Coronovirus update: For the duration of this pandemic I will not be performing in public and all previously advertised gigs are postponed. My latest cd was to have been launched on March 24th, but is now available by mail order. See Music.
Welcome to my website.
I have performed semi-professionally for most of my adult life originally in bands performing well loved covers around the local clubs, combining my love of music with the day job as an underground electrician at Murton colliery. This included three periods of strike action, 1972 for 7 weeks, 1974 for 4 weeks (remember the 3-day week?) and 1984-5, a full year that destroyed so many lives and communities. Although my thoughts had often turned to writing songs, the brutal destruction of the north-east coalfield and its traditions prompted me to record my memories of that disappearing way of life in song. The bulk of my repertoire is focused on coal and the struggle to win it from the earth but at times I see topical events locally and in the wider world that are worthy of comment. Examples include 1101, Seaham's statue of a weary WW1 "Tommy" and in a more light-hearted vein my family holiday to Disneyland in the USA.
I have been fortunate in that my songs have been so well received and sung by so many performers in the open mic nights and folk clubs around the region. It is also gratifying that professional performers have adopted my work for their own performances and recordings, for example Flossie Malavialle's cover of "Tin Soldier" the aforementioned Seaham Tommy, and "From the Diary of a Northumberland Miner" recorded by Other Roads, Vin Garbutt and Marie Little. That song is also becoming something of a "standard" at festivals and clubs across the country. John Tams is looking at using "Here We Go Boys", and "With a Little Bit More" was recorded by Bram Taylor and is being used by Sheila Hamill in her work in schools around the country.
Now retired I can allow my music to dominate my time. For several years I have been one of the team running Sedgefield Folk Club and also the annual Sedgefield Folk Festival, and I was the musical director for the much acclaimed "She's Fired" dramatisation of the 1880 Seaham Mining Disaster. Most evenings will see me performing at a booked gig or attending a local club or open mic session as sound engineer and/or contributor. If you are not yet familiar with my music please listen to the samples on the "MUSIC" page. If they appeal check out the gig list - I would love to see you. If you are an organiser at a folk club, festival or village hall in the area please get in touch to discuss a booking, it would be great to spread the word.