Code Indigo BioHistory of electronic avant-garde rock band Code Indigo
Code Indigo was born from the musical collaboration between David Wright and Robert Fox which began in the Spring of 1994. Both Artists enjoyed successful solo careers, so the idea of an alternative vehicle for their music which would see their two different styles metamorphosis into something completely new, was a regular topic of discussion between them.
By the summer of 1995, most of the music had been written at FX Studios in Wales, and the overall concept for the album ‘For Whom the Bell…’ had been composed and arranged. However, the music had entered areas which required an additional perspective. David had been working with guitarist and studio engineer Nik Smith in his solo concerts and while attending one of the “Bell” sessions, as they had become affectionately known, it became apparent that Nik was in tune with the project and was able to give it the extra dimension David and Robert sought.
During October 1995 – January 1996, the three musicians began work at the Old Pink Dog Studios in West Sussex, where Nik took over the mantle of senior engineer on the project as well as adding his superb guitar work.
It was at this point that the 4th member of the band became involved. Vaughn Evans joined the project initially in his roll as one of David Wright’s road crew and assistant engineer. But his knowledge of analogue synths and growing involvement during rehearsals added another distinctive layer to the evolving sound.
The original line-up played its first UK concert at the Derby Assembly Rooms headlined by Klaus Schulze in April 1996, in front of an appreciative 800 strong audience. However, Code Indigo was to become an evolving, fluid band, undergoing numerous personnel changes over the years.
Firstly, Nik Smith left to be replaced by session guitarist Pat Pattison for the German Concert in the City of Duisburg in May 1997. Over 1000 people witnessed a stunning performance by the band and the unedited set was released as a Limited Edition ‘Official Bootleg’ (Cat. No. SP1).
This was followed by the prestigious and highly acclaimed Derby Cathedral Concert in October 1998, where the bands 3rd guitarist, Andy Lobban, effortlessly replaced Pat Pattison. A stunning visual experience was accompanied by Code Indigo premiering new material alongside favourites from For Whom the Bell. This concert recording was later released as part of the David Wright & Robert Fox special Edition 4 CD Box set ‘Blue’.
Late in 1998, Andy Lobban and Vaughn Evans left the band, and Nik Smith rejoined as guitarist and senior engineer. The new three man line-up recorded ‘Uforia’ in West Sussex during 1999 with guest musicians and ‘Sweet Like Chocolate’ singer Sharon Woolf and other renowned session players. ‘Uforia’ was to be a very different album to FWTB, both musically and stylistically, combining modern elements of dub and dance with the synth backdrops.
There is no denying its appeal and technical excellence, and the album was to receive critical acclaim from the more mainstream musical press. But despite the acclaim, ‘Uforia’ failed to capitalise on its potential despite a London Concert with an impressive visual backdrop to launch the album in September 1999.
Despite “Uforia” not achieving its intended mainstream success, Code Indigo remained one of AD Music’s most prominent acts. The music continued to find a growing audience thanks to Sony, Polygram and ZYX compilations, where Code Indigo featured with, amongst others, Santana, Fleetwood Mac, Enigma and Jean Michelle Jarre.
Also during 1996 and 2000, there were nominations on four separate occasions in the German Radio Schwingungen music awards; runner-up in the Best Album category and the Best New Act category of 1996 and placed in the Best Act category of 1998 and 2000.
Early in 2000, David Wright and Robert Fox wrote and recorded ‘Blue’, a 23 minute, 4 part opus, which was to form part of the planned box set of solo and collaborative works. Although not intended or presented as a Code Indigo piece, the ‘Blue’ opus was enthusiastically perceived and received as such.
The ‘Special Edition’ 4 CD box set ‘Blue’ was released and coincided with a return to Derby Cathedral in October 200o. David and Robert performed solo sets before being joined by guitarist Andy Lobban to premiere ‘Blue’ as the finale to the event.
There was little activity during 2001. David and Robert did work briefly on a proposed album idea called ‘Redemption’, but this was scrapped. However, a session out-take survives and is featured on the AD fanzine, ( issue 6), and David and Robert performed extracts live at Jodrall Bank in June 2002.
In July 2002 David and Robert conceived and wrote the basic structure for ‘TimeCode’. In August, producer and rhythm programmer Dave Massey joined Fox, Wright and Lobban to form the next incarnation of Code Indigo. They were joined by guest vocalist Louise Eggerton whose unique vocal textures were to take centre stage on the 3rd studio album.
One year later on July 5th 2003, “TimeCode” premiered to an enthusiastic audience at The National Space Agency, Leicester. In August, the prestigious syndicated USA radio show “Echoes” recorded the band at the Suffolk studio of David Wright and subsequently produced a combined interview, feature and radio concert.
By the end of 2003 “TimeCode” had entered the Echoes Radio “Top 25 essential CDs of the Year” chart and continued to receive glowing praise from media and fans alike.
Timecode was voted ‘Best album of 2004’ at the German Schwingungen Radio awards and Code Indigo were also runner-up in the ‘Best Artist’ category while the unreleased* track “Timeloop” was placed 5th in the ‘Best Track of 2004’ category. (*Timeloop was a TimeCode out-take submitted as an exclusive to Schwingungen Radio).
During 2005 work then began on the 4th studio album “Chill”. The eco conscious album would see a return to a FWTB style concept album: strong musical themes from Wright & Fox and Andy Lobban’s superb guitar taking center stage. The album is also notable for its powerful contemporary rhythms by Dave Massey.
The release of ‘Chill’ coincided with the bands final National Space Centre Concert in Leicester on 27th May 2006. The three man on-stage line-up of Wright, Fox and Lobban was a stepping stone to the next Code Indigo line-up. Louise Eggerton had left the band some months before the concert, and a second guitarist, Nigel Turner-Heffer, was recruited soon after, as the band sought a more dynamic stage presentation allied to a striking visual backdrops prepared by Dave Massey.
The new five man line up (Dave Massey remains a non live playing member) was to headline the e-live festival in Eindhoven on 14th October 2006, taking the event by storm and producing a powerhouse performance that was recorded, and along with previous live music and the recording of a UK concert at the Fisher Theatre Bungay on November 18th 2006, formed the basis for the acclaimed double “In Concert” CD, released early in 2007.
In 2011 the band began work on MELTdown, a political statement concept album, deriding the Bankers and those responsible for the economic and financial crash. Robert Fox had left the band the previous year, so David Wright took lead role in the writing process with Nigel Turner-Heffer also strongly involved in the direction of the album, with Dave Massey again providing rhythm programming and production assistance.
Andy Lobban left the band that year to be replaced by Dave ‘DJ Barefield, so an almost completely new line-up of David Wright, Nigel Turner-Heffer, DJ Barefield and Neil Fellowes was to premiere ‘MELTdown’ at E-day in 2013.
Neil Fellowes tenure with the band was short and he left the following year.
The concert performance and the superb graphics backdrop prepared by Nigel Turner-Heffer was so well received that ‘The MELTdown DVD’ the E-Day performance and graphics was released in 2014 along with the bands 8th studio album ‘Take the Money and Run’, a collection of new, previously unreleased live and newly remixed tracks that saw the return of Robert Fox to the band and included input from virtually all of the previous band members. The current line up is David Wright (keys), Robert Fox (keys), Dave Massey (prod), Nigel Turner-Heffer (Gtr), DJ Barefield (Gtr) and Carys (vocals).