Live Evil: I started playing guitar at the age of 16 and wanted to be in a band. I teamed up with a couple of mates - Bin could sing and do the front-man thing and John was a great guitar player and all-round musician. We went in search of a drummer, gigs and a name. We called ourselves Live Evil and thought it was cool being in a palindromic rock band. We found a drummer, or two (we sacked the first one) and I switched to bass. We spent hours rehearsing, chatting, bickering and feeling cool, and important - we even did a few gigs. Then suddenly it all ended, Bin headed off to Guildhall School of Drama and John went north to university in Bangor.
The video at the top of the page was recorded in John's bedroom in 1976 and features our own song, 'Lost my mind'.
On 23/04/17 it was 40-years since Live Evil played their first ever gig. The You Tube video on the left features photos from the night and our version of Johnny B Goode.
The third video was posted up on 03/04/19: 'I was having a bit of fun at the Wheatsheaf last week with an ensemble line-up helping me out with my songs. Later in the evening they had a go at 'Black magic woman'. And, the other day I watched a documentary on Peter Green and it talked about a night when under the influence of much acid he played Black magic woman for 4-hours at the Fillmore East! All this got me thinking and I dug out an old C120 audio cassette and found a version of said song played by my band Live Evil, back in 1977 (42-years ago!!!). I'm amazed the cassette still functioned, so I transferred it to digital and knocked up a quick video to keep it company. We were teenage boys back then and it gave me a big smile listening to all the chat between songs. Our version is more Santana influenced and John's lead sounds great - oh and I'm on bass.'
1988 - 1991 - The Symbiotic Studio Years on SoundCloud and You Tube
The Portastudio: In 1988 I purchased a Tascam Porta One (4-track cassette portastudio) from Session Music in Tooting. Prior to the arrival of this little device, recording was done in big pro-studios and was completely out of reach for most people. This clever box of tricks, along with various other new toys, like a drum machine & midi guitar set me free. I started writing & laying down my own songs.
Symbiotic Studios 1988 - 1991: In late 1988 I met Don Goodier, who had an 8-track & midi studio in his Kilburn basement. Over the next three years we recorded five demos, each featuring four of my songs.
The Rock Hoppers: I found my first singer (a friend of a friend), Louise and along with John (of Live Evil fame on guitar), Don & I duly completed The Rock Hoppers in June 89. Alison took over the vocals for The Rock Hoppers II & III.
Red Delta: I went for a new name and fresh artwork. Red Delta featured vocals by Stella. I completed Red Delta II in 1991 with Sarah as vocalist and decided it was time to do some live work.
With John & me on guitars, we added Billy on bass and played a collection of London based gigs, using midi programmes controlled off-stage by Don.
What happened to our love Angry young man I want to learn A face from the past
The Rock Hoppers on SoundCloud
Get yourself a good time Desire Mother nature Falling from glory
The Rock Hoppers II on SoundCloud
Rules Right for me Guardian angel Always there
The Rock Hoppers III on SoundCloud
Many ways to pay Mr preacher man It takes two Always there
Red Delta on SoundCloud
Life ain't been easy Little red car Remember Haunted by the night
Red Delta II on SoundCloud
Red Delta Live: After the success of these gigs, I decided to do it 100% live. I got me a drummer with big kit, big hair etc and got on with the rehearsals. Then, as is so often the story, it all imploded. The drummer, singer & bass player all quit (another slightly sordid book in that story) and it was just me & my songs again. Oh well, more material for the songwriter!
The YT video of ‘Remember’ features the original studio recording
Monica Ray: Needing to re-charge my batteries, I answered an ad in Melody Maker and met Monica, who lived in Brixton. She wrote poems and wanted a songwriter to turn her words into songs. I took some of her lyrics and composed four songs, each quite different in style. We headed up to Bethesda in North Wales and with a pick-up band, recorded them over a weekend in May 1992. It was a great session, with my old buddy John playing bass, me doing all the guitars and Monica on lead vocals. The lyrics are so different from anything I write and were hugely personal to Monica. I still love these recordings.
1992 - Something Different
Two days in Bethesda on SoundCloud
Cold comfort Changes Borrowed soul Voyeur
Reflection: This is a piece of orchestrated piano music I wrote in memory of my Nan, who passed away on 10/05/90. It was recorded on 23/04/92. The video is accompanied by a slideshow of paintings by my grandfather.
1992 - 1994 Red Delta 3 with Simon Smith
Red Delta 3: I decided to take 14 of my existing songs and re-record them with a male vocal. After interviewing loads of candidates, including some mighty strange and damaged souls, the gig went to Simon Smith. Simon was a lovely guy, had a big voice and was great fun to work with. It took us a couple of years to complete the project and it was recorded in two very different studios. The midi and complex programming was laid down in Putney at Lynton Naiff’s home studio. The vocals, guitars and final mix were done at Tony Georgiou’s Studio in Brixton & completed in December 1994.
In December 2018, I had some Sony Hi8 film footage transferred to digital, it included a bit of film from Studio 9 shot in 1994. I edited it up and made a little film for You Tube. It features Simon & Tony working on 'It takes two'.
or get it direct on CD for £10.00 includes P&P (UK only)
Studio 9: I had really enjoyed working with Tony on Red Delta 3, at his Brixton based studio and was keen to go back for my next project. This time I did the instrumentation and lead vocals. I wasn’t completely alone, as I did get a drummer in for three tracks and Tony did some great backing vocals.
Finished in 1995, sadly this was to be the last music recorded at Studio 9, as it closed the day after my final session.
or get it direct on CD for £10.00 includes P&P (UK only)
Working with the Homeless: I worked at Day Centres in London, Brighton and Hasting and at various other projects, with the homeless, offenders, and people with drug & alcohol and complex mental health issues. I played quite a lot of music at these projects and learnt a huge amount about people and life. Read more about my work with the Homeless
2000 - 2011 - Working with the Homeless
21st Century: In 2012, I wrote a song about my mum, who had just died from Alzheimer’s and this was my first original composition in twelve years. Since then, I have re-found my passion and desire to compose and record original songs and have produced six albums, four EPs, a single and my latest release (18/01/21), Then & Now 4+1=C.