Good evening … or morning … or afternoon, depending on what time of the day you happen to be logging on, and welcome to my ‘About’ page. Hopefully, it does what it says on the tin, as the page title suggests, albeit very briefly. Here you will find a little information about my interests, likes and dislikes etc. There’s also a time-line which will take you back, briefly summarising my musical highlights, or maybe even some lowlights, down the years.
Anyway, leaving music aside for one moment, I’ve got many interests, including football and cricket.
For my sins, I’m a long time QPR fan. I was a QPR season ticket holder for many seasons, even enduring the club’s misfortunes. Sadly, what with ticket prices being hiked up and my arthritic knees making it virtually impossible to sit in the seats, I didn’t go to see them play for quite a while. I went back a couple of times towards the end of 2015, having had both knees replaced. QPR are in the Championship, hoping for better times, especially now ‘Ollie’ is back as Manager. I’ve taken the plunge and got a half-season ticket for the second half of the 2016/17 season – so, fingers crossed !
I also enjoy 5-a-side football and cricket. Due to my position being goalkeeper, I have, down the years, subjected myself to oponents who like nothing more than to hammer the ball as hard as they can in my direction. I’ve had knee operations in August 2010 and January 2012, plus a left knee replacement in October 2013. I have now followed that up with a right knee replacement in April 2015. After lengthy rehabilitation, I’ve now resumed some 5-a-side activities ! See also the Football page !
Cricketing activities in summer 2010 through to 2012 were also wrecked by my knee problems, although I bowled quite well in 2013 despite my limitations. I only played in 5 games in the 2014 season, following my recovery from my left knee replacement operation. I missed the whole of the 2015 season while my right knee recovered from surgery but managed to play 10 games in 2016. I passed my level 1 Umpiring exam in 2012 and went on the level 1A course early in 2013, and have done a bit of Umpiring in the last few seasons. See also the Cricket page !
With the disintegration of my knees, I’ve somehow re-discovered Subbuteo after more than 30 years ! Funny how things in life can bring you full circle ! ! See also the Subbuteo page !
And now, on the music front ( which sounds a bit safer than two of my other aforementioned interests ) :
Bands/artists: Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, Deep Purple, Queen, Tom Petty, Clapton / Cream, Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, REM…
Guitars: Fender Stratocaster (I’ve got Three!), Ovation Electro-Acoustics.
Effects: My Boss ME-10 Multi FX, Particularly distortion/jangly chorus/delay – Who doesn’t?! Unfortunately 2010 saw the demise of my trusty old friend, the Boss ME-10, due to much use over the past 18 years or so. I now take to the stage with my new Boss ME-20 Multi FX and, so I’m told, my distortion, jangly chorus and delay sounds are crisper and clearer than ever !
Amps: Give me a Marshall any time. I particularly like the MG series with the FDD feature, although I think they’ve now stopped making them. The feature appears to have been included as standard in later models !
Places to visit: The Isle of Wight. I’ve made many visits to the Island over the years – See the IOW page !
2016 – Jam Nights switch to The Three Wishes, North Harrow. “Riff Raff” released a second album, ‘Stranger Here, Than Over There’. Another good ‘Robfest’ !
2015 – Jam Nights at Middlesex Arms come to a sudden end in November after nearly 8 years. A new Jam Night starts at Harrow Borough FC. Sadly, drummer Mac Poole died in May. Another good ‘Robfest’. “Riff Raff” record a second album, ‘Stranger Here, Than Over There’. Due for release next year.
2014 – The popular Thursday Jam Nights continue. Robfest was a success. “Riff Raff” continue to work on their own material, with a view to a possible follow up to ‘Hands On’.
2013 – Jam Nights still going well and another great Robfest. “Riff Raff” kick around some more own material.
2012 – Jam Night still going strong ! Rob ‘Live’ solo and “Riff Raff” gigs grind to a halt due to a combination of my knees getting bad, gigs/venues getting more scarce and pub landlords not being as amiable/co-operative as they should be ! Another very enjoyable Robfest. “Riff Raff” release ‘Hands On’ ; an album of own material.
2011 – Jam Night still going great guns ! Rob ‘Live’ solo and “Riff Raff” gigs continue to dwindle – sounds like last year ! Another enjoyable Robfest. “Riff Raff” continue recording their album of own material.
2010 – Jam Night still going great guns ! Rob ‘Live’ solo and “Riff Raff” gigs continue to dwindle, not helped by the recession. An enjoyable MooseFest ( re-named this year in honour of Rosie’s 50th ) takes place. Booted out of ‘MOT’ due to self appointed leadership getting ‘too big for their boots’ ! Work starts on two new recording projects : A solo CD and a “Riff Raff” album of own material.
2009 – Jam Nights continue and become increasingly popular with excellent attendances. A number of Rob ‘Live’ solo gigs take place but “Riff Raff” gigs are still a bit thin on the ground. Robfest enjoys a 4th year, becoming ever more popular. The Jam Night house band, more or less, secures a series of gigs at The Eastcote ( Arms ) under the name of ‘MOT’.
2008 – New Jam Night at The Middlesex Arms starts on 20th March. Gigs continue with “Riff Raff” and Rob ‘Live’ solo gigs, although pretty thin on the ground. The 3rd Annual Robfest goes ahead and is well attended and seemed to be enjoyed by all concerned. The highlights can be enjoyed over and over again thanks to the ‘Riff Raff Live at Robfest 2008’ CD and DVD set. Solo gigs include The Black Horse in Greenford, The Three Horseshoes in Seer Green and The Oaks in West Hyde.
2007 – The Monday Jam Night at Daly’s came to an abrupt end on 5th February. A new location was found, and Jam Night continues every Thursday night at The Star, South Harrow. The 2nd Annual ‘Robfest’ takes place. Busy Christmas / New Year period with a solo gig and playing with the ‘Riff Raff’ boys. Jam Night at The Star ended on 13th December due to dwindling attendances. Is the smoking ban having an adverse effect ?
2006 – Embarks on a live solo project. Doing a few solo gigs with backing tracks at a couple of venues. Participation with ‘Riff Raff’, and the Jam Nights continues! Launch of ‘Robfest’.
2005 – Joined the Jam Night house band in April. Performing on Mondays at The Rayners until it’s closure in January 2006. The Jam Night then moved to Sam McGuire’s in Wealdstone for two weeks only (don’t ask), and then on to Daly’s, also in Wealdstone on the High Street.
2002 – Joined ‘Riff Raff’, who are currently back on the functions scene, albeit very occasionally. ‘Riff Raff’ are me (lead guitar/vocals), Ian Andrews (vocals/rhythm guitar), John Kempton (bkg. vocals/lead guitar), Darryl Godfrey (harmonica/percussion), Pete Atkins (bass), and Derek Lydiatt (drums).
1995 – Formed ‘Scorched Air’ which later became ‘Masquerade’ after more personnel changes. ‘Scorched Air’ were myself (guitar/vocals), Ally Moody (bass), MT (vocals/rhythm guitar), and Dean (drums). ‘Masquerade’ were myself (guitar/vocals), Mark Chudley (vocals/guitar), Viv Broughton (bass), and Carl Horner (drums).
1990-1993 – Played in ‘Free Beer’, featuring Mark Hand (drums), Ally Moody & Viv Broughton (bass), Dave Mann (lead guitar), and Andrea Neville (rhythm guitar). We used to practice at Greenford Hall ‘cos Mark lived there! Gigs were occasional and ‘functions’ mainly.
1989 – ‘West Five’ become ‘Guess’ which was destined to go through numerous personnel changes before finding the definitive line-up. ‘West Five’ was an interim band name adopted in a bit of a hurry for the up-and-coming Walpole Festival gig in Walpole Park, Ealing back in the summer of ’89. This was the first time I’d fronted a live band in public! The line-up at that time was me (guitar/vocals), Little Al (Bass), Dave LeBeau (keyboards/drums), Graham Marks (guitar/drums), and Sue (vocals). The name ‘Guess’ was chosen in a pub near Kew bridge a couple of weeks later. There were line-up changes around this time too. The definitive ‘Guess’ line-up was eventually me (guitar/vocals), Russel White (vocals/rhythm guitar), Little Al (bass), Dave LeBeau (keyboards/vocals), and Peter Kennewell (drums).
1980’s – Guested with functions band ‘Total Eclipse’ before fronting ‘West Five’ ‘Total Eclipse’ consisted of Bob Fletcher (guitar/vocals), Alan Pitts (bass), and Charlie Irvine (drums).
1976 – Picked up a guitar for the first time. Got a nosebleed! How? Well, I was at my mate Dave’s one day, when he pulled out a guitar with a bright yellow body. And so, he invited me to bung it over my shoulder and have a fiddle about with it, which I did. Now, bearing in mind I didn’t really know one end of a guitar from another at this time, Dave took it upon himself to show me a few basic chords, swinging round in the process and catching me full on in the nose! That shiny yellow body (the guitar’s) got covered in claret!
Well that’s just about it !
Any late items of news can be found on
the Home page …
… so it’s ‘Goodnight from me’ …
…and it’s ‘Goodnight from him’ !
( Up-dated 18/12/2016 )