This talented singer from Cardiff booked my studio and I happened to drop by during his session. I liked his voice and character very much and started work! We recorded an album, on Universal and available from Amazon now. Joshua suffers from Cystic Fibrosis but climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the CF Trust. He also wrote a song about his achievement and it became his first single. His fans were able to see him perform 'live' on 'This Morning'. His photo calendar was one of the top selling of the year!
'Never Gonna be Lonely' video.
Filmed and Edited by Emma Holbrook. Produced by John Ratcliff and Cecilia Welch
Tom is a great Singer/Songwriter and hails from Somerset. He asked me to arrange and produce his guitar based songs and the result was very pleasing. He is great 'live' too!
I was lucky enough to be judging a South West 'Battle of the Bands' with Michael Eavis as it meant I would see and hear a terrific young Ska band called 'The Mirettes'. Their ages ranged from 14 to 18 and they were the easy winners of the competition. Afterwards I said I would like to be involved in their 'hobby', and we set about recording the numbers I felt were the strongest, both live and in the studio. I took the role of Executive Producer, with my engineer at the time, Mark Chamberlain, looking after the technical side. They played some great gigs, the highlight of which was the Glastonbury Festival, at Michael Eavis's Thursday night opener for special VIPs, See below! You can't help but feel good, listening to their set!
Winning the Battle of the Bands
Working with Daniel Ryan really was a great experience. His voice and melodies are something special and this track 'Italian Food' was great fun to produce.
Another talented young man, Jake has a real style of his own and his songs caught my ear after he sent me a CD of demos. I enjoyed arranging and producing 'I Will Run' and I think Jake's vocal has a unique quality to it.
In 2006, I was fortunate enough to meet Robin Cannon. His daughter was in the same class as my younger son, Tom, at Millfield School in Somerset. Robin had a lot of ideas but needed a collaborator to take things upwards and onwards. The result was an album 'Eclectic City' of which I am proud. We used John Giblin on bass and Stuart Elliot on drums, who are both members of Kate Bush's band, with Doug Boyle (Robert Plant & Nigel Kennedy) on guitar, plus a great brass section.
Robin has a unique vocal delivery and I assisted with literally hundreds of backing vocals on all the choruses. The writing credits were solely with ourselves. We mastered the album at Abbey Road and had the album sleeve designed and drawn especially by Darrell Warner. 'Eclectic City' took 4 months to make and has been likened to Pink Floyd and Steely Dan in various musical aspects.
Mark Chamberlain was a masterful engineer.
(L to R) Robin, Stuart, John G, JR
'Tobermory' was the first band project I became involved with after moving to Somerset from London. The lead singer and main writer, Nick Parker, ran a music shop with Mark Stidson, lead guitar and co-writer, called Jaywalk. I had gone in to buy some guitar strings and after asking Nick what the band scene was like in the South West, he gave me a CD which I took to my car and played. The song 'After All' blared out and I was hooked. Over the next couple of years we recorded nine tracks and the band played many gigs and their audience grew. I'll never know why they didn't get a deal with a Major label - however the year was 2004 and massive cutbacks in the industry meant that few A&R men had the balls to sign anyone at all!
I was called in 2004 by a husky voiced lady who was a Tarot reader. She said she would like to record a Tarot narrative as her clients wished that they could understand more about her knowledge of the ancient art. We met and I suggested that it might be more captivating if there was a music score behind her voice, to enhance the power of what she was saying. Thus began a major project for me, producing a Trilogy covering Tarot, Palmistry and Crystals. And the mammoth task of writing 5 hours worth of background music. However it also launched her career and aside from her lectures and talks around the country I was able to get her a regular slot on the 'Steve Wright Show' on BBC Radio 2 where she gives out astrological forecasts to listeners. She has also written a book called 'The Major Arcana'. The trilogy of CDs and her book are all available on Amazon.