Written by: Alex Green
Mick Lynch, the charismatic and idiosyncratic lead singer of the band Stump has died.
Lynch, who was in his fifties, reportedly died of cancer.
Formed in London late in ’83 and containing an alum of Microdisney, Stump were embraced immediately by DJs and became fast favorites of John Peel. One of the most dynamic and innovative bands around, Stump were originally fronted by singer Nick Hobbs, but he left the band to form The Shrubs.
Hobbs’ replacement was the Cork-born Mick Lynch and with Lynch at the helm, Stump really began to ascend.
Lynch recalled to the Quietus what had made him leave his native Ireland for London: “I split up with my girlfriend so I moved to London, I sold everything I had and was gone to London within two days with two bags and £100.”
Aside from Melody Maker and NME covers, the band became known for their seismic live performances. Their shows were aerobic, feverish and nothing short of revelatory. They once shared a bill with Sonic Youth and Hüsker Dü in 1987 at L’Élysée Montmartre in Paris and those who were there recall Stump stealing the show. In fact, drummer Rob McKahey told The Quietus that they, “were a fucking powerhouse that night…” and that they “blew Sonic Youth and Hüsker Dü off the stage.”
Their debut album was also their last, but the Ensign-released A Fierce Pancake remains a cult classic.
In 2014 the band released Does The Fish Have Chips? which compiled much of their sought-after early work, including singles and rare demos.
The boyish Lynch came across like a highly adrenalized version of TinTin, whirling across the stage with post-punk cartoon cool and art school authority. A whirlwind of energy and presence, Lynch was a natural for the stage and he was something to behold. Faith No More’s Mike Patton was a big fan of the band and declared A Fierce Pancake to be one of his favorite albums.
After Stump broke up, Lynch interviewed for the job to be the singer of Inspiral Carpets, but according to Lynch himself, that interview didn’t go very swimmingly. In later years, Lynch became known for fronting Dons for Chickens–wherein he would play satirical songs about modern life.
However, Stump had actually reformed and had played a show in Cork City as recently as May of this year.
A new album appeared to even be in the works.
Playwright and novelist Cónal Creedon wrote on Facebook that he had seen Lynch in Clonakilty and Lynch not only gave details of Stump’s reunion, he invited Creedon around to hear them play: “Mick said they were having their last jam session at six o’clock if I’d like to drop by to hear the finished set. I mean what do you say to that, like? That’s an offer you can’t refuse. And I didn’t refuse. So I sat there in the back room of the Clonakilty Bar in private audience with Stump — as they ripped it up — their full rep — one classic after the next. What can I say, — Dowcha- Mick, boy! What a Class A day — all the way.”
On their Facebook page the members of Stump posted this: “We are stunned and saddened to announce the death of Stump singer, Mick Lynch earlier today. RIP, Mick x.”