The Story so Far
My relationship with music didn’t start out too well!
When I was very young, I discovered that my parents’ classic vinyl records made excellent frisbees. This made me popular with my friends on the school playing field; with my parents, less so. Luckily, things improved from there.
I was about six when I got up on stage for the first time. It was during a pantomime and Roy Hudd, a comedian, was running a singing competition. I won lots of prizes, including a cabbage and a 70s sexist joke book!
By my teenage years, I thought I had it all worked out: I could keep my piano teacher talking for half a lesson to avoid playing the songs I hadn’t practised all week, and I amused my classmates in school plays by changing the words to songs and getting them to sing the wrong lyrics. Inquisitive in nature, I used to love taking apart all things electrical, turning old stereos into guitar amplifiers, using tin foil and Sellotape to make lights that flashed to music, and trying to fix the radios my nan dropped in the bath. My bedroom carpet was covered in soldering iron burns. I programmed my computer to play AC/DC chords, but they sounded awful, so I picked up my mum’s old Spanish guitar – not the best medium for playing rock! I got my first electric guitar in exchange for a ripped coat. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t in the best state, so I took it apart and repainted it. Guitar in hand, I played my first gigs at the local church. The most impressive aspect of these performances was probably the amount of vapour the smoke machine produced and the vicar thinking the place was on fire.
This fascination with musical technology continued when I went to university, where I built guitar effects and amplifiers instead of attending lectures and joined the band Holy Circus. My final year project was a digital guitar effects processor – the assessment involved playing Van Halen’s ‘Eruption’ to the Head of Electronics.
After graduating, I went to work for an electronics company and settled in Birmingham. I used the company’s computers to produce promotion materials for the riverboat parties I arranged, where I’d perform to 140 partygoers. I played with the Dry Risers in any venue that would have us: pubs, petrol stations, people’s gardens… I smashed up cheap charity shop guitars on stage, and generally had a blast.
My guitar went everywhere with me. In Greece, someone stopped me on the street and I ended up playing Guns and Roses songs at a Greek Militia event that night in exchange for a free buffet. I busked places in Spain, travelled Italy with a friend, 2 guitars and rucksack and wandered Cornwall barefoot, exchanging songs for drinks.
In my late twenties, I shared a narrowboat with my young family and lived like a hippie. Doing the laundry meant boiling clothes in saucepans. From there, I moved to London to work, where, tired of having my hotel rooms robbed, I rented a shared flat in Clapham. We had one friend who came to stay on the sofa for a week but ended up staying for a year. He and I started a band and recorded a few songs: he had some good ones – mine were mostly crap!
It was only when I reached my forties that I was finally able to express real emotional depth, and, at that point, I knuckled down and started to write a lot. Many of these songs appear on my first studio album, ‘In Boxes’, which is about to be released.
I’ve already begun recording a second album working with accomplished studio musicians to first strip back the songs to their bare essence then grow and develop them organically. I am also enjoying performing at festivals, venues and a local blues club with some very talented musicians.
Although my musical path has been long and winding, this is only the start of my journey releasing my own songs. I'd love you to come along on that journey with me. If you like what I do, I’d love you to join me.
Thanks for reading, and I wish you all the best with your creativity whatever that may be.