Growing up in Manchester, there are two choices: football or music. I'm an average footballer.
Luckily for me, my parents were both musical and encouraged me with piano lessons with a teacher from the Hallé Symphony Orchestra. Even at a young age, music was first and foremost a refuge. A magical place to get happily lost in composition and melody.
During my quarter-life crisis in my mid-20s, music and songs took on a healing dimension. My first 'gigs' were in the psychiatric wards I was sectioned in during the summer of 1999.
After moving to Aotearoa | New Zealand, kiwi legend Johnny Matteson (the original 'Mad Musician') took me under his wing and gave me my first public performance at a MadPride celebration. I opened with my spoof song Psychiatric Blues that I wrote on those wards. The hoots and cheering let me know there was a hunger for music that fed the soul and celebrated the light and shade of life's journey.
I've stuck with MadPride and run songwriting workshops and gigs, along with performing my songs and recovery story at mental health services and conferences. After playing at the Mason Clinic (a locked-down, secure forensic mental health facility) I realised the aspiration for a life worth living is universal and decided to take my message of hope to a broader audience.
My debut MadLove show at the Nelson Fringe Festival won the Best Solo Show and Best Show awards.
I've now recorded two albums, an EP, a Christmas Single and featured on the iTunes charts.
Listen for free below and the usual places, like Spotify and YouTube.
If you'd like to buy my music, for a start - god bless you!
You'll find me on iTunes or Google Play and you can use Bandcamp. They are very kind to us musicians. If know what a CD is, Amazon will do you one or contact me and I'll post you one. That'd be nice eh?