We initially formed out of the need to make some money, the backend of 2009. Rick the band’s Mr. Rhythm phoned me suggesting we go busking. The first problem to overcome was that I was an ex-drummer without a drum.
Having dabbled with playing a tea chest bass a few times in the past, I found an old Ronson packing box that once contained lighter gas, a broom handle and a length of string and knocked one together and I was in business.
We decided to try our luck at Newport’s Market on Tuesday, me on the box and Rick with his Tin Din Thing, a 3 stringed guitar made from a biscuit tin, hence how the name came about, and as it happened we didn’t do too bad.
Unfortunately my tea chest substitute wasn’t really cutting the mustard and so the hunt was on for something bigger. As it happens Rick had a proper sized one rotting away in his shed and so it was quickly modified and boy what a sound difference!
From Duo To Trio
A few weeks past, and we continued at the market and also on a Saturday outside Poundland in Newport High Street.
We were and still are to some a complete novelty, as at the time to see buskers outside of Cowes Week was rare, and even rarer in Newport. Although now there’s quite a few people busking, it seems we’ve started a new craze.
It was this sort of time when Mark joined us and we became a trio, bass, rhythm and lead, this addition and the fact Mark can also sing has given us a more diverse sound. Although the duo works, the trio makes us more money, and Rick doesn’t have to work so hard.
The Tin Din Thing has now been replaced with an ordinary acoustic guitar. The Biscuit Tin with only 3 strings limits the key that our tunes can be played in, and bores the pants off of Mark because he is a show off lead guitarist and loves to improvise.
Because of the tea chest, the older generation who see us describe us as a Skiffle band, when actually we play a mixture of Rockabilly, Blues and Jump Jive. Most are forgotten tunes of yesteryear and were performed by obscure artists.
Unlike most bands including previous ones all three of us have been in over the years, we don’t spend hours rehearsing, we just go out and perform. If a tune goes over well and money is chucked in the case it’ll become part of the set.
The lack of practice gives us a real basic raw sound and because our act is improvised it means that the same tune never sounds exactly the same every time we play it which keeps it fresh. In former bands we would rehearse each tune to the point of being able to play it on autopilot which in hindsight was boring both to play and no doubt to listen to.
|12/09/20||Yarmouth||The King’s Head|
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