer et al. This was a pretty easy process as we all lived under the same roof and spent most of our time playing, writing and recording, with just the brief interruption of the day jobs. In fact, we were so preoccupied with music that our house in Euxton, Lancashire became a little er... untidy, which was only resolved when we had an irate letter from our landlord’s agent, Mr. Rice, who voiced the opinion that we were "living like pigs in muck!". This affront to our sartorial reputations led to the employment of a lovely old lady as our cleaner, Mrs. Ellis, who kept us well under control. The only problem was that our plectrums used to disappear - we never found out what she did with them!

The recordings were all made using Ron’s reel-to-reel tape recorder and some Woolworths microphones. With the benefit of hindsight and experience of 21st century recording equipment, it seems amazing that we ever got anything recorded. Nevertheless, the outcome of these antiquated efforts was our first album ‘Down to the Last P’ all on vinyl and missing the title track, owing to a cock-up in the production (for which the band gratefully accepted a 10% price reduction). There were only 200 copies made and rumour has it that these are now traded amongst aficionados for very considerable sums.

Live performances were rare and significant for their enthusiasm more than their fine production. We remember performing rock numbers without a drummer – and sometimes without even a bass! And the steward of Coppull Working Men’s club still owes us our fee for the night - pay up Reginald or else! A notable performance at Leyland’s Stokes Hall in April 1976 is immortalised by the live recording of ‘Walk the Car’ on the first album.

Nigel and Jon were also engaged on other live performances with Leyland Motors Male Voice Choir, rendering many old favourites such as Carolina and Miffanwy under the expert tutelage of Dr John Wilson and performing in such salubrious venues as Walton open prison.

1977 saw the break-up of the band as Stuart returned to Scotland to teach and Nigel moved South in pursuit of lurv… Ron and Jon briefly joined a country and western band, but it lasted about as long as Jolene in a feminist convention.

The Quiet Years (1978 - 2000)
Whilst Ron, Nigel and Jon stayed in touch and occasionally met up for a singsong through the 1980s and 1990s, we were all preoccupied with marriages, sprogs, careers etc. Ron was building his own business in CD manufacture, Nigel following a career path in PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Jon moving between various FD jobs. Nothing creative emerged for 20 years or more, other than 3 solo cassette albums from Nigel, who is constitutionally incapable of not writing songs! By 1999 the band was virtually reduced to the ritualistic exchange of Christmas cards between Ron (west of London), Nigel (Nr. Bristol) and Jon (Nr. Liverpool).
Renaissance (2001 - present)

In 2001, Jon organised a charity concert Heswall Hope & Harmony in support of AIDS orphans in Africa. This feat of impressarioism involved a number of local musical ‘acts’ (a modern jazz band, a group of middle-aged lady bell-ringers, a cellist, a pianist etc. etc.) plus Nigel and Jon performing with a number of young musicians under the Cash Crisis banner (Jaime Dawson on drums, Chris Mainey on bass, Simon Heathfield on keyboards and Lins Trussell on fiddle). As the concert was a financial and musical success, the event was repeated for the next 3 years, with Ron being roped in to play lead guitar in 2004.

This allowed us to rediscover the fun of collaborative music-making and we produced our second album ‘Loose Change’ the same year, entirely consisting of Ron’s remixes of ancient unused recordings from the 1970s, which we sold in support of Macmillan.

It was at this point that we decided we wanted to produce an altogether more serious album of old and new songs, a project which culminated in our third album ‘Got More Bills’ in 2006. Why did it take 2 years? It wasn’t the time to write and arrange the songs, nor any hold-ups from all the ‘session musicians’ who supported us (Andy Stinson on keys, Tony Gallacher on bass, Brian Murphy on drums, Emily Roberts on sax, Lins Trussell on fiddle) but the difficulties of getting the 3 of us into a studio at the same time with the difficulties of our geographical separation and busy life-styles. The album was finally born in late 2006 and taught us the basics of modern studio recording. The songs, lyrics mostly by Nigel, are about real experiences, the modern ones about the experience of mid-life: we barely avoided the temptation of naming the album ‘Mid-Life Crisis’ – but it may yet have its day.

The album was recorded at Starlight Studios in Heswall, where we had enormous help from Andy Miles and Mike Watson, both skilled musicians themselves.

In the three years after ‘Got More Bills’ we produced another, more musically diverse, album. ‘Back in the Black’ released in late 2009, marked a clear departure from the established Cash Crisis sound, featuring styles ranging from rock and techno through modern jazz to 12-bar blues, country, and folk. As before, the songs relied heavily upon the musical talents of many friends from Heswall. Thanks go to John Sloan (Bass), Sophia Nelson (Backing Vocals), Emily Roberts and Gilly Blair on sax, and reprise roles for Brian Murphy (Drums) and Andy Stinson (Keyboards and Flute). This too was recorded at Starlight with more help from Andy and Mike.

More recently, the band has adopted a rhythm to its album output. The next 2 albums (‘This Time Next Year’ in 2014 and ‘Off the Rocks’ in 2019) have each taken 5 years to produce, which roughly breaks down as 3 years to write the songs, a year to whittle down contenders and arrange them, 3 months to record and mix (in 3 week-long sessions) and 9 months to undertake post-production and manufacture the CDs.

That isn’t to say that the nature of our output hasn’t continued to evolve. ‘This Time Next Year’, though technically more advanced than its predecessors, continued to incorporate a full range of musical styles, while the latest album ‘Off the Rocks’ does what it says on the tin. Whilst it still includes a blues track (No matter the pain), a folk-choral piece (Lord of the Dawn) and a rap moan (Put down your phone), all the other pieces play to our core folk-rock style. Most of the lyrics continue to gush from Nigel’s pen, with the exceptions of Floating like an island and White Heat (Ron) and Angry Man (Jon). The music and the arrangements are nearly all done in joint writing sessions. The big step-change in the new album is in the complexity of the arrangements which arises from improving technology, developing experience and the skills of our recording engineer at Tower Road Studio.

As ever, we could not function without the help of our friends and fellow musicians, especially Kath Zelaskowski (keys), Tony Gallacher (bass), Gilly Blair (sax), Sam Gallacher (percussion & sound engineering).

We have recently started work on our seventh album which, based on recent experience, might catapult us to Wembley Arena sometime around 2024 when all 3 of us will be er… over 70!