The Amber Quills in 1982 (Neil, Dave, Tim and Michael)

How a flood brought The Amber Quills’ 
songs back to life

The Amber Quills formed in 1982 in west London. The band was made up of four friends who had met at school – Neil Hughes (bass), Dave Jones (drums), Tim Blakey (guitar) and Michael Burdett (vocals and guitar).

Encouraged by the interest of record companies, they spent months in rehearsal, honing their material. But when it came to recording, they didn’t complete any final mixes of the songs because they ran out of studio time. They also never performed live because Michael developed stage fright and within a year the band was no more. Michael chose a musical career that was out of the spotlight, writing TV theme tunes and music for adverts. Neil, Dave and Tim all went on to join other bands.

The master tapes from their studio sessions remained in Michael’s storage unit for nearly 40 years until a flood destroyed most of what was stored there. Although so much of Michael’s archive had gone, the loss of the Amber Quills tapes bothered him most as he’d always vowed to finish the songs. Eventually, he found a company that could dry and restore the multi-track tapes, and getting them back spurred him into action. 

Over the years, Michael had worked with some of the best people in the music industry. So, when he went back into the studio with the restored tapes, he got them involved. The first track to be released is Chords and Candies