UPDATE: Tideline – latest “After the Lockdown” song – details here.
I’m a science journalist by day, a photographer, dog walker and ale drinker most of the time I’m away from my desk, and a musician by night…oh, and there’s usually an ale or a beer then, too…
That is to say, I earn my living writing about science, I tramp around the countryside with my dog, taking lots of photos (mostly of birds, these days), drink a few pints with Mrs Sciencebase and/or friends, and sing and play in a couple of bands, including C5, and a choir (bigMouth). You can hear my latest solo and collaborative recorded music on BandCamp and SoundCloud. Some of my stuff is on Spotify and iTunes too, including a few cover songs.
I’ve always been in love with music, since my first baby rattle and toy guitar as a tot, been attempting to play guitar ever since. It is only in the last fifteen years or so that I have performed live in front of audiences and written and recorded my music, first with a community choir and then in a gigging band C5. I’ve sang at the Royal Albert Hall with a mass choir and recorded at Abbey Road Studios, ditto.
Proud to have played quite a few pub, festival and party gigs with my band C5 and to have had solo slots in front of a fair few hundred audience singing the lead on Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time” with the TyrannoChorus choir at the West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge and just before the 2020 lockdown singing “Be the Man” by The Young’uns for two charity events with the choir.
Most of the songs I’ve written and recorded either solo or in collaborations over the last few years are available to stream or download from BandCamp. Some of my covers and originals are on iTunes as well as Spotify, Youtube channel, SoundCloud, and HearThis.
This is a very short list of a few of the musicians, bands, and artists I admire in alphabetical order: Alan Parsons Project, Athlete, B52s, Badly Drawn Boy, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Blondie, Blue Aeroplanes, Blur, David Bowie, Kate Bush, Camel, Glen Campbell, Phil Collins, Crowded House, The Cure, Paco de Lucia, John Denver, Al Di Meola, Thomas Dolby, Doves, Dr Dre, Duran Duran, Editors, Elbow, Fred’s House, Robert Fripp, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Steve Hackett, Steve Hillage, Carole King, King Crimson, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Manic Street Preachers, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Mike Oldfield, Pavlov’s Dog, Placebo, Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, Gerry Rafferty, R.E.M, Nile Rodgers, Rush, Seals & Crofts, Squeeze, Steely Dan, Supertramp, Andy Summers, Talking Heads, James Taylor, Tears for Fears, U2, Franki Valli, The Willows, Yes, Neil Young, there are many others.
I’ve been told that I occasionally sound like a Geordie Glenn Tilbrook (that’s according to the Manchedelic Roger Waters better known as Dek “Mono Stone” Ham), and sometimes George Harrison, Steely Dan, Stephen Duffy, Peter Gabriel, early Oasis, Phil Collins, Alan Parsons Project, Sting, James Taylor, David Bowie (most often, admittedly), and Stephen Stills, and most recently, Cat Stevens and Neil Finn (Crowded House) on the basis of my charity single “Bridges crossed and burned“…
I couldn’t claim to have even an ounce of the talent of those people, but I do reckon I’ve finally developed my own sound now that doesn’t wear my influences quite so prominently on my silk kimono sleeves as with earlier songs.
One final thing…music is wonderful, emotional, but in some sense it is a proxy for emotion isn’t it, why do we love it so much? Do you know what I mean? I remember crying to a piece of music for the first time, it was the theme tune to the TV series “Belle & Sebastian”…I was three or four years old at the time. Why?