thanks to hank & Fun Lovin Tunnel Jacket
Alan Gregg left the band in mid-'98, replaced by the first English Mutton Bird, Sheffield-raised, London-based Tony Fisher. The new line-up spent the latter part of the year working on their next album.
"Rain, Steam & Speed" was released in February 1999 on manager Steve Hedges' own Shhhh! label to fantastic reviews. Further touring followed, and despite use of the lead single "Pulled Along By Love" in Channel 4 advertising, the album's commercial success failed to match its critical triumphs.
A further line-up change, with Andrew Claridge replacing Chris Sheehan on lead guitar, occured in 2000 in the lead-up to the Mutton Birds' final UK tour, which climaxed with another sell-out show at the Shepherds Bush Empire in December.
November 2002 saw the release of "Flock, The Best Of The Mutton Birds", a compilation which took selections from each of the band's four studio albums, along with a new recording of the Sneaky Feelings track, "Not To Take Sides".
".....unpretentious ingenuity, freshly-baked-this-morning melodies and dark pensive lyrics" - The Times
".....a perfect example of what real songs sound like" - What's On
"In the first five songs on this record, there's more melody and harmonic reverberation than on the last album by more or less anyone you'd care to name" - David Hepworth, Mojo
Rain, Steam & Speed
Flock, The Best Of The Mutton Birds