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Mostly Autumn
Origin England
Genres Rock
Years active 1996 onward
Labels Cyclops Records
Classic Rock Records
Mostly Autumn Records
Associated acts Breathing Space
Odin Dragonfly
See: Current Line-up
Former members
See: Former Members

Mostly Autumn is a British band, producing music heavily influenced by classic 70s rock. The group formed in 1996, and have built their reputation through constant touring[1][2][3], never signing to a major label. The group's early influences were Genesis and Pink Floyd, and folk music. Later albums also included more contemporary influences.



Mostly Autumn was formed in the late 1990s. The line-up that recorded their first album For All We Shared... in 1998 was Bryan Josh, Heather Findlay, Iain Jennings, Liam Davison, Bob Faulds, Stuart Carver, Kev Gibbons and Allan Scott. On their second album The Spirit of Autumn Past, Allan Scott was replaced by Rob McNeil.

In 2000 (as a three piece - Bryan, Heather and Angela Goldthorpe) they achieved a support slot for Blackmore's Night on their Under a Violet Moon tour, bringing them to a wider audience. On the cover artwork for the following Blackmore's Night album Fires at Midnight, Heather Findlay provided the illustration for the song "Hanging Tree".

On Mostly Autumn's third album (The Last Bright Light, 2001), Rob McNeil in turn was replaced by Jonathan Blackmore (not related to Ritchie). Andy Smith replaced Stuart Carver on the bass guitar.

In 2004, shortly before the band's 'V Shows' tour, Iain's brother, Andrew Jennings, took over on drums and percussion. By this time, the band had been praised by Rick Wright of Pink Floyd.[4]

Olivia Sparnenn joined the band in 2005 to provide additional backing vocals. Ben Matthews of Thunder stood in on keyboards for Mostly Autumn's headline gig at the Baja Prog Festival in Mexico in March 2006. Chris Johnson was then recruited as a permanent replacement, with Angela Gordon (formerly Goldthorpe) also taking a more prominent role on keyboards.

At the beginning of 2007 both guitarist Liam Davison and drummer Andrew Jennings left the band, Liam to concentrate on his solo album and Andrew to devote his time to his other projects. The guitar parts were shared out amongst the rest of the group. Ex-Karnataka drummer Gavin Griffiths stood in on drums for most of the 2007 live shows, Andrew Jennings temporarily rejoined the group at the end of 2007, until Henry Bourne took over in 2008. Gavin Griffiths returned for the first shows of 2009 in Manchester and London.

When Chris Johnson and Angela Gordon left in 2008, Iain Jennings and Liam Davison returned to the group on keyboards and guitar respectively. Anne-Marie Helder, who had played support slots in the past and stood in for Angela during her pregnancy, took over the role of flute, keyboards and backing vocals.

A new studio album, entitled Glass Shadows was released in 2008 and an accompanying tour took place in spring and early summer 2008. A 100-minute DVD, 'The Making Of Glass Shadows', accompanied the special pre-order version of the album.

During October 2008 Mostly Autumn performed two gigs with an alternative, semi-acoustic line-up in support of the Bad Shepherds. The line-up consisted of Bryan Josh (guitar and vocals), Olivia Sparnenn (lead vocals), Andy Smith (bass), Anne-Marie Helder (keyboards and flute) and Robbie Baxter (drums). This tour was truncated after the Bad Shepherds cancelled many dates.

Mostly Autumn have their own independent record label and choose to finance each album release itself. The group typically prints a limited edition of each album, and sells those to cover their recording costs. A retail version of the album is then made available via retail outlets, distributors, the group's concerts and through their website.[5]

Up to and including Heart Full Of Sky Mostly Autumn's albums have opened with the last few seconds of the final song on the previous album, This tradition was dropped with the release of Glass Shadows.

At the beginning of 2010, Findlay left the band to focus on solo work and her family. She is being replaced by Olivia Sparnenn.[6]


Heather Findlay contributed to Arjen Lucassen's 'Ayreon' project on The Human Equation album in 2004, singing the part of 'Love'.

Iain Jennings left the band at the beginning of 2006 to pursue his own musical ambitions and formed his own band, Breathing Space, as well as contributing to projects by other artists. Breathing Space have so far released three albums: Breathing Space (2005), Coming Up For Air (2007) and Below The Radar (2009). Olivia Sparnenn provided lead vocals on all albums, though she continues to perform with Mostly Autumn.

During 2005 Heather Findlay and Angela Gordon formed an acoustic side project called Odin Dragonfly, making live appearances both as a support act and as headliners. In August 2007 they released their first album, Offerings.

Heather Findlay was engaged to be married to Fish ex-singer of Marillion[7], but the couple split before the wedding could take place[8].



Current lineup

Former members

  • Heidi Widdop – lead vocals
  • Heather Findlay – lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitar, 12 string guitar, piano, recorders, percussion
  • Chris Johnson – keyboards, piano, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
  • Angela Gordon – flutes, keyboards, piano, recorders, high and low whistles, backing vocals
  • Stuart Carver – bass guitars
  • Bob Faulds – violin
  • Kev Gibbons – high and low whistles
  • Allan Scott – drums
  • Rob McNeil – drums
  • Jonathan Blackmore – drums
  • Andrew Jennings – drums
  • Henry Bourne – drums




EPs and Singles



  1. ^ "Rock Music", Northern Echo, 23 November 2000 p21
  2. ^ "Band were better value than Madge", South Wales Echo, 11 April 2006 p14
  3. ^ "Autumn are seasoned pros", Mail (Birmingham), 13 June 2007 p8
  4. ^ "Floyd legacy, but originality foremost", Western Mail, 21 April 2004 p15
  5. ^ "Never mind downloads, the CD is alive and well", The Independent, 2 March 2007 p12
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Catch of the Day", Scotsman, 25 August 2006 p18
  8. ^ "Fish gutted as fiancee walks out after refusing pre-nuptial", Edinburgh Evening News, 1 June 2007 p3

External links


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