Terri and Eric first sang together at the Grindon Mill Folk Club in Sunderland in 1968. They also sang at other local clubs, and were soon booked by Frankie O'Neill to appear at a club he was starting. The three of them then went on to open a folk club at The Chesters, again in Sunderland, in 1970. This featured on a recording done by Stewart McFarlane for Radio Teesside.
In 1974 Terri, Eric and Frank formed the Davy Lamp Folk Club in Washington Arts Centre, initially in Usworth Miners' Welfare Centre and subsequently at its new premises in Biddick Lane, Fatfield. The club recently celebrated its 35th anniversary, and won BBC Radio 2's Folk Club of the Year award in 2001.
Terri and Eric have been singing semi-professionally almost from the day they met. In their early days they sang at The Locarno, Sunderland, as support to the Ian Campbell Folk Group, and in 1972 they won the Northumbrian Songwriting Competition in Newcastle Guildhall, judged by Sydney Carter, for Ed Pickford. They’ve also appeared a couple of times on TV, once in 1976 to celebrate the USA’s bicentennial and again in 1982 as part of Channel 4’s programme “Bert”, recorded at Birtley Folk Club and celebrating the life of the late AL “Bert” Lloyd.
No one can remember whose idea it was for them to team up with Ken Tonge and Colin Irvine, both resident singers at the Davy Lamp, but it happened – and the result is Backshift.