After a number of local band dalliances mainly crippled by lack of equipment and finances, my first major band outing was with Golgotha, an original Prog Rock band that grew out of the Dundee University Rock Band in 1970. This band featured some of my original material in the set and earned some of my first professional fees.
Some of the exploits and music of that band were in hindsight hilarious, although they were deadly serious at the time. l am now drawing upon that for the background to a book I am writing - at least it keeps me in stitches. The band spawned other spin-offs which kept me in Scotland for a period of time.
Following that I returned to Sheffield, but I did come back with a beautiful old Framus acoustic which I still have. It is now 50 plus years old and has a lovely warm round tone, great for backing acoustic on recordings.
Following my return I worked in a number of Pig’n’aif projects with local musicians whilst learning recording discipline and writing continuously. I met a number of great musos some of whom I am still in contact with today. One of them was a great bassist called Dave Hobson. He worked in the Pig’n’aif projects with us and was a prolific songwriter. Dave is still playing around Sheffield and we have since had a knock on more than one occasion.
A short while later, I had the opportunity to move down to the Oxford area to join a band and Dave went with me. I supported my income with session work, guitar teaching and luthiery during that time. Unfortunately the band we went to join did not get out of rehearsal (again), but I did make a lot of useful contacts with people who became global musicians and some excellent session men. It was contact with these latter guys that gave me my introduction to session work and started a new strand of income for me.
In the mid 70's I returned to Sheffield and in addition to studio and live session work in Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds and Hull I started to work in the club music scene around the North. I needed the money.
By now I had added a Les Paul Recording and Dan Armstrong Hybrid Amp Combo to my equipment (thanks to my wonderful cousin Phil). It made humping my gear around the clubs a little simpler.