In 1987, Andy and Jon formed their first metal band , 'UNDERTAKER'.
Influenced by bands of the day such as Onslaught and 'puppets' era
Metallica, they set their stall out as a 'technical thrash' outfit. One
moderately successful demo 'Dulce et Decorum est' saw them headlining
local venues such as the Bristol Bierkeller and the Fleece & Firkin.
Constantly disappointed by the lack of a Bristol metal scene, and unable
to find a replacement vocalist for Chris Lewis, The band drifted apart in
SONIA PORZIER - ANDY PESTER - RICH SHILLITOE -
DION SMITH - JON HOARE
Undeterred by the Undertaker split, Jon & Andy went on to recruit
for 'CRISIS' with whom they have enjoyed the most live success to date.
Tim Henley was a lucky find, and became the main guitarist &
songwriter, (Tim also wrote the Lyrics for 'Incubus' and 'Where Angels
Fear' on the Mercury Rain CD 'Where Angels Fear) and Phil Hey joined on
Vocals. More of a live act than a recording band, they played extensively
in the local area, with a few lineup changes here and there. Kier Flower
became a permanent feature on second guitar, and things were going well.
The style had changed to a more 'Skid Row' sound and attitude, a style
nicknamed 'Brat metal' by the local press. As the direction of the band
got heavier and more complex though, Phil decided that enough was enough.
The Band supported Mama's Boys in July 1992, and Phil quit soon after.
A replacement for Phil was found in Lee McCrory. A Seb Bach soundalike,
with an attitude to match. The band thought that finally things were going
their way. In reality, it was the beginning of the end. The band recorded
the Demo 'Nothing up our sleeves' in 1993 which earned them a second place
in the final of Radio One's Friday Rock Show 'Rock War', and they
supported Adrian Smith's solo band in March 1993. Unfortunately, The live
image of the band was not working, and beneath the surface, tensions
between Lee and the rest of Crisis began to create problems. The band
called it a day in early 1994.
After the breakup of Crisis, Andy and Jon went their separate ways for
a while. Andy joined Indie bands 'Barking Spider' and then 'Percy Toplis'
who both split for various reasons. Jon went on to start writing new
material with a new guitarist (Dion) with the aim of forming a power metal
band. At this time of course, metal music was hardly headline news. With
no singer and no drummer, progress was slow.
In 1998, after about a year off from doing anything, Jon decided that a
project band with the sole purpose of producing a CD was in order (a
swansong maybe...). Andy had become available for drum duties again, and
Dion completed the lineup on guitar. Mercury Rain was born. The band wrote
about ten songs over about six months, and drafted in a local singer, Dave
Moores to handle the vocals on a track 'Nowhere left to run'. The track
was never released, but things were finally moving.
The real breakthrough came in September 1999 When Sonia Porzier joined
from the French band 'Tears of Ea'. her voice and vocal style gave the
band a definite direction, and Mercury Rain certainly capitalise on this.
'Where Angels Fear' was released in November 2000. This 5 track EP that
showcased a band with lots of potential, and hinted at heavier things to
In 2001, Dion left the band, and Tim Henley took on guitar duties. The
backbone of CRISIS were back together. Tim stayed with the band until May
2002, when he left for various reasons, and the lineup was once again in
question. After auditioning several promising replacement guitarists, the
ideal replacement was found in none other than Dion. After a year off from
the band to pursue his own musical aspirations, Dion returned to the fold.
It is fair to say that Dion is back with a renewed enthusiasm, and makes a
welcome return to the fold after a period of uncertainty.
With a renewed attitude and direction, and adding Rich Shillitoe on
guitar, Mercury Rain return in 2003 with a brand new album 'Dark Waters'
and a full on power metal approach. An EP is to follow, and some big live
dates. Catch them soon and don't miss out...
SONIA PORZIER - ANDY PESTER - DION SMITH - RICH
SHILLITOE - JON HOARE