Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

Too lazy to do a proper job. Real work is a lot of effort, so why not do something you really enjoy and earn a living from it? I’ve cracked the first part but the second part is proving a little bit elusive. I’m quite shy but the bottom line is I am a constant seeker of approval. This is odd because as soon as I get onto a stage or leading up to a gig I hate it coz I’m always shitting myself. Why am I doing this?

Introduce us to you and your musical history.

Well, I’m from Bury outside Manchester. I’ve lived most of my life in Manchester nearish to the city centre. I’ve got all the standard Manchester musical background so you can insert any eighties/90s Indie, Manchester band into this paragraph and I’ll probably have one or two of their albums. top of the pile is the la’s – who are scousers – obviously.

Name me your 3 favorite albums?

Right on cue – but just three?

Maria McKee

Strangeways here we come.

The La’s

Or anything by:-

Nick Drake,

Jake Thackery.


Nick Cave

Tim Minchin

Loudon Wainwright III

Rufus Wainwright

The miserable rich

Jeff Buckley (not that there’s much to choose from).

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

I don’t think there is one really. Not anyone’s song to be honest but if I have to then: –

Way Out (live version) – The La’s 

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?

Oh god, I don’t know. How do you measure success? I just want one more person to hear the tunes every day. What I get from music can’t really be measured in sales or progress. I’m playing the industry game but if I measure myself against my musical peers that I admire then it seems not being dead yet remains my greatest achievement. 

I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?

Are you? Where from? I’m hearing a lot of debate and seeing not much action. I think it’s societies problem, not the music industry. If you, man or woman, do anything to make anyone feel unsafe then you’re a prick full stop. The fact that it’s mostly men is disappointing but unsurprising really. We are the dumber gender. 

As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?

Play live and have at least, and maybe at most, one place where people can find/buy your music. I don’t follow my own advice coz I’m frightened of the stage.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

I have abnormal hearing powers. I can hear people talking in nearby buildings.

My feet are numb all the time

Mr grandad invented cat’s eyes.

What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?

It’s benign. If they hadn’t done it, somebody else would have done. I’ve jumped in and out of Spotify so many times because I change my mind every five minutes about it. I think I’m a bit of a control freak and Spotify takes that away. Conversely, they provide good and easy access to anyone to anyone’s music and that is a good thing I think. I definitely think they don’t pay enough money for streams. What the fuck are their overheads? I really do hope someone sets up a platform that charges a monthly fee for unlimited streaming but pays the artist a lot more, then I hope Spotify lose its shirt and gets run out of business. Bandcamp is good.

Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?

never. Beware of anybody who professes to know the answer to anything, or relentlessly pushes their opinion upon you. Most conspiracy theories, or a good deal of them at least, seem to place some mystery person’s or person or organisation at the helm. That mystery person is usually responsible for deliberately manipulating what we hear and what we think for their own evil ends. It appears to me that there is nobody in control at all. Jesus!! If there was, what a shit show they have made of it all!!! Relax. No one is out there. There’s no point trying to blame all our problems on some mysterious evil overlord. Everybody, even people who vote Conservative, have a belief that they are doing, and a desire to do, the right thing. It’s the system overall, and a mistaken belief in a failed, economic system, and economic theories that pit, one person against another, that ruins everything. 

Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

Why just in the pandemic? I buy shit I don’t need constantly. I like shit I don’t need.

What was the worst experience on stage?

There was a pub around the Castlefield area of Manchester that I forgot the name of now. I think it was the city arms or the bluebell or something. We turned up for a sound check to find a stripper on stage. Once she’d finished we got on and a total of four people turned up for the gig (about 10 less than the stripper got). In the middle of the set our bassist Al broke a string and didn’t have a spare so we had to sit and chat with the four people while he went off to find a replacement. After the gig, we went for a curry with the entire audience. Actually, bloody hell that sounds okay doesn’t it?

The time when somebody in Bury town centre, my home town, took the time to come up to me afterwards and say “no offence mate, but your band is shit”. That was nice.

The bakers vault in Stockport. Our drummer got pissed and had his wallet stolen. This put him in the worst mood ever. He was so angry and pissed that he deliberately sabotaged the gig by slapping the arse out of his kit. There were bits of dowel rod flying everywhere. We did 3/4 of a thoroughly terrible set and got off. In the van, nobody spoke to anybody afterwards for what felt like hours. 

Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about. 

There is nothing about me that will surprise anyone. That I can promise you.

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

Miserable but insightful lyrics, strong musicianship and good vocal harmonies.

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

The album HOW IS THE HELPING? has really been 20 years in the making. I wrote the tunes and developed them with the band fishonastick but lockdown put a stop to our meetings. So the last 2 years have sent me down a solo recording path. Never really worried about the quality of such things before but collaborating with James has certainly changed all that.

Recording is hard. I’ve done a lot of it over the dreaded lockdown. Ironically, it has freedom; so there’s more control than being in a band. Nothing moves unless you know about it. In truth I’m not sure that ‘on my own’ is where I function best. To begin a project however, I now feel that there aren’t many better ways. You can move quickly when you don’t have to stop at every street corner to wait for the rest – like some dejected tour-guide.

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.

The tunes start from the lyrics so I’ll just get down lines and sentences that come into my head whenever they come. I’ve just got one little lined page book that I bought on Il de Re in France. It’s got some French written on it, like what a book from France would have. Something du jour it says. Once I’ve got a line I like I’ll get some chords behind it and the other lines come from there. The mood comes from there too. 

What was the recording process like?

Collaborating with James has given the album a unifying identity. I’m a lyricist and I love words. I’m not as concerned about instrumentation as I probably ought to be. I love the impact his input has brought to the music; his overall talent, fresh ears and fresh point of view. It’s left me free to think about the lyrics, the melody and what the album represents. It’s the lyrics I care about the most. I’d love to talk to you about that in time. 

I think the underlying theme of the album is friendship. Recorded with friends and the cover is a mate’s photos from the 80’s and 90’s

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Delivering vocals that match from tune to tune. Even down to where you put the mic, what angle you have it at, how far you are away from it? Are you bored yet? 

I found that depending upon the time of the day, the weather, my mood, and what I’ve had for breakfast that my vocals could be as different as the vocals of Tina Turner and Morrissey (ok not quite). 

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

Always. Nothing ever finished but if you asked me to go back and actually do it I’d tell you to get stuffed. You have to choose a moment and just say “that’s done”. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world

My next album. We’ve recorded 14 new tunes and you can really feel how the recording process has developed. Instruments are just about done from James and now it’s about the percussion and the vocals. We’ll probably record 3 or 4 more and choose 11 or 12 as the finished album. Stripped back and relaxed. Easy with themselves. Problem is, in the middle of talking to people about HOW IS THIS HELPING? I’m already starting to get really enthused about a completely different album that only about 5 people have ever heard. To me, they are even more polished because the core instrumentation has been done by James and by and large all I’ve had to do is write and sing. The lesson is; if you want something good; the less I touch it the better!!