Top 10 Influences

Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) / Jeff Lynne

I love listening to practically everything Jeff turns his hand to. He can even make me listen to Paul McCartney. Lush harmonies, great tunes, an underrated singer with a unique voice, and underrated generally. After a lifetime of slating him, when he does eventually go, everyone will say how brilliant he was. I'm one of many loyal fans saying it now.

Del Amitri / Justin Currie

Bitingly clever lyrics coupled with beautiful Celtic-influenced melodies, and another unique voice to deliver them. One of the best songwriters alive today, and still constantly performing even though he doesn't need to says how much he loves what he does.

Gerry Rafferty

Another Scot, and more beautiful Celtic-influenced melodies, and another unique voice to deliver them. His lyrics are usually introspective and so hard to sing a lot of his songs truthfully if you've not lived his life, but I have sung many of them. Mind, given he died of liver failure aged 63, probably best not to live his life.

Martyn Joseph

"The Welsh Springsteen", though in my opinion much more accessible. His lyrics (and they're often the poet Stewart Henderson's) are fully charged, flipping from tenderness to outrage, always worth hearing, and I've never seen another live performer be so devastating with just a bit of wood and six strings.

Simon and Garfunkel

A love of close harmony drew me to these two, and subsequently a lot of Paul Simon's solo output, especially the classic Graceland album.

Tom Petty

I liked Full Moon Fever long before I realised why I liked it so much, i.e. that Jeff Lynne was heavily involved. I like Tom's lyrics and his delivery, and he can't half bang out a nice rock tune.

Kirsty MacColl

Clever lyrics, and unusually blunt for a lady at that time, a real practical feminist, pointing out hypocrisy in the most elegant and amusing way. And a Miller too, sort of. Ewan MacColl's real name was Jimmy Miller. Lost her way a bit, but the her last album was really getting back to her best.

Mike Oldfield

Hypnotic, experimental, groundbreaking, tuneful, skilful.

Chris de Burgh

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But some of his early stuff is really good. In fact, most of his stuff is really good. It's just he doesn't seem to be able to tell the difference between this and the truly awful stuff that comes with it.

Crazy Childhood Mix

Growing up as one of the youngest, I was influenced by a bizarre mix of contrasting styles from the older members of the household: The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers, The Spinners, New Seekers, Beethoven, Rogers and Hammerstein, 80s synth, punk, heavy metal. I never "got" rap or mechanical stuff like dance or hip hop, but probably most other things were absorbed in large amounts and will undoubtably surface in my own music.

Fellow Semi-Pro Musicians

In no particular order.

Strid are a brilliant duo and I also join them to form a trio.

Phil Cockerham is a local singer/songwriter, great live, and the trio play his song 'Bones'.

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Other Links

In no particular order.

Baccapipes Folk Club, the best folk club I've been to, with the added bonus of being in my town, Keighley.

Guitar Weekends: Perfect holiday for a musician! Miles away from anywhere you can polish up your playing with expert tuition whatever your style, or get songwriting help from experts.

Calder Recordings: A great studio where the last 3 solo albums were recorded. Calder Recordings

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