Oak

British folk band

Biography

Oak was an English folk band in the early 1970s; it had a major influence on folk revival in the UK, despite being together for only two years.

Members of Oak:

The members of Oak met in the 1960s in Kingston upon Thames, where Rod Stradling ran a folk club. The Stradlings moved to Camden Town in 1968 and became involved in running another folk club in Islington. Engle and Webb also moved to North London soon afterwards. In 1970, while his wife Danny was pregnant, Rod Stradling played together with Tony Engle as a successful duo and as part of The Garland, replacing Mel Dean. After the birth of their son, the Stradlings and Engle and Webb joined forces as Oak and had soon performed at most of the folk clubs in the London area.

They were asked by Bill Leader to make an LP for his Trailer label, but as Engle worked for Topic Records, he felt obliged to offer to record for them first. To his surprise, the offer was accepted and Welcome to Our Fair was recorded on May Day, 1971. The record caused enormous interest and the band played 163 gigs in the 18 months between the record's release and their final performance, on 19 December 1972.

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