Welcome to the start of my musical journey! I have made music all through the stages of my journey on whatever equipment I could get my hands on; from 4 track tape recorders, battered old mixers, 8 tracks, computers and cassettes, I have amassed quite a body of work in the process and am happy to give it a resting place on my site.
My journey started in the year 2001 when the trade centres came down and a new world was born. A new me was born also. I was 19 and I left home and
moved in with an old school friend who just happened to be a brilliant singer and songwriter. I would play the keys and record on a 4 track tape recorder and Rich Daly would sing and
play the guitar. We recorded hundreds of songs in just over two years and this album is a nice selection of those songs. My memories of these recordings are of studios in the kitchen,
smoking lots of hash, listening to lots of Bowie and Radiohead and enjoying the amazing new feeling that making music gave me.
After a few years of immersing myself in recording music I wanted to go to college to learn as much as I could about music theory and most importantly to be around other musicians and like minded creative people. I made a band with a good bunch of lads and these recordings are a mix of what we did as a band. They were recorded on an old 4 track and after recording a fair amount of my own stuff in the U-nuclear days this was my first venture as a singer and front man.
Other musicians - Ste Simon, Dan Overing, Paul Caton, Jakey Robo, Tom McParland, Pete McParland, Lee Robertson.
I was really enjoying being the front man and put together a sharp ska punk band called Buttercup. I would try and push the crowd as much as I could to provoke a response, I would usually end up crawling under the stage feigning to weep and crying nursery rhymes in the wrong key. We went into the college studio on day and recorded this in one take and then overdubbed a dry fuzz guitar.
Other members - Geoff Gardiner, Caz Roebuck, Scott Halliwell.
After The Marmalade Dream and Buttercup disbanded I put together a new band called White Trash ana Halfcast. I wanted it to be a very provocative and mixed musical experience. We didn´t use a drummer but instead had a laptop to do the beats. Geoff joined us on grunge guitar and Tay added his Hip Hop metal bass lines. I would prowl the stage sometimes in a priest collar ranting random German words and giving it my all in every aspect. As well as the provocative, we also had the sweet ska and dance vibes, mixed with some hip hop and seasoned in Techno.
As soon as we put out our first demo recordings we had a flood of interest from management and labels. We decided to go with Monochrome Media who had the wonderful Seal Cub Clubbing Club on their books. We toured together, shared a band room together and grew tight and strong as a band. I was calming my front man antics down and concentrating on giving my all to the vocals.
"Don´t Know" is our first E.P we recorded on a little 8 track in my bedroom.
"Live at The Barfly" Was recorded at a lovely gig we played with SCCC and Blackwire in November 2007.
"Be Minor" was recorded in our band room at Crash in Liverpool by Tony Birch. Sadly the band broke up not long after this, but it was a great band and great memories. I really grew as an artist with this experience.
Band Members - Geoff Gardiner, Liam Taylor, Peter Skalley
I had a dream one night where my niece was telling me I was on the telly. She said "Look there you are on the credits.."Peggy Brainchild" This dream stayed with me and I decided to use it for all my own ideas I was cooking up. I have always loved to toy with identities when making a musical project. Peggy felt like this strange mask to put out anything I wanted and to remain anonymous.
"Crash" When I started Uni I spent my entire grant on a 16 track digital recorder that I had wanted for so long, leaving me penniless for the next 3 months. I recorded this little album on that in between places and phases.
"Strange Observations" I realised that computer recording was the way to go, so my next grant I spent it all on a good computer set up and these were the ideas I made in the process of discovering how to use it. I was living in Kensington and in my second year of Uni, I had just set up a record label called "Lost at Sea" I had a great new band, I was recording tons of music with lots of different people. It was a good phase in my life.
"The Mello Mello Basement Busking Session" In my 3rd year of Uni I was going busking more and more and learning songs. I was reading a lot of Woody Guthrie and Jack Kerouac. I would busk at the Lime Street Tunnel in Liverpool and play my own renditions of Dylan and Guthrie songs. The legendary Melllo Mello Cafe was my home base in Liverpool - It was a magnet for all the crazy creative types and there was music on nearly every night. One night after busking me and Simon Knighton went down into the basement and recorded my live busking set that I was playing at the time. Though my voice is quite brutal in this I really like the energy that he captured. It was a nice memory to make this. After this album I killed off the Peggy Brainchild identity and got ready to set out to see the world with a guitar on my back and a few old folk songs.
There were are string of events that were the catalyst for The Dawn Fanfare. I was in my first year of Uni and was kicked out of student dorms for smoking a joint in my room(!) In that same week my band White Trash ana Halfcast broke up. By a lucky turn of events I ended up moving into this old 15 bedroom house in Penny Lane. I had the place all to myself and didn´t have to pay any rent. I used all my student grant to buy a great computer set up for recording. With the guitarist and good friend Geoff Gardiner we recruited a great keys/sax/singer in Jenny Kermode and we went about building our new band.
"Mansion Demos" These were the songs we recorded together in the old Penny Lane house. I have great memories of recording these, Jenny would put on some amazing vocals and keys and sax, and we really enjoyed the excitement of building a new band together. The mixing is pretty rough, but it still has the charm of our energies combined.
"E.P 2 Resolve" We finished the demos and looked to recruit a bass player and drummer. We found the best ever possible in Ciaran Bell on Drums and Craig Ebbrell on bass. We went about recording the new songs with the new line up and played some great live shows around Liverpool.
"The Last Setting Sun" After two years together and Uni coming to a close, we hadn't managed to break the NME yet and knew that life would be taking us apart. We recorded our last E.P together. It doesn't have as much overdubs as I usually like but still captured our live energy.
Band Members - Geoff Gardiner, Jenny Kermode, Craig Ebbrell, Ciaran Bell.
I had a friend who was an angry poet and singer and I would go around to his house and laugh our heads off at all the lizard conspiracy theories and stuff. We tried to make really provocative music with extreme lyrics. I would produce the music and we would both write some lyrics and sing and rap and scream. There were some nice memories that went into these recordings.
"Agenda" Was our first album and was originally titled "The Reptilian Agenda" but we felt "Agenda" had more of a punch to it.
"Vitamins For Rats" It sometimes felt like we were living in a Jeremy Kyle show and we had a frustration with our surroundings and government. This album we tried to take our provocativeness to the next level by calling for the execution of the political class.
Other member - ray
While the members of "The Dawn Fanfare" went home for the summer, myself and the guitarist Geoff Gardiner started making a little side project together. Again, we tried to make it quite politically provocative with some extreme lyrics and music.
"Panopticon" was recorded over a few weeks and has some nice vibes to it. I was feeling a little caged by all the CCTV and community police and tried to express it with the lyrics.
Other Member - Geoff Gardiner.
My new life began when I turned 30 and left my old home-town with a guitar on my back and a hundred euroes in my pocket. After 2 months in France I found my way to Amsterdam and spent over a year there busking on the bridges and quiet street corners. The winter was hard and as Spring approached I was dreaming of having a busking and travelling partner. I imagiined her to be a fiesty hearted and beautiful violinist. My dreams were answered when I met someone who would become my soul mate for the next four years.
"Melodies For The Moon" After four months together travelling and busking our way around Europe, she had to return to Argentina for visa reasons. We went about recording a little album together that captured our time together. It was recorded on a very old comp with a bad microphone in my sisters kitchen, but again, it has a certain charm to it.
"Where The Days Have No Name" When Nizha went back to Argentina, I went to Amsterdam and busked on a boat, but it was painful and lonely without her so I saved enough for a one way ticket to the desert of Salta to be with her. After a few months we managed to make a little studio in the hut we were staying in with an old computer, a SM57 microphone going into a dictaphone and a lot of love. This is probably my favourite of all the music I have ever recorded because I fell in love with her even more so during the making of this.
"Evergreen Dream" I found a way to get back to Europe and saved enough from busking to get Nizha a ticket to join me. We travelled, busked, gigged hitch hiked our way all over Europe and recorded this little E.P in a barn in Donegal. I really wanted Niz to sing on this one, so I took a step back and just wrote the music and the lyrics with Nizha.
"Lost In Time" After nearly four years together our journey was coming to an end. It was hard for us to be together as we were from different continents and we had visa issues. It breaks my heart how welcoming Europe is to refugees and economic migrants, but was so hard on Nizha who is a wonderful violinist and singer with a beautiful heart and soul. We went back to the desert and recorded this album together. Though we didn't realise it at the time, it has a somber melancholy to it and captures what we were sub-consciously going through.