In 1997 I joined my first REAL band – Telefunken (later Joe Lazarus) – after a few false starts, played Doncaster and surrounding area, built up a small following and played some nice gigs as well as quite a few shitty ones.

In 1999 that all broke down, and I auditioned and “got the job” with a Melodic Rock band called Promise¬†who evolved in February 2000 into Deadline.

We did OK, played nicer gigs, toured the UK and Europe. It was fun, but very hard work. Recognition wasn’t easy and we became known as the “perpetual support band”.

The original Deadline line-up of me, Andy Lindsay, Steve Lunn and Christian Hayes.

In 2005 a change of vocalist led us to change the name of the band to Crimes of Passion. The change of vocalist and change of name took us down a route I wasn’t digging. I co-wrote and recorded on one album with them (although my writing credit was never given on the final album and the artwork was changed to remove my image).

The original Crimes of Passion artwork. The new bassist was pasted over my body on the left. Note my trademark leather trousers and Warwick bass headstock.

I quit in early 2008. I don’t talk to the band anymore.

In mid 2008 I was asked by Guy Manning to join his band for a one off gig. That one off gig turned to a few years as Manning, a few festivals, and for the most part a lot of fun.

I recorded bass on “Number Ten” (just a few sections as I came in quite late in production), “Charlestown”, “Margaret’s Children”, “Akoustik”, and “The Root, The Leaf and The Bone”.

Manning in Roundhay Park, 2011

Changes in the band and my dad’s terminal cancer changed both them and me and the relationship broke up.¬†Manning exploded as a band in late 2013, just after my dad passed away and I looked for other projects.

In 2014 I decided that a covers band was the way to go. I’d spent a lot of money being in bands and I felt like I wanted to be paid for it. Out of the blue Dennis called me – I auditioned – and in August 2014 I was playing the club scene with Face the Music.

We signed on with an agent and the work rolled in.

At the same time my wife wanted to do more music and I started a project with her. Ethryll was born!

Four years down the line and my latest band news has happened – unbelievably I’ve been asked to join a band I’m a massive fan of, and I’m now in Strangefish! I would have never thought that back when I was booking them to play Rotherham Rocks!

My Gear

I owned a Warwick Corvette back in those days, but didn’t have much more hair (see the picture at right taken in 1997).I play a 5 string Warwick Thumb bass as my main live bass – I bought it in 2000 and it is a 2000 marked bass serial number E-075333-00. A magnificent weapon.

The woods are Bubinga, Ovangkol and Wenge (pronounced Win-Jay) and it gives a beautiful colour contrast of yellows and reds across the neck and body, along with a translucency that can only be achieved with good woods.

I only use Rotosound Swing Bass 66 strings, hybrid gauge on my Thumb bass. They seem to get the right feel and sound for me.

I’ve also got a Rockbass Streamer. It’s a Chinese made Warwick and does fine as a second bass for onstage.

Finally I have a couple of Bass Ukulele. They’re great fun because they look like a ukulele but sound like a bass.

I’ve also got a Michael Kelly fretless acoustic bass which I bought in Dublin, as well as a four string Cheetah acoustic bass.

I use a customised Gallien & Krueger RB700 bass amp – the top is a 2 x 10″ combo with Eminance Deltas 10’s in it (300w rated) whilst the bottom cab is one of their cheap Backline cabs with a custom 600w Kappa 15LF in it and custom XLR wiring to fully support the cross-over in the head.

I don’t use any inline effects or pedals – it’s bass into amp for me.

I have also from time to time used bass pedals (Roland PK5 into Novation Super Bass Station) but currently don’t use any form of pedals – although I may do again in future.

I’m very eclectic with the music I like. I’m a big fan on IQ (although can’t get on with Frequency, their new album) – my favourite album of theirs is Ever. I like the early Jadis material up to and including Understand, and the same for the early Genesis up to and including Duke. I’m also a fan of Renaissance, Kate Bush, Queen, The Divine Comedy, They Might Be Giants, REM and will generally give most things a try. I also like Classical music – particularly the Eastern European and Russian composers.