I still have a big smile on my face from the time I spent with Rob Symmons on my show yesterday. What an absolutely charming ,funny and engaging man he is.No wonder Johnny Marr is such a fan.He arrived at the studio in his immaculate Triumph Herald with his box of Vinyl ,his Telecaster and his practice Amp from his Subway Sect day’s. A living breathing true Punk Gent. As soon as he started to reminisce about those early day’s of watching The Sex Pistols and forming a Band I was transported back with him as he is such a natural story teller with luckily a great detailed memory! His honesty about himself is so disarming its impossible not to sit with a silly grin on your face which I seemed to do for most of the show and as you can see by this picture that’s what happened to Sandy ,guitarist in my Band Sid Sings when he chatted to him afterwards and asked Rob to take a look at the guitar which Rob is playing ,made by a friend of Sandy’s called Gaby who is a massive Fan of Rob too.
Rob had so many fascinating stories that I only managed to play three of his chosen songs and one of those was only 38 seconds long being the really interesting theme tune from ” Sir Prancelot” which inspired Robs sound.It was really nice to have him sit with his guitar and play little snippets of songs that he first learned or were shown to him by members of The clash. It gave me a real sense of how he developed his sound and style of playing which really is something to behold. He really is a billboard for the saying less is more. His current Band “The Fallen Leaves ” play the first Wednesday of every month at The 12Bar Club Denmark St London so if you haven’t seen him before put the date in your diary as this is exactly the type of Musician that made Britain the place that everyone looked to for original great music.
I have invited him back on for a Part two even though it could easily go on to Part 3,4,5,6 ….. he has so much to share and that would be such a shame not to capture as he really is part of our rich musical history. I am going to leave you now still grinning from ear to ear…..
Tomorrow is the first of a once a month special, where a musician from a Band who were previous guests on my show , return on their own with songs from their past but also their instrument they play to share with the listeners and demonstrate first songs they learned ,technique,creating your own sound,gauge of strings used ,cymbals,amps,pedals,vocal secrets and other insights in to being a working musician. There couldn’t be a more perfect first guest in Rob Symmons original guitarist with Punk Band Subway Sect .After having him on my show the other week with his current band The Fallen Leaves I knew I needed to have him back on to discover more about this modest charismatic man.Rob has inspired many a musician notably Johnny Marr with his truly original sound and style. As I was writing this I realized that on my coffee table is a book called “Punk” and a quick flick through I found this photo of Rob with the fantastic quote above along with loads more which I shall embarrass Rob with tomorrow! Be sure to listen in at 12pm.
I love it when Bands come on my show and really embrace doing a stripped back live set. Having seen The Killer B's perform many times with their big rocking sound ,it was great to hear their songs nice and mellow but without losing the grooves and sexiness that gives them their individual style. Interestingly the three of them were not sure it would work , but it was pretty obvious once they got started that it was going to be a great set. It was Chris's third time on my show and as always in the pub afterwards stories come out that I would have loved him to have told on the show…….not sure Chris would though! The three of them are very modest unassuming guy's that belies their rich musical history. Its clear they just love to play whether its in Resonance's studio or in a pub with one man and his dog in the audience, they would still give it their all. This is what they do ,this is who they are and they will just keep on going. To get the full experience put this Thursday in your diary where they will be playing at The Half Moon Putney.
This will be Chris Thompsons third appearance on my show but this time with his band The Killer B’s. If you remember, Chris was the bassist with David Bowies favourite band “The Screaming Blue Messiahs”.He is now on guitar and vocals with Ricky McGuire from ” The Men They Couldn’t Hang ” on Bass and Dave Morgan on drums keeping it tight and heavy.I have seen these guy’s live many times and am a real fan ,so I am looking forward to hearing them do a stripped back sound on tomorrow’s show.
Well I feel like a complete sloth after spending time with John on Sunday. This guy really grafts and absolutely lives and breaths music. He speaks so passionately about what he does and his constant search for improving and learning is a real lesson in remembering why you get in to music in the first place. What John shows is how he has a clear vision of what is important and he keeps on that path,ignoring outside distractions. He has found a great unit with Toby and Joe.Two musicians wanting to explore Blues and take it forwards and be good at what they do.I felt they really complimented each other when they played their live set.To be that close to seeing and hearing such good playing is a real privilege.It was a very relaxed session,plenty of time to have a coffee before the show and discuss singers “must haves”,which include “Sandersons ” something a kin to paint stripper for the vocal chords and vocal zones! Everyone seems to have those now.Tom Jones is obsessed by them! Its great to see that John’s hard work and talent are paying off as he has lots of great gigs this year. I urge you to buy his EP ” Hungry Blues ” from Band Camp. You won’t be disappointed.
The fabulous John Fairhurst makes a welcome return to my show tomorrow. This time he is bringing drummer Toby Murray and harmonica player Joe Strouzer with him which I am sure will make for a great live set.Its a year since I have seen him ,so I am looking forward to hearing about his travels all over Europe playing at Festivals and touring with Johnny Winter’s. Looks like he has been very busy and quite rightly so, as he is not only an amazing guitarist but also has quite a voice which seems to get deeper all the time and he is clearly a great songwriter from his recent nomination for Best Original song at this years British Blues Awards.Be sure to tune in tomorrow 12pm.
Well am I pleased these guy’s got in contact with me! As soon as I arrived at the studio yesterday and saw Antony ,Sam and Pete setting up I knew we were going to have not just a good show but a REALLY good show. Not only were they some of the nicest musicians you will ever meet but they are also great players with an original sound. A bit of a rarity these day’s.especially in this genre it seems. They completely got how to take the Blues and make it sound relevant and fresh . I would like to think how the old Blue’s guy’s would want to sound if they were around today. I loved that they did a stripped down set with Sam using rods and Antony and Pete’s guitar’s blending effortlessly together. Pete also did some great harmonica playing again fitting perfectly with the music.Sam and Antony have only been working together for eight weeks(!) yet it already seems as if its been years.I could see Sam really listening and watching Antony,giving the songs lots of feel and room to breath. What I haven’t heard a lot of recently is a Band that you know could be nothing else but British. Yet you really get that from Antony’s singing style. I kept thinking of Steve Marriot when he sang. Something to do not just with him being a Londoner, but I think more to do with Antony being authentic with what he is doing and that’s what you got with Marriot.The conversation during the show flew by as they were so relaxed and clearly enjoy each other’s company. What was also refreshing about them was their constant praise of other Bands they know or have seen. You are only generous like that when you are comfortable in your own skin,which is what came across from the three of them. I think that generosity of spirit also comes from believing in and having confidence in your own product. No need to worry about what other Bands are doing if you are in one that stands on its own which theirs does. Before they had even sat down to chat after their set I had asked them to come back on. After the show we did what any civilized person would do on a Sunday and go to the pub! Its always nice to spend time with like minded people,so the afternoon whiled away with our musings on music,politics and even Daphne from the Eggheads! A perfect lazy Sunday Afternoon…Root-de-doo-de-doo, a-root-de-doot-de doy di…..
On tomorrows show I have a Band called Wolf Club Lunar Society. I know little about them except there is two of them and I like what I hear. I usually know my guests either from seeing them live or having been on the same bill with my Band. I am looking forward to the unknown of what these guys will sound like when they do their live set tomorrow and what their history is. So yes a bit of a mystery…..
Wow what a sound these guys create! Had such a good time with Rob ( singer) ,Rob ( guitarist), Matthew ( Bass ) and William ( drums) yesterday on my show.They did a blistering live set that I think you could have heard for miles around. A stripped back sound does not exist for these guys, so the volume was well and truly up in the Resonance studio with the engineer Francisco skillfully making sure that it wasn’t just a wall of noise. Their music really puts a big smile on your face and to be that close to watching Rob get the most amazing sounds out of his guitar was something else. He is a very modest man and as always with only an hour we only scratched the surface with his past in Subway Sect and how his playing has inspired so many other bands.
There was a lot of comedy moments during the show with 45′s that were too badly scratched to play, a ban on any Beatles being played and them magically packing all their equipment during the interview to make way for the next show at 1pm! A nice dose of mild chaos was the style of the day. When I got home I immediately put on their 45 which they kindly gave me. It sounded fantastic on the Dansette. I really hope to have them back on very soon.
Really excited that tomorrow I have The Fallen Leaves on my Show. They are a great Garage Rock Band that include an original member of Punk Band Subway Sect.They will be performing live and then chatting to me about their chosen songs from their past. I have met the guys before when they invited my Band to play on one of their monthly nights they have at The 12Bar. I highly recommend making the effort to go,as with all my favourite bands they play with such verve and wear the most beautiful attire!
Just found out that my show is now repeated every Friday at 8AM. A good way to start your day and bring on the weekend. off to The Islington this evening to watch Hancox which includes original member Pip Hancox of The Guana Batz a psychobilly band. Could be an interesting future guest on my show.