Flying Fortress


Years active:

Late 60s/Early 70s



Bude area


Band Members:                                         

Nigel Uren (Drums)
Mike Parsons (Vocals)
Nigel Chappell (Bass)


After the demise of Motherchild the two Nigel’s formed Flying Fortress, moving into a more progressive direction. Based around the North Cornwall border the band could easily play in both Devon and Cornwall. They did however start to venture into London to secure gigs and would eventually commute between the county and the capital. On one of their visits to London they would share the bill with Yes on one of their early gigs. 

During their time in London they were asked to back up Graham Bond on a studio session. Unfortunately Graham well publicised drinking problem got the better of him and the sessions where abandoned when he was no long able to stand.

Mitch Mitchell would also check the band out on occasions. At the time he was without a band, Jimi Hendrix having recently passed away. At one gig he got up on stage and jammed for a while (making Nigel play harder than he’d ever had to in his life!) and was impressed enough that they would get together and gig as the Mitch Mitchell. The band played a handful of gigs around the Surrey area, playing covers.

Mike was writing some original songs for the band and they even had a test session at Decca Records. An acetate was pressed up, but the label decided not to take up the option of signing the band.

By the early 70s the gigs were drying up and Nigel decided to move back to Cornwall for a break. Mitch Mitchell would contact the band again soon after and they would reconvene for a few gigs, but then Mike sadly died in a car crash.

Nigel would later play in the popular Charlie and the Wide Boys, before moving to a behind the scenes role. His account also handled Queen, who at the time was in need of somebody to handle their tour accounts. In need of a steady income and being reasonably good with figures Nigel took on the role of tour account for the band, later moving into royalty accounting. After writing programmes for royalty accounting he would work for Sting handling his royalties for ten years.



Links to other bands:

Nigel Chappell played with Constable Zippo's Electric Commode Band, Motherchild and Charlie and the Wide Boys
Nigel Uren played with The Bluecaps, Smokey Joes and Motherchild

Did you play in this band? If so please get in touch!