Fracture were first formed by Rodger Wylde and Tom Bennett and their first official gig was on Friday 20th November 1998 in an attempt to raise money for Children in Need. Initially the duo were only going to ʻbuskʼ in the city of Manchester to raise some money for the charity but also, I seem to remember, it was a bit of ʻegoʼ trip to realise the pent up rock star dreams the pair always held!
As news spread of the musical event, plans changed and the line up grew. Music teacher and County fan, John Gerhity, came in on bass guitar, ex-player Brian Croft played drums alongside rhythm guitarist / singer Rodger and lead guitarist / singer Tom.
The concert was held in Countyʼs banqueting suite with 300 tickets being sold raising over £1,000 for the charity. A DVD was made of the original Fracture gig and Tom has still yet to see the event. Rodger has the only copy of the evenings proceedings which may become available to purchase! It is very funny, interesting and, musically, surprising on some songs given the number of songs crammed in to only 4 weeks rehearsals!!
The name Fracture was chosen as the band name because of the fact that Tom had just recovered from a broken leg, so it seemed appropriate, short and catchy.
Over the next twelve years the Fracture line up changed a few times with the addition of club doctor, Stephen Greenhough, coming in on bass guitar and is still a member to this day. At one point Pete Collins, a County fan, came in on lead guitar to free main lead singer Tom Bennett up from the constraints of guitar playing while singing.
The next few years saw turmoil in the ranks of Fracture, ex-County pro James Flood became the bands lead singer for a while, mainly because he could actually sing! But, after going AWOL before a gig, leaving the band ʻhigh and dryʼ on the night, Floody was quickly ʻbinnedʼ, never to return! Pete Collins left due to transportation problems - he couldʼnt carry his guitar on his motorbike! A similar fate to Floodyʼs ʻno showʼ awaited Brian Croft on drums but this ʻsackingʼ lead to an unbelievable capture, on drums, of Keith Chadwick.
Keith was an original member of the 90ʼs Manchester Indie band Northern Uproar who had 3 top ten CDʼs and at one point toured with Oasis!
Fracture, in 2006, played a small gig in Rodgerʼs home town of Sheffield and Keith, who was affectionately know as ʻMooneyʼ after Keith Moon of The Who, was jokingly heard to say as the band had finished their sound check, ʻthe last gig I played in Sheffield was at the Arena in front of 10,000 people! How times change!ʼ
Collinsʼ departure saw the enrollment to the band of a work colleague of the Docʼs who could play lead guitar Dave Prudhoe. Wow and how he could play! Dave was like Jimi Hendrix and vastly broadened the repertoire of the band. As Tom and I said to each other when Dave had auditioned and agreed to join Fracture, ʻsurrounding ourselves all these good musicians really took the focus from the two of us and make us look miles better than we really were!!ʼ
Mooney was a Fracture regular for three years before his job took him to the east coast of England and he was no longer able to rehearse. Dave moved on to a new band that paid him - fair enough - was not the kudos of being in Fracture reward enough?!! Oh well.
It is common knowledge that all bands have their internal differences and Fracture were no exception. Tom and ʻthe Docʼ, Steve, were constantly at each others throats because Tom rarely practiced his chords for the few songs he had to know while Rodger sang. Tom was often heard to say, at rehearsals before a song started that he was playing guitar on, ʻwhat are the chords to this one?ʻ This infuriated Steve immensely and many an argument had to be calmed down by the the diplomatic Rodger who managed to hold the peace on many occasion.
It was a sad day, however, when Tom decided to ʻcall it a dayʼ with Fracture and he left. It was at this point that the band were in a state of flux with a few guests appearing to sing with Rodger who was now fronting the band. At his own admittance he was not the greatest singer in the world but he could rival Farhouk Bulsara (Freddie Mercury) as a front man!! Former player Leon McSweeney aided and abetted Rodger as lead singer at one gig, soon after Tomʼs departure. And, on another occasion, ex X Factor finalist Carolyn Poole (wife of ex-County player David) duetted with Rodger at one gig performing ʻMustang Sallyʻ with the pair dancing seductively during the mid song guitar solo!! Rodger was quoted as saying, in the post gig press conference referring to the dance, “I thought Iʼd died and gone to heaven!”
In Fractureʼs last gig the line up was Rodger Wylde - lead singer, Steve ʻThe Docʼ Greenhough - bass, Daniel OʼDonnell - drums, David Poole - rhythm guitar, James Vincent - lead guitar and guest vocalist Phil Brennan.
At the moment Fracture is in a transitional period, so wait and see what the next line up will be!