The rogue bass amp and the secret stash: remembering my first gig.

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You never forget your first gig. That was certainly true for me. The year was 1977, the venue was St Joseph’s church hall, just outside Bradford town centre, which was also where the band rehearsed. (At that time, local churches were an unlikely benefactor of the UK’s grassroots rock scene.) Named ‘The Dark Town Strutters’ […]

R.I.P. Bill Withers

Soul singer who recently passed away.

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Like many of you, I was sad to hear about the passing of Bill Withers. He was one of those musicians who cut their own distinctive musical path with a unique singing voice and an instantly recognisable musical style. His songs were so deeply heartfelt that their messages still echo down the years. His genius […]

My link to… Steve Hillage

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At the tender age of 16, life was simple: buy albums, go to rock gigs and find a girl to come along. The only drawbacks were studies and a grim Saturday job that funded everything. But it was worth it – especially for the Steve Hillage Band. Steve was highly regarded as part of the […]

A strange but true story about songwriting

King Crimson Line-up

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King Crimson line-up with David Cross second from left. Sometimes, you look back on life and realise that a certain moment was pivotal This one involved an email requesting help with writing a song – in collaboration with a musical legend. Having not written any music in over a decade, let’s say confidence wasn’t high. […]

Bradfordian Rhapsody

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My last gig was over two decades ago – third on the bill at a small outer London venue. Just me and a cheap Spanish guitar. The band was gone. The record deal was gone. And all the great musicians I’d played with down the years – all gone. But someone else was gone too. […]