1974 - 1988 - The Early Years

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.

Live Evil photos on Facebook
Playing my old Gibson EB2 bass

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 23/04/22 it was 45-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.'

A classic period photo from Eagu

Live Evil on my Wolsey 1660
On stage with Live Evil
On stage with Live Evil

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 mighty (at the time) Tascam Porta One
Don Goodier 1990
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.

CJM at Symbiotic Studios 1990
The Rock Hoppers - with Lousie Gough - 1989

What happened to our love
Angry young man
I want to learn
A face from the past

The Rock Hoppers on SoundCloud

The Rock Hoppers II - with Alison Norcombe - 1989

Get yourself a good time
Mother nature
Falling from glory

The Rock Hoppers II on SoundCloud

The Rock Hoppers III - with Alison Norcombe - 1990

Right for me
Guardian angel
Always there

The Rock Hoppers III on SoundCloud

Red Delta - with Stella - 1990

Many ways to pay
Mr preacher man
It takes two
Always there

Red Delta on SoundCloud

Red Delta II - with Sarah Adams - 1991

Life ain't been easy
Little red car
Haunted by the night

Red Delta II on SoundCloud

Red Delta live in 1991

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
Borrowed soul

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'.

Play the opening track: Guardian Angel

Click to view a larger image of the Red Delta 3 CD tray rear artwork
Red Delta 3 CD label
Launch party for RD3 in 1994 - complete with matching T-shirts! CJM, John, Simon, Liv & Tony

Red Delta 3
Re-issued on the 7/01/13

Apple Music - Spotify

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.

Studio 9 pics on Facebook

1995 - All Alone

Recording in Studio 9 - 1995

All Alone
on SoundCloud

The future's so vague
All alone
White man rock and roll
There comes a time

Recording in Studio 9 - 1995

Altered Perspective - 1996 - 2000
1996 - 2000 - Altered Perspective

Altered Perspective: Between 1996 - 2000 I paid regular visits to John Cratchley’s home studio in Bethesda and laid down demos for a further seven songs.

Altered Perspective
on SoundCloud

Another lonely man
Inside of you
I can't make it shine
Farewell my love
Something to believe
Do you see the future

1995 - 1998 Altered Perspective on CD

Altered Perspective: This is a 10 song collection, featuring songs recorded for my All Alone and Altered Perspective projects between 1995 and 1998.

Altered Perspective
Re-issued on the 14/01/13

Apple Music - Spotify

or get it direct on CD for £10.00
includes P&P (UK only)

Click to view a larger image of the Altered Perspective CD tray rear artwork
Altered Perspective CD label

A gig a the Spires Day Centre - 2001

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

Another Spires gig with Andy on vocals - 2002

Playing at the Lewes Wanderers Cycling Club awards evening with Simon Farmer on sax - 21/09/09

The Spires band even got a chance to play for a Bishop in the garden

My artwork for the Spires CD cover
A different Day Centre, this time in Hastings and another chance to get the guitar out and get my picture in the local paper - 3/12/04

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, six EPs, a single and my latest release (13/05/22), Clearly opaque.

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