Bands

I Plead IronyI Plead Irony

My main project right now is I Plead Irony, a three piece band consisting of me (Vocals/Bass), Lawrence Arnold (Drums) and Paul McDonald (Guitar).

Formed in 2011 after The Fins decided to take a break. It seemed like the right time to do some things differently. Unlike in The Fins where I was pretty much writing everything, in I Plead Irony we wanted to do our writing more collaboratively as a three piece. I also wanted to get back into singing lead vocals. Everyone had some ideas and because we’d worked together before it was easy and fun to write.

The resulting album “This Statement Is False” was released on the 1st March 2013. We are currently writing material for our second album and playing as many gigs as we can.

Hopefully album number two will be released sometime in 2014.


 

The FinsThe Fins

The Fins began back in 2005 when some friends of mine: Ryan Adger (Vocals) and James Bending (Acoustic Guitar), got together to write and perform some songs. James asked another friend Lawrence Arnold to play drums and then, as they needed a bassist, they asked me. The line up was completed by Paul McDonald a local guitar genius.

To date The Fins have delivered three EPs, a single and an album all recorded and produced by me. Between 2005-2011 The Fins undertook seven UK tours and nearly 200 gigs in all. We even played a festival in Dahab, Egypt. We supported The Fins at Ascot RacecourseSupergrass at Ascot Racecourse in 2009 and went on tour twice with The Rifles as well as supporting Reverend and Makers, Bez, Mani to name but a few.

Some of the more extraordinary gigs have included turning on the Christmas lights in a local high street and as the ‘alternative’ band for a Halloween spectacular for Churches Together. It hasn’t always been without incident either. One of the more crazy and  memorable performances has to be the one that ended with police marksmen shining lasers on the band as they loaded the gear at the end of the night, the result of an overzealous CCTV watcher who couldn’t tell the difference between bass guitar and a Kalashnikov. Fortunately the police could.

All in all possibly one of the hardest working bands I’ve ever been in and a lot of fun!


 

IpanemaIpanema

A few years after joining The Fins in 2006 I also joined Ipanema.

Ipanema were planning to go on tour in France but had recently lost their bassist Gerry Bryant due to work conflicts. Lawrence asked me if I wanted to help out and the rest is history. I had to get up to speed pretty quickly for the tour so I crammed as much of their music into my head as possible and got stuck in. In reality it wasn’t as hard as it could have been as I had already got used to the songs because I had been helping them demo them up for their last record.

After touring in France Wiz (Vocals/Guitar), Lawrence and I set to work on writing for the second record. We also went on a tour of the East Coast of the USA later that year.

Unfortunately upon returning from the states Wiz tragically passed away after collapsing at a band rehearsal, suffering a haemorrhage on the brain stem. Lawrence and I were devastated. In the time that followed we decided that the best way to honour Wiz was to take the demo recordings we had made earlier that year and tidy them up for a final release along with all of Ipanema’s earlier work. We worked hard with Jason from Stakeout Studios and on the 18 January 2008 the simply titled “Ipanema” record was released.

All money raised from the sale of the record goes to the The Forward 4 Wiz trust which was set up in Wiz’s name with new bands in mind. The trust exists to provide advice and support to bands and individual artists, by way of mentoring and training and some financial contribution where it’s needed most.


 

Atomic GardenAtomic Garden

While on tour with Ipanema in France we struck up a friendship with touring pals Atomic Garden. A French band from Clermont Ferrand. I have kept up with Arnaud Mailer (Vocals/Guitar) ever since and have had several guest spots on Atomic Garden’s records. After the release of their album Arco Iris both their drummer and bassist decided to leave the band.

Arnaud asked if Lawrence Paul and I from I Plead Irony would like to fill their shoes for a couple of shows. We jumped at the chance and now are officially part of the band.


 

Random TuftRandom Tuft

Random Tuft is essentially my solo project (although I did drag Lawrence in to starring in one of the videos).

Anything I’ve written that doesn’t quite fit anywhere else goes here. I suppose it is pretty much a video/music project as most of the stuff I have created has then been used for music videos that I have made with my friend Ben Clayton.


 

Unsmoked ShoulderUnsmoked Shoulder

Where it all started. The first band I was ever in. Unsmoked Shoulder began shortly after I taught myself to play guitar. My good friend Chris Newe had recently bought a bass and with the inclusion of Chris Howard on Drums we began our plan to conquer the world! Later on in our musical career we were joined by Lawrence Arnold who put the second guitar icing on the cake.

The name for the band came from Chris Howard’s job in Sainsburys. We were trying to decide what to call ourselves after many failed attempts such as “The Beaver Position” or “Meatstick”. So we thought we’d name the band after the next thing we saw in the supermarket. Which just happened to be an unsmoked shoulder of ham. And so Unsmoked Shoulder was born.

One of the high points for us was winning the battle of the bands at the Tumbledown Dick in Farnborough in 1997.

Unsmoked Shoulder released two EPs and one Album.