Music and me......
Ever since I can remember, music has been a massive part of my life. Growing up in a house which had my dads choice of 'The Jam' blaring out of a vinyl player, and my mums Motown pumping out of various cassette players dotted around, it was hard to avoid it.
I was 5 years old when I went to my first gig. Hue And Cry at the then Manchester Apollo, back in 1989. At 7 years old, I was graced with my first guitar and had lessons with John Kettle. You guys local to my home town of Wigan, or maybe even further afield, will remember him as the guitarist in The Tansads. I went everywhere with that band. Everywhere. I loved them then, and I still do now, nearly 30 years later.
As I developed as a player, and my musical horizons broadened, the natural progression, for me at least, was to start writing songs. I was probably 13, maybe 14, when I penned my first song. Can't imagine it was much cop at that age. But, through perseverance, obsession and down right stubbornness I'm still at it today, nearly 20 years later.
Back then, and as is always the case with young lads with musical instruments, I joined and started a few bands. Mostly covers bands, with the occasional homemade tune thrown in the mix. It took me till I was nearly 29 to find a band I loved being in. GrapeFruit. We had moderate success on the local scene here in Wigan. We played some brilliant gigs and wrote some brilliant songs. Lead guitar, songwriter and backing vocals. I played that role beautifully.
But, being the main songwriter for GrapeFruit kind of restricted to what I could write about. It's hard to write from a personal place when you have to hand the lyrics over to someone else and let them work their magic with them. Now that it's just me and an acoustic guitar on stage, I can write a little closer to home and closer to the heart. My 3 girls come into the songs. My family. My friends. My past. My youth. I can write from a place of zero restrictions and zero fear.
Thanks for popping by, and I'll see you at the bar!!