Music has always played a massive part in my life. It forms some of my earliest and fondest memories.
Infant school discos with The Birdie Song, Junior school discos with Wham and break-dancing. Secondary school and raving and R&B. Bucks Fizz in 1981 at Eurovision. Agadoo on holiday in 1984. Stevie Wonder in Spain 1996. I mean – you get the picture, right? For every moment, there’s a song. I eat, sleep, breathe music.
I first started writing songs when I was 9. My first song was called ‘I Love You’. Well I say song; it was just lyrics and a melody. The funny thing is that I still hum it to myself some days. I still think about it. I’m singing it in my head right now and I can remember the whole thing. Some of the lyrics are so mature for a 9-year-old. Funny really.
The real change happened for me in 1994. My brother Chris (@MugFive) had started hanging out with some guys he met when just smoking at the shops or something. They had a band. He joined. Then he got them to trial me a vocalist. Boom.
‘Wuss’ was born. Not a great name for a band, but we did quite well on the local scene and played some decent venues. The songs were bad (they were, James!), but it was about progression and at that point every week, every month was progress. When we split up in the summer of 1995 it took me quite a while to get over it.
So we became ‘Blue Fur’- me and our kid. We put an advert in the Yellow Advertiser (like you did in those days) for a bassist and a drummer. We weren’t inundated but we found our men – Rik (the drummer) and Dave (the bassist). We sacked Dave after a couple of months because he accused us of not writing enough new material. He hadn’t written any – he couldn’t write. Cheeky fuck.
We took on an old mate Jeff as bassist/guitarist and things took off. Jeff could really play, and he took Blue Fur to a whole new level. Things were complete because we could all do our composite parts really well. Loads of bands out there have a weak link – even famous ones (The Sex Pistols, even The Beatles) but we had gotten rid of ours and it felt good.
1996 was a big year for Blue Fur. We made a demo with Greg Haver (@GregHaver) in the Summer and he really helped us get noticed. We played a showcase gig and got woo-ed by London Records. But ultimately nothing came of it, and that halcyon summer was gone before we knew it.
I remember driving back that night, in Rik’s Porsche 924, playing ‘Rock n’ Roll Star’ at full blast. We honestly thought we’d made it. But we never did make it. Time moved on, and we moved on. We were all getting to our mid 20s (30s for Rik!) and had other stuff going on. We played a final gig in 2001, and then I downed tools for 6 years.
Well, I say ‘downed tools’, but I just found a new tool – writing on my own.
In 2000 and 2001 I wrote about 60 songs, and demoed them all. Just me and an acoustic guitar. The problem with demoing is that you just can’t tell how good a song is going to sound with a band on it. So some I thought were good ended up being terrible and some that I wrote as throwaways ended up being pretty cool.
I recorded a solo album in 2009, but I didn’t dig that too much.
But now I’ve got The Buzzing Sound and all is good. All my best songs will soon be coming up on one album. Watch this space.