SOME OF MY CURRENT WORK
…Following on from my Rock ‘n Roll Years
Speakeasy productions was created by me in 2001. Previously London based Pandora Productions since the mid 60s, the move to the countryside and the relationship with the Speakeasy Club of the 1960s and 70s provided a continuity in the new name. Speakeasy Recordings emerged from the production company as product began to flow. Barry Collings, one of my oldest colleagues, and former Troggs booker, introduced me to Michael Infante and his outfit One Media based at Pinewood film studios. I signed a non-exclusive revocable deal with One Media with artistic control remaining with myself. The label has grown and grown – which has pitched me back in the centre of activity! All of the product can be seen and heard on the Speakeasyrecordings site.
VALERYAN AND THE SETTLERS
Happily recording away in 2010. Back in the 1970s I was contracted to produce many Artistes, including The Settlers. I treated it as a normal job of work for name bands, Artistes etc contributing writing where necessary, and obviously running the recording sessions –
usually quite different to the touring groups!
Then in 2010 I had a phone call from a member of the public saying she had an old tape and could I convert it to digital? I asked for details and it turned out to be Valeryan and the tape was one of my productions.
Small world. Val had been an Opportunity Knocks winner in the 60s and joined a band called The Settlers, who had a hit with Lightening Tree. Val had already had major success with her English language version of Plaisir d’Amour so was I surprised! Then continue Since then I’ve arranged, produced and played on four albums with Val (as at October 2014 – a fifth and sixth are on their way) plus a very sexy single and 11 videos. More of Val
In 1969 I was booker for Thunderclap Newman. And what a headache. Far from playing the live set for the psychedelic freaks in colleges and halls, old Andy Newman extended his eccentric piano solo into a whole set – like 1920s barrelhouse! Audiences were voting with their feet. I presented Andy with an ultimatum …….. change the set or leave the band. He chose the exit route. I had to re-form the band and complete the tour. Following this Tex Makins, Mick Eve and myself formed “Thunderclap’s Incomparables” and wrote / played a stack of material, much of which finally saw the light of day, with Pete Brown, Richard Bailey, Zoot Money, Michael Bailey, Nick Payn, Noel Norris and the late Dick Heckstall-Smith in 2005 as “Pick ‘n’ Tell” ……all of this can be heard on the Thunderclap pages click here.
I’ve two live Thunderclap albums ready for release. Both recorded live they feature my guitar playing at its very exciting best.
I’ve a completed studio EP mixed and mastered – five songs never heard before.
Just completed, “Legends and Tales of Dolphins and Whales” is an ethereal album beautifully crafted by Max and Ian Middleton, which will float over festivals!
WINWOOD’S PROJECT “THE OL’ FAITHFUL”
Tricia Winwood of the well known Brummie family is managing a folk trio of the above name ……..I’ve just started recording them and fine singers and players they are too.
MIKE MCNAMARA AND BIG MACS WHOLLY SOUL BAND
I’ve licensed in two albums by Mike’s band – a wonderful South Wales based ten piece soul band now in their 25th year playing authentic 60s soul. Close your eyes and it could be Sam Cooke, Otis Redding or any of the other soul greats.
You can find Big Mac’s website HERE and Speakeasyrecordings.net , as well as FB.
Aka Keith Degroot ……… I’m assembling, with the help of Keith’s wife Kim, a complete anthology and narrative about one of rock’s insiders. Mercurial, anarchistic, brilliant, charismatic Keith / Gerry has been a mate since the mid 60s and Chris Farlowe’s Thunderbirds. Please click here for more info.
A new 2020 project this is a Brixton based event space run by Jos Brient, where I’ve assembled poets, led by 2019 spoken word winner Uncle Errol with a group of musicians led by grandson of Percy Phillips, Peter. The project at Azawala is called Nakupenda. The poems and music currently being created reflect the beautiful artwork of Jos Peart, a gifted Jamaican artist who died in 2008 aged 85. Jos’ artwork reflects tales of slavery as well as contemporary images. We will be videoing the project as it develops until its first public performances at Azawala – planned for March 2020
PERCY PHILLIPS – Birth of the Beatles
After the successful launch of the 90 track box set and sell-out gatefold vinyl, I’m currently transcribing and editing another 40 tracks from the famous Liverpool studio, recorded between 1958 and 65. Peter Phillips has acquired a beautiful 30 metre brightly striped Moroccan marquee for the Birth of the Beatles exhibition at festivals and other events, as a real plus for sales
TEX MAKINS SCHOLARSHIPS
I have been planning these as a memorial to Tex, my mentor and Britain’s first exponent of the Fender bass, having been presented with one by Leo Fender in 1958 when Tex was the mainstay, with Georgie Fame and Colin Green, of the Larry Parnes stable. Tex played and recorded with many Artistes and an album and video is being planned around as many of the Artistes as possible re-recording a track or two that they originally recorded with Tex. Following Parnes Tex worked with Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder, and from his PPL record, many more. I plan that all net will go to a fund, hopefully in conjunction with LIPA, to create another generation of session players of global stature