Part 2 of 2 posts:
In Part 1 of this post I crushed Joanna into my first song at the age of 10. Starved at school pocketing my lunch money to buy an LP every 17 days./font size=
This, that, the other…I grew up and worked hard at being a musician and songwriter. These songs became electronic, dark and atmospheric. I enjoy distorting the present by squeezing into it my own take on the synth-boom era I lived through. Those exhilarating years of 1970s moving into the 80s!
The years they do pass, don’t we all know it! I’ve written hundreds of songs since ‘Joanna’, spending many years in bands. Long hours of rehearsals, hustling for gigs. hustling for payment, lugging gear out of beer soaked pubs at 3am often with a day job waiting for me in the morning. Often earning a pittance, was it worth it to me? Hell yeah! Those early days were tough but I loved being a musician. Performing to an audience no matter what the nightly attendance was. Connecting with people face to face who enjoyed the same music was the drive.
At the beginning of the 80s synthesizers became an industry dirty word. But I embraced it with verve! I did an about-face on my rock guitarist past. Gary Numan, John Foxx, OMD and especially Depeche Mode became my beacon light.
This personal revolution brought with it a new energized attitude. A new musical vocabulary. A new social and fashion subculture. If you were there to experience it, you will know what I mean. Eye liner, lipstick and sculptured hair for boys – regardless of sexual persuasion. Like Martin Gore like David Bowie like David Sylvian, that was the beauty of it. It’s been an often bumpy road, from a cheap string synth and drum machine as a youth to joining Real Life and now Alien Skin. But it’s also been a most fulfilling period of my life.
Singles like Send Me An Angel and Catch Me I’m Falling were major hits across the world for Real Life in the 80s. The former securing itself in synth folklore if one exists. I fulfilled a life’s ambition of writing, recording and touring while in the band.
Of great reward touring far from home is playing to similar minded people who come to a show to see you and only you. They know the songs, they react to cues in the songs, they take part. The the night becomes a genuine union between performer and music fan. It’s a source of energy, an affirmation that the music is connecting with ‘real’ faces ‘real’ people.
A major rewarding aspect of touring far, far from home is playing to similar minded people who come to a show solely to see you – they know the songs, they react to cues in the songs, they participate and the night becomes a genuine union between performer and music fan. It’s a source of energy, an affirmation that the music is connecting with ‘real’ faces real people.
Alien Skin developed after decades of work in this electronic music subculture. I learned from contemporaries such as early Depeche, New Order, Heaven 17, Gary Numan and OMD. Gloomer bands like The Cure, Bauhaus and Joy Division further complemented. I ‘ve always maintained my love of ‘old school’ songwriting. I marry this to electronics as Depeche Mode best did in their 80s heyday. Often leading me against the commercial grain. Buy hey, it makes it more exciting and unique!
As a THANK YOU for being one of my subscribers I wish to give you a free track. No strings attached of a favourite song from my 2019 album, P.O.P. POP. The track “Isn’t It Cliche?” is a good example of that love of old school and early 80s electronics. Comes complete with big analogue synth strings ala Gary Numan and John Foxx.
If you like ‘Isn’t It Cliche?’, 1980 REDUX is an album on which I sought to revive my early 80s inspirations. I couldn’t help including references to Martin Gore and David Bowie in there too. As well as Frankenstein, Mary Shelley and Syd Barrett.
If you’ve been with me in spirit as you read this blog you might kindly consider checking out 1980 REDUX here.
Speak to you soon…..
(In the first photo of ‘Real Life’ from left to right is myself, David Sterry, Alan Johnson, Danny Simcic)
Alien Skin-Dark Retro-Electropop “We love the UK flavoured synth-boom of post punk 80s”
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