I formed my first band when I was 15. We prided ourselves on being regularly bombarded with 5p pieces at gigs; our audience being classier than the usual 2p piece-throwing riff-raff.
Determined to play gigs in better conditions than the pub where all my teachers drank, I set up a music collective - called wtss - that pooled the talents and resources of a dozen local bands. It allowed all-age punk shows to take place in a disused yacht club. The collective wrote and published its own fanzine, ran twice-weekly events in several venues, and would later release a live recording of its shows.
By this stage I had moved into the world of audio recording. The proceeds from the music collective gigs had enabled me to purchase some home studio equipment. Bitten by the recording bug, I moved to Newcastle to study a music production degree.
With the help of my friend Luke, I established an independent record label called Ex Libris Records, to document the work of the vibrant musical community I had become part of. The label’s releases covered an eclectic range of genres, from bleak folk to lo-fi punk. We wore our DIY ethics proudly: hand making our record sleeves and promoting our own events. Our gigs often featured international touring bands as well as our own artists.
I started my own recording facility, Colerabbey Studios, a place that would inform my distinctive production style: quirky and experimental textures, matched with vital live performances. It would be here that I would work on the bulk of my production repertoire.
Around this time I taught music production at Newcastle College, as well as designing audio art installations for local galleries. In addition to playing in three bands that gig regularly, I have recently branched out into voice-over work, commercial songwriting, and hosting my own radio programme on the digital arts station Basic FM.