I started into guitar in my last year at school in Weymouth, delving into the folk revival output of the time – Davy Graham, Pentangle, Martin Carthy, Fairports, and so on. As a student I ran various folk clubs and on graduating I headed for the USA to thoroughly screw-up my first major love affair.
Having got a number of gigs up and down the East Coast and some recording time in a Philadelphia studio, I further demonstrated my youthful incompetence by shooting down my budding music career by coming back to the UK to do a PhD in Mathematics – the modelling of natural language text production, for those who are interested.
I kept on with the folk thing though, albeit in a minor way moving around the Midlands club circuit in the 80s. I got to play with a few of my heroes: the likes of Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Michael Chapman, Martin Simpson, Mike Absalom, Jake Thackeray and Alexis Korner. All were not just fine musicians, they were also gentlemen to the core, especially Bert, Jake and Alexis; all three now sadly missed. Martin will never be forgotten for his timeless advice on caring for fingernails – they grew back after six months; Mike for his ansaphone messages and fur coat.
In the 90s I did other stuff which included very little guitar. And a partner, quite innocently, burned my entire library of music notebooks.
But I did gain a wonderful daughter.
In 2000, I came back to Weymouth, moved into a house on the seafront and picked up on the music again – starting from scratch. I don’t much like playing in Weymouth – people don’t want to sit quiet and listen (not like in Newcastle, Bristol, Bournemouth… pretty much anywhere else in fact) and I ain’t gonna fight! So I do open mics to support friends, but I do my gigs out of town.
I have a number of guitars which I take out as the mood takes me. My favourite is my Kif made by the Demon Lutier of Marazion; I have a Martin Dreadnought look-a-like made by Les Luck, no longer of this mortal world; an Epiphone Wildkat Special; a Fender Malibu custom (currently hijacked by my partner, Jane) and a Fender Sonoran, which is my jobbing guitar.
As to the music… Well I’ve been variously compared to all sorts – some quite complimentary!
See what you think. If you like it, cool. If not, that’s cool too!