I began playing guitar and bass guitar in 1962 aged 14. My Uncle Ken wanted someone to play bass with my cousin Jim, and he bought me a Rosetti Lucky 7 bass. I played semi-pro in bands from 1964 until 1981 when my local government career took precedence. At my first gig, aged 16, we took our equipment on the bus! At our second gig girls pulled our hair out! Never happened again though. I resumed playing in 2012 aged 64. In my younger days I'd done some song writing and a couple of my songs were played on the John Peel Show on BBC Radio One, so I thought I'd try my hand again. I've written over 100 songs in the last five years. I formed Riff Reign in 2014 to develop and record my songs. I've been very fortunate to have brilliant musicians working with me. We have Linda and Russ (vocals), Chris (guitars & vocals), James (keys & hand percussion) and Richard (drums & vocals). Musical styles include Americana, blues, country, funk, jazz, pop, rock, hard rock and retro rock ‘n’ roll, plus the band’s own indie rock style. Much of the music has a USA influence - in 1963 my eventual wife, Gwen, joined the Beatles Fan Club and got herself a Yonkers New York pen friend, Danielle. Their friendship, which continues to this day, has led to extensive travels through the USA and Canada. Examples of songs with a USA influence on here are Country Store, Down To The Town, I'm Goin' Home To Tennessee, John Wells, Outlaw and Touchdown London. I've also played in two rock bands during the last five years. One of them, East Side Rhythm Aces, recorded a song of mine called Rio Grande which is on my page. I got the idea for the song from witnessing a Seattle bar-room brawl in 1982. The other band was Plain Shame. Low quality phone videos of us playing Free's Mr. Big and Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love are on my page. Riff Reign has self-released five albums, a Christmas single, and a blues EP. All are available as CD or digital download at riffreign.bandcamp.com. We've just started putting tracks on Spotify and the other main platforms. We're working backwards, so our most recent album First Leaves Fallin' is already on. We're currently working on our sixth album. Our music is played daily on Jango Radio, where we have over 6,000 fans in 148 countries, 43% in the USA. Tracks are regularly played on Lonely Oak Radio. We've been featured three times on BBC Introducing East Midlands.
Music is very important to me. I've lived a life, and many of my life's experiences can be expressed in music.
To have a song of mine recorded by a known artist.
Reducing the amount of plastic in the oceans.
Runaway by Del Shannon.
Ian Dury and The Blockheads, Jethro Tull, Free, Graham Parker and The Rumour
A glass of beer in my garden on a warm summer's evening, strumming acoustic guitar.
That it's good stuff!
Great, but anxious to give a good performance.
I think everything is fine. There are some amazing artists out there.
It's excellent and I'm delighted to be part of it. It's wonderful to get reaction to my music and do likewise with other artists.
Not being able to play slap bass.
Yes. I recently went to see new band Hit The Brakes, and I'll soon be going to see The Rough Cuts.
Graham Parker and The Rumour, Patto