There have been quite a few bands down the years! [Scratches head]: the first band when I was 17 was The Next of Kin, with Janet (Nut), my recently deceased Mum, Pete, Frank (also recently deceased) and Paul. Astonishingly, 45 years later, I recently met Janet (otherwise known as Nut) and we caught up on eachother's lives. And I have also been in contact with many of the musicians I played with around the time of the Next of Kin. Go to Listen/Blast from the Past for original recordings and more details.
Then during our crazed college daze there was TLR (Tipper Loppo and Rudi) with Debbie, David, and John, who disappeared to somewhere in Wales.
Later on while living in London Moonmat with another David, and Ruth (recently deceased); then in Bristol Portheras with Helen, Alex, Mike, and Tony and Common Ground with Hao, John, Jean and Marek.
A few years later After the Poets with Ce (in the current band), and Tony, then with Mel (who also played years later in the Fridges), Mike and Alex, performing occasionally with the poet troupe The Awfully Nice Poets.
Anyone who has studied the band-member history of folk-rock bands like Fairport Convention or Steely Span will understand that nothing is ever ‘fixed’ when it comes to band members! That seems to be just how it is in the music business, and particularly folk-rock bands it seems. We have certainly seen a few musicians come and go the past few years. The current Fridge Mechanics band currently comprises Barry, Ce, Micko, Glyn and Jon and you can read about the current Fridge Mechanics musicians HERE.
We recemtly appeared alongside the jazz poetry collective Echoes and Edges, for the 5th year running at the Bath International Music Festival in 2017 as part of the Party in the City opening night, a mid-year Cafe Kino gig, a guest session at the Rec House Sessions in Twerton, Bath, and later in the year we have some outdoor gigs lined up in Victoria Park, South Bristol in September and October 2017, and of course our annual Xmas gig at the Cafe Kino in Stokes Croft, North Bristol, on December 2nd.
We have plans for 2018. We haven't recorded or released a CD of my new songs for a few years. Our plans for 2018 will be to do some new recordings, including an album of my songs, but with the lead being sung by a guest singer. I have sung my own songs for many years, and it would be good to hear the songs interpreted by someone new, who could maybe bring new energy to the music and different interpretations to the lyrics. Watch this space for news about recording in 2018.
Running a band is a huge change from the many solitary weekends spent in the studio recording digital orchestras on Logic Pro and Cubase; there's the deepening and developing of friendships with those I am playing with, working through sometimes very difficult situations as they arise, the amazing rush of setting up and being on stage, connecting with a lot of people, feeling the songs impact on hearts, and knowing that the performance made a difference to people. It's an amazing trip, as they used to say! Not least of all, playing with others provides a platform for the songs, and often the inspiration to write new ones.
Since playing with this current group of musical friends, I have written some of my best songs; and this is down to the incredible music talent in everyone and the strong enthusiasm and support for the songs.
I couldn't write without the support of these musical friends and, of course, our audiences.
Click HERE for more information about the musicians I play with.