Apparently I was caught trying to pick out Elvis Presley tunes on the piano when I was 3. Deciding (completely wrongly) that I could be a virtuoso, my parents started my piano lessons the next year. With little enthusiasm I followed the usual Grade exams until, at the age of 12, I picked up one of the guitars my father had made, and my life changed.
School bands, prog rock at University, a self-released single in 1978 played to death by John Peel, shows, a Blues Brothers tribute band (professionally) for 6 years – I don’t think I’ve stopped playing since then.
I’ve also accompanied (on guitar, piano, banjo etc) and sung in a range of choirs, taking part in a number of world premieres.
Since moving to Argyll in 2008, and more recently back to my native Dorset, my playing (and singing) has been mainly acoustic, with an increasing interest in non western, non-standard instruments. I’m currently playing at least four times a week, throughout the south of England an increasingly further afield, as well as back in Scotland.
Currently (2021) this includes guitars and vocals with the Skint Imperials, bass with Studio 55, and guitars and other stringed instruments with the Portland Coves - there are some clips on my Video page. In the last year I have also got to grips with the upright bass and the guzheng, but the hurdy-gurdy still has some way to go.
One of my aims is to master as many instruments as I can – some of those I play live include:
- 6 and 12 string electric and acoustic; lap and slide
- Bass guitar
- 4, 5, 6 string banjo, banjo ukulele
- Appalachian and hammered dulcimers
- Oud, saz, baglamas, cumbus, setar, balalaika
- Sitar, phin, Indian Slide Guitar
- Harmonicas, melodica
Other instruments I am getting to grips with include bandurria, komuz, cobza, bulbul tarang, sarod, concertina and hurdy gurdy….listen to or watch the attached clips.