Well, me n Bob lasted a couple of years and what with marriage, kids and the constant struggle for money, me and Chips got back together and formed Earl and the Shiltones (locals will understand the sheer genius of this name) with Harry Heppingstall of the Matadors, six five special and ‘fast cars and sexy women’ fame.

This was some meaty little outfit with Chips on his Strat and me on my Futurama bass and Harry beating the hell out of his drums as we belted out close harmony classics all over the place.  Magic little band and, because there was only the 3 of us, we had to do it all.  

I learned so much during this stage of my life about working together, filling in and just enjoying playing and of course we always had a bit of spare money for the kids and holidays and a few extras.  I mean for all of us money was always tight .. never enough .. but to get just a bit more for what we loved doing was inspirational and very gratifying.

Aaaagh then Harry left and Chips was devastated and  hello hello .. here we go again.

Oh but then along came Oddsox.

Sounds a bit naff now dunnit but Oddsox was awesome.  I resumed a very old relationship with a friend called Graham Thema and boy did we hit it off creatively.  There was just something about Graham’s percussion playing and his lovely close harmonies plus his dedication to original music.  This was the third time things started to take off.  Oddsox was born and in the tiny but thriving Leicestershire world of folk music.

I guess we were pretty big time although again we were operating on the periphery and I guess this was because we were original and contemporary … one foot in the alternative camp and one in the acoustic.. oh and several other feet in several other camps too .. we had many feet … an uncomfortable position for punters wanting to pigeon hole (as is the want of many a punter and musician).

We didn’t care.  We’d use anything .. Classical, opera, folk, poetry, carpentry, bricklaying, whatever.  If it felt right we’d use it and that’s how it should be.

We did some gorgeous gigs : Graham was a great entertainer too and developed some wonderfully obscure and funny little bits into our performances and the gigs were always charged with a sort of nervous energy born out of a need to go one better and to get better all the time.  We made some great music and I do have some archive stuff that I will put up in the not too distant as there will be many folks who remember Oddsox with some affection and rightly so.

But Graham moved away to Americay and Oddsox (like all things) did pass.  (Next Page)

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