COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE
Cornwall's great joy is its beautiful scenery. Coastline, moorland, historic sites. Sandy coves, bleak uplands, craggy lowering cliffs. I love walking in such wonderful surroundings; here are some photos I've taken while exploring. I hope you like them.
I love folk music, Irish, Scottish and Eastern European, but I can’t say I’m a purist. I insist my traditional tunes and songs are mutilated with bass guitar and a full drum kit; step forward The Pogues, Dropkick Murphies, Peatbog Faeries. In other words, full-on folk-rock.
I’ve played in folk-rock bands for around twenty years. Music's been good to me; through playing live I’ve met many friends.
My instruments are mandola and bouzouki. Favourite among my collection is Mr Bouz, a long-scale bouzouki made by Fylde. Mr Bouz is now elderly, bearing many scrapes and bashes marking a long career; he’s performed over 1,200 gigs, but his voice still rings out.
My first band was The Wreckers, a group of friends based in Hampshire's New Forest. We played the Irish folk standards and it was great fun.
The Hedge Monkeys followed, along with better venues, good tours and overseas bookings. The Hedge Monkeys travelled all over the southern half of England, and also made forays into Wales, France, Belgium and Germany.
More recently in Cornwall I fronted The Slaves, a four-piece specialising in frantic Irish, Scottish and Balkan tunes and songs. It’s harder to get good gigs when you're positioned deep in the south-west, but that said, we were thrilled to play Glastonbury Festival. For any semi-pro musician that's got to be tops.
Right now I'm with the fabulous Raffidy Dumitz band, based at Penzance near Land's End. Raffidy Dumitz plays Cornish traditional music, all new to me. It's a processing band; you have to perform on the move. I''ve also joined the band which plays for the Pensans Morris side, with more tunes I'd not previously come across. It's been a great summer, full of lovely people and happy music - I'm a lucky man.