This UK group was formed in Warrington, Cheshire in 1977 by guitar and singer Tim Flaherty (b. 1950). ‘I’d played in local bands but I’d always wanted to be in one that had a pedal steel and a banjo.’ The original line-up featured Flaherty (vocals), Adrian Hart (lead guitar), Allan Crookes (bass), Pete Allen (steel guitar), Pete Longbottom (banjo) and Stan Bennett (drums). Within months of being formed, Poacher won a heat on UK television’s New Faces and then the all-winners final with a new British country song, ‘Silver Dollar Hero’. Their first single, ‘Darling’, made a minor impact on the UK charts and a few months later the song was a hit for Frankie Miller. Other versions come from Tom Jones and Barbara Mandrell, but Poacher’s original made number 86 in the US country charts, no mean achievement for a British group. Despite several singles (‘Star Love’, ‘You Are No Angel’), Poacher have not reached the UK charts, although they are a very popular cabaret and country club act. Flaherty’s own song, the excellent ‘I Want To Hear It From You’, was scheduled for a 1990 release and then withdrawn. Flaherty and Crookes remain from the original line-up, and vocalist/guitarist Peter John Frampton is a talented addition. Frampton has written the first country song about Warrington, ‘Buttermarket’. The contents of their albums are more adventurous than their titles.
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