Arch, (known to his friends as Archie,) joined the band the beginning of 1988. Previously he had played in a succession of covers bands, until one evening he was spotted playing in a pub outside Salisbury. He was subtly persuaded and the rest is history.
From this point on things started to pick up. Rehearsals became more focused. At the same time, through previous years Cathy and Colin's relationship had become more than professional, and in July 1988 they were married. By the end of the year the band was playing an average of twice a week. Gigs were as far afield as Cornwall, London, and Felixstowe. At this time, Melanie Byfield joined, and thoughts turned to the production of a real (vinyl) album.
Recording began in a Farmhouse outside Tintagel on Halloween '88. Three tracks from this entertaining session made it onto the new album, but somewhere had to be found a little closer to home, capable of recording to the right quality, at times that suited a lifestyle which included a lot of gigs, and at the same time day jobs, and was above all cheap............enter Jonathan Hayward. Jon was a very talented classical guitarist who could play drums and more or less anything else that he laid his hands on. (If you are studying the photos, I'm afraid that we can't find a picture of him anywhere, we hope to rectify the matter soon, as he is a handsome chap). He also had a sixteen track, 2" tape machine, and a 30 channel desk,(a present from his parents), unfortunately at the time Jon knew nothing about recording and the equipment, having been in storage for ten years, was not in the best of health. The deal was that Jon would use the band as a guinea pig on which to practise, and the gear would get debugged along the way, in return the band would get their album without having to spend a fortune. As a result, a lot of time was spent listening to "Dicky Pot," and "Dodgy Mike," there was gritting of teeth whenever the tape machine packed up, and before it was all finished, a new friend was made.
Final touches were made in August '89 at a studio in Weston Supermare,( Jon's gear had at the time suffered an apparently terminal decline), and efforts were begun, to find a benefactor who would provide the money to produce a thousand LP's. Help came in the form of "Spam," who provided the money in return for a percentage of the sales. In 1990 after a gestation of nearly two years, The Morrigan Rides Out, was finally released.
Soon after this Melanie left (having seen too much of the insides of recording studios) and at the same time the pace of gigging if anything increased. Jon had become more and more involved in the doings of the band and became a new member almost without anybody noticing, Colin and Cathy moved into a house deep in the country outside Salisbury and the Morrigan could now rehearse at home and at their leisure. a lot of things came together at once, and the stage was set for an appearance at The Glastonbury Festival in 1992.