Along with the Starfighters and Quartz, Cryer were a heavyweight in Birmingham rock music circles. Constantly gigging, and touring in support of such notables as Gillan and Ozzy Osbourne, the band had a great live reputation – not least due to the extensive use of somewhat unpredictable pyrotechnics operated by roadie Stevie Husband – alongside melodic hard rock tunes.
Formed in 1974 the line up fluctuated over the years but by the time they got around to committing their sound to vinyl in 1980 the line up consisted of Graham Careless (Vocals), Garry ‘Musical Exchanges’ Chapman (Guitar), Stu Clarke (Guitar), Pete Wayne (Keyboards), Richard ‘Fez’ Ferriday (Bass) and Roger Whitehouse (Drums): previously, Steve ‘Bertie’ Burton had been vocalist but had left to form the Starfighters.
A self-financed single – the Single, aptly enough – was released (with the much better B-side ‘Hesitate’) and an album ‘Set Me Free’ recorded at the Old Smithy studios in Worcester. However, this album was finally released after the band split in 1983 on Heavy Metal Records who decided to change the name of the band to Force for reasons better known to themselves!
Post-Cryer, Garry Chapman (lovingly nicknamed ‘Frog’) was manager of Musical Exchanges (where I ‘enjoyed’ a Youth Training Scheme upon leaving school and was mentored there by Steve Husband) on Snow Hill and can now be found running Professional Music Technology (PMT) on Lawley Middleway, Fez Ferriday formed Tourco (for whom I worked) which operated out of offices next to Musical Exchanges and later premises on Gooch Street, and Graham Careless and Roger Whitehouse formed a band called Force to gig the album material: I do recall Force in the later-1980s with Musical Exchanges very own Gary Sharpe on guitar regularly gigging at Edward’s Number 7 and 8.
All-in-all a good Birmingham band that enjoyed 10 years of ‘cult’ success but never quite made the big-time.