Victor Alec, The same grandfather who introduced me to 35mm photography as a boy, was a church organist, who had a Hammond C3 in his house (and not much else) from the day I was born. He gave me the gift of appreciating playing music in its purest form. He used to play music to entertain his army friends, just to give them something else to think about. I was never an advanced sheet music theory player, but I always had an ear, just like I had an eye, and I grew up believing that I was lucky to own those precious gifts. I remember playing organ concerts as a boy. I was the cute kid in the little jacket who sat on Robert Wolfe & Reginald Dixon’s knees and played Chariots of Fire on the string synth while they did left hand parts on the Wurlitzer to the delight of audiences at places like Chessington World of Adventures and the Thursford collection. I had played hundreds of concerts by the time I was ten and got tonsillitis, when I was loaned a cassette deck and a box of tapes. In that box I found ‘Live at San Quentin’ by Johnny Cash and I never looked back. I learned every word that week as I slowly recovered and vowed to do this for the rest of my life. I borrowed a guitar off a bloke Grandad knew & taught myself to play on his homemade 12 string. I was in bands all the way through school, playing mainly bass which I had a special affinity with but sometimes guitar, sometimes keys, writing as I went.
After many years of trying to find my own voice, which is a very difficult thing to do, I formed a band called Formication who played at some large festivals and were loved by The Wire Magazine for a while. We made dirty electronic industrial noise on old machines and macbook pros. Legend has it Sleaford Mods saw one of our Nottingham shows and thought they could do better. They were right & I like it. I wonder if it’s true.
These days, I’ve been playing mostly bass & machines. Josienne & I made an EP as 2PrivateMatters together & I played bass on ‘A Small Unknowable Thing’ & ‘I Promised You Light’ by Josienne Clarke. I play a Fender American Pro II bare knuckles and La Bella 1954 flatwounds with a sponge under the bridge. I also have a double bass made by Ken Miller that I bought from Roberto Cassani that is probably my favourite thing to play.
I play through an Aguilar Tone Hammer & SL410 Markbass stack with an LR Baggs preamp & enjoy using effects pedals like a Gamechanger Plus, a Bit Commander, a Hologram electronics Microcosm & a Goatkeeper to keep things interesting.
I’ve written and released an LP ‘I Used To Be Sad & Then I Forgot’ & an EP ‘A Place Like Home’ on Corduroy Punk Records, the label founded, owned & run by Josienne Clarke. These are both available at my bandcamp page.
Josienne Clarke & I made an EP. You can hear it on Bandcamp, if you like.
- Crossing The Sea by Radio (Harmful Records, 2004)
- Pieces for a Condemned Piano (Harmful Records, 2005)
- The Condemned Piano (Memory) (Harmful Records, 2005)
- Proserpina (Electronical Records, 2005)
- Icons for a New Religion (Lumberton Trading Co, 2007)
- Lost Icons (Harmful Records, 2007)
- Agnosia (Dark Winter, 2007)
- The Untitled Wasdale Recordings (Harmful Records, 2007)
- Ghosts (Harmful Records, 2008)
- Catastrophe In Blue (Subvert Central, 2008)
- The Supreme Spirit of Decay (Pinecone Moonshine, 2009)
- Rust (Pinecone Moonshine, 2010)
- Dr Umens (The Centrifuge, 2010)
- The Eyes of Erodern Reviema LP (Small Doses, 2011)