When some people reach middle age they go out and buy a Harley Davison. I picked up my old violin.
I had learned piano through the last two years of primary school but didn’t like it much. Even so it taught me how to read music and by the time I hit adolescence music in most forms and genres had become an obsession.
It was an obsession shared by schoolfriends, and by my older brother. He led the way initially, introducing me to folk and jazz. We were quickly making music together, me doing what I could on the piano and the old harmonium we had at home, but I really wanted to play the violin. I was entranced by the melancholic sweetness of the Bach solo partitas and sonatas, but also the swagger and flamboyance of the likes of Dave Swarbrick and Stephane Grappelli.
I had my chance when a friend gave me an old violin. After a few attempts I found I could begin to play it. I taught myself from there, drawing on what I already knew of music. My parents gave me a better violin (I still have it). For the next few years I played in school and college bands, but then got sidetracked by work and raising a family.
I started playing again in 2011. At first I thought it would be fun to knock around in pubs (I still do) but because of my improvisational skills I soon found myself in demand across the vibrant local music scene, and things have become a little more serious.
I play guest spots with many friends around East Kent and Sussex, often as an impromptu thing drawing on my ability to improvise. A violin doesn't work with every song but will often add an extra dimension and I love being able to do that.
Entertaining Mr StoneSince I moved to Rye I've been working with singer/songwriter Steve Stone and celebrated artist/pianist Dave McKean. The band’s called Entertaining Mr Stone (geddit?), and we play regularly around East Sussex and Kent (we'd be happy to play further afield too). We've recorded a few of Steve's songs, and thanks to Dave's video skills have some short films to showcase them.
Entertaining Mr Stone video for Talk about Us
I’ve been a member of Mozambican singer Maiuko’s band since 2013, playing a kind of Afro/Jazz, with Celtic overtones from me. Click the player below for Maiuko's song Jose, a sample track from our EP Roots Harmonia.