Born and raised in the industrial heart of Scotland in the Lanarkshire town of Wishaw literally on the doorstep of the Ravenscraig Steel Works, Meadowhead Road to be exact (see inside cover of CD "Heaven Help Me"). A happy and robust childhood being exposed to music at a very young age by a musical mother who was and still is a wonderful singer of ballads and folk songs with a healthy love of music of all types from folk to classic to opera. I have very fond memories of a huge gramophone player pouring out the sounds of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Frankie Laine, to name but a few, and of course the Irish and Scottish folk songs, some of which are with me still.
My first attempt at playing music was in the school penny whistle band then the school choir then moving on to violin and trumpet until my father brought home a guitar one day and that was it for me. However, music was never considered a career option in working class Scotland at that time so it was an education and a real job for you laddie. After leaving school with a fistful of O levels and A levels I went to live and work in England, first Coventry then Nottingham. I always had my guitar with me and played for my own amusement until one fatefull evening in a Nottinham pub, things started to change. Long story short, I got offered a gig and did'nt even know what a gig was, some guy was willing to pay me to play music in his pub. Well, f--- me that was something I did for fun. I learned real fast, after a short while I was "gigging" six nights a week and making more money than I was in my day job. I learned real fast that in the music game it was more about who you knew as to what you knew. So I made friends and contacts and through one of those friends, an Australian musician named Don Fletcher, I was introduced to an agent in London called Ann Dex, who sent me on my first foreign gig, Oslo, Norway. The date was February 1982.
Well, Norway in the early 80's turned my head a little to say the least. I loved it, the life of a traveling musician, what the hell, I was young.
So, thirty years further on up the road I am still doing it, what a hell of a ride it has been too. Like any occupation it has had it's up's and down's but I don't regret any of it, thirty years of interesting countries like Norway, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, America, England, Scotland, yep I've been around. Thirty years of playing some great music with some truly great people in some weird, wacky, wonderful, not so wonderful places that most people have never heard of never mind traveled to. In 2001 my long time partner and good friend Barry Richards and I played in the world's most northern venue Hotel Finken, Svalbard then a month later, totally by coincidence after a chance meet with a very fine lady and mother of a famous rugby player called Anna Brown we ended up playing in the world's most southern venue, The South Sea Hotel, Stewart Island, New Zealand. You couldn't plan it if you wanted to.
These days most of my live work is around Bergen, Norway (where I now reside), Denmark, Bornholm (in the Summer), Austria, Switzerland (in the Winter), but you never know what can be round the next corner. So for now the wheels are still rolling and the music keeps coming.
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