I appreciate music, and try to make music. It's a little questionable how well I succeed at either.
I've been gigging for 25 years now, and am involved with a number of folk dance bands:
- A mainly English ceilidh band based around Macclesfield. I play bass guitar and keyboard, run the sound desk, and sometimes call.
- The Wrapper Band
- A band playing traditional North-West English music, based around Saddleworth. I play bass and keyboard, run the sound desk, and usually split the calling.
- Now moribund, if not totally defunct. Melandra was a band I co-founded as a student at Manchester University. I play bass guitar and run the sound desk.
- A band playing a range of music, mostly English. The band are based around South Manchester. I'm one of their regular callers (they use several).
I play a Washburn XS-5 five-string bass guitar, purchased in 1993. It's tuned in one of the standard 5-string tunings, with the top four strings as a standard bass guitar and the extra bottom string tuned a fourth down as a low B. These days, my technique's good enough not to need any extra kit between the guitar and the desk (I'm left-handed, and much of my style involves runs of notes that are hammered on and pulled off by the left hand - I used a compressor for years to smooth out the variation in amplitude between these notes and those picked by my right hand).
My main gig keyboard used to be a very battered Korg M1, bought from a friend in 1997, until it blew up on stage. I'm now using a Yamaha SY85 (scrounged from Steve) with a Korg 03R/W rackmount... I'd fallen in love with some of the M1 bass patches, so that's near enough a M1 in a box! I'd say my style was enthusiastic rather than technically proficient, despite four years of piano lessons after school as a primary school-age child. Still, it works well enough that Steve can occasionally desert his position as Albireo's keyboard player to play concertina instead.
My parents are heavily involved with Furness Vale Country Dance Club.