Playing with 7shades at Unorthodox Paradox

I’ve been playing drums for over 30 years now, and that sounds quite scary! My current band is 7shades, and it excites me on a variety of levels – more than any band I have previously been involved with. First and foremost because it’s *my* band – I put it together, and I write all the music and lyrics – but also because it pulls together so many aspects and styles of music that I love. Psychedelic, prog, punk, rock and pop are all covered…along with a healthy dose of electronics. We released our first album ‘Seven shades (of shit)‘ at the start of 2014, and our second album ‘Bursting’ was released in July 2016. The band was formed originally as a tribute to Tim Smith and Cardiacs, and that is still a great consideration when I’m writing, but out of necessity (because I’m not a musical genius like Tim) it is developing into something which hopefully has its own distinct style. Check out the links below and judge for yourself…

http://7shades.me.uk/
https://7shades.bandcamp.com/

Previous to this I have played in numerous bands. The most long-standing (and probably best known) is Omnia Opera, whom I joined in 1989. Playing a very energetic form of psychedelic music which the band called ‘plasma rock’, we released several albums, the most recent ‘Nothing is Ordinary‘ coming in 2011 to pretty much unanimous praise – many people (including myself) considered it to be our finest work. Omnia Opera is currently on hiatus, but we have not split up, and the plasma is in safe storage for the next time the stars align in the correct way for us to unleash it again. Much more info, and links to listen to / buy the music, are below…

http://www.omniaopera.co.uk/
https://omniaopera1.bandcamp.com/

Other bands I have been involved with include:

Mocca – Difficult to categorise, but usually we would refer to it as ‘alt country’. That probably gives the wrong idea, as there wasn’t actually *that* much country in there, but there ya go. I was always very proud of our songs, my great friend Paul Cartlidge was the driving force behind most of them, and his lyrics and keen sense of melody still do it for me to this day. We released just one album, and a couple of EPs, you can check ’em out (and even buy them if you like) here…

https://mocca1.bandcamp.com/

Sand – This was a short-lived relationship for me, but one that gave me a great deal of experience, including some amazing gigs in Japan. Sand were an experimental rock / jazz / noise band, featuring Tim Wright (aka Tube Jerk / Germ / Moondog), that gave incredibly powerful and intense live shows and superbly dark and detailed recordings. I took over the drum stool from Rowan Oliver (who went on to drum for Goldfrapp), and his was a tricky seat to fill. Sadly I never got to record with them, but (amongst others) I have very fond memories of performing onstage with them at the Tokyo National Opera, as the backing band for the Karas Dance Company, alongside goats, chickens, cows and rabbits! Unfortunately no documentation of these gigs appears to exist, if you have any please do get in touch!

Blim – Formed back in 1991 when Omnia Opera were on one of their many extensive breaks , Blim featured Dr Andrew Read (currently 7shades guitarist extraordinaire) and Anthony Child (better known these days as worldwide techno superstar Surgeon). Prog Space Jazz Punk Rock pioneers, they produced two superb and acclaimed albums in 1992 & 1993, before promptly vanishing from whence they came in 1994. As regards their music, as they say, “You might think that this is quite strange”. The two cassette albums were recently remastered and repackaged (along with some rare oddities) into a lovely double CD, which you can purchase from the links below.

http://www.blimmusic.co.uk/
https://blim.bandcamp.com/

Windscale – Motorik explorations with a circuit-bent edge, Windscale performed several gigs and there are various demo recordings knocking around if you look hard enough. They have now mutated into the much more cohesive and prolific ‘Night Trips‘, who are fantastic, and well worth checking out…

https://www.facebook.com/nighttrips