I started playing guitar aged 11 back in ....., ahem, the 80s. My early repertoire included classic songs by the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, Donovan, Ralph McTell and basically anything that didn’t involve having to play the dreaded F barre chord.
Pretty much as soon as I could string more than two chords together I began writing my own songs. The earliest I can remember was J’ai un petit chat- yes, a song about my pet cat and for some reason I wrote it in French! So began my ‘illustrious’ career as a songwriter and rather boringly everything I’ve written since has been in English.
As a deeply unfashionable teenager I snubbed the hairstyles and pomposity of the New Romantic period and instead became obsessed with Jethro Tull, especially their ‘folkier’ albums such as Songs From The Wood and Heavy Horses. I remember, aged 15, writing a protest song against fox hunting (very imaginatively called The Fox Hunting Song) and arranging it in a very ‘Tull’ manor for acoustic guitar, mandolin and tin whistle. However like most teenagers I soon discovered the electric guitar and was then cast adrift in the fickle and sinister world of Rock for the next 20 years.
Happily I returned to my folk roots in 2010 after chancing upon a video of Richard Thompson playing his classic song Beeswing. To say I was blown away would be an understatement! After many sleepless nights and untold hours slaving away I learnt to play it and from there have since built up a sizeable repertoire. This includes original and traditional songs, instrumentals and covers of music by the likes of John Renbourn, Nic Jones and Richard Thompson. The electric guitars, Marshall amps and spandex leggings are all now forlorn ,neglected and gathering dust in a darkened corner of a dark and forgotten room.
In 2013 I appeared at Celtic Connections in Glasgow and the performance was broadcast live on Celtic Music Radio. This inspired me release my first solo EP, Time Machine. This received significant airplay and was also ‘CD of the week’ on a couple of folk radio shows. I followed this up in 2014 with my Trees Turn To Fire EP. This was also very well received garnering several excellent reviews.
My other passion in life is flying and for a day job, yes I've still got to have one, I'm a commercial pilot. This explains the name of my own record label, Flying Folkie Records, through which I released my debut album. Most of my working life up to becoming a pilot I’d spent as a guitar teacher plying my trade in schools and colleges in the Wigan area. As enjoyable as that was there’s only so many times you can teach Sweet Child O’ Mine, Highway To Hell and of course Smoke On The Water without putting your sanity seriously at risk!
I'm originally from Leigh in Lancashire but have relocated across t’Pennines and am now an honorary Yorkshireman living in the bustling, thriving and vibrant market town of Otley.