........O.K,Update Here's what's going on "I love it when a plan comes together", don't we all, but it's amazing when you look at how a series of events, ideas and actions, all initially unrelated, result in something that is so fundementally right, you wonder how you never saw it in the first place!
I have always been able to play the piano, it has just been something that I've always done. There were times when I didn't enjoy it, particularly at School, when I had to practice it, there was a time when I was thirteen that I was going to give it up! Fortunately my parents allowed me to go to a new music teacher, Mr Phil Nash, who completely changed my whole attitude to playing. He taught me that it was fun, that people wanted to hear music, that they would come to hear you if you were good. He taught me about the Blues, the Beatles, the Stones, even the Carpenters!!!!! He allowed me to enjoy the piano, and as a result I wanted to practice, and I did.
I found out that I could write music, that I had a good musical ear, that I could sit at a piano and pick out a song I'd heard on the radio. I would accompany singers at concerts, I would play piano in the pub with everyone standing round and yelling their heads off. I've played all over the world, in Bars, Hotels, I've even played on management training courses! I've brought pleasure to a lot of people and had a ball along the way. The thing is, I never thought about it, it was just something I did. When I look back now it seems so blazingly obvious I kick myself for not being able to see it sooner. You see, as you meet people, in groups, in business, at parties, one on one, you find out what they bring to the party, metaphorically. Some people are the natural centre of attention, they're funny, outrageous, they keep things moving, some people are organizers, some are introspective, and so on and so on. You find yourself drawn to people that complement yourself, maybe they're similar to you, you share similar ethics, morals, maybe you aspire to be like them, maybe you like being around people who aspire to be like you, whatever, it doesn't matter how it works, just that it does. Have a look at your friends and acquaintances; you meet through environment and circumstance; whether that's family, work, neighbours etc. But your close friends are all people that you have chosen to develop that friendship with, it's a mutually beneficial dynamic. Ask yourself what you bring to them and what they bring to you that makes you such good Friends. We are social animals and friendship is an essential and wonderful part of being human.
There has been a huge change in my life in the last two and a half years. I t has been an intensely personal experience and I am not so gauche as to inflict my pain on you who have enough of your own already. Suffice to say that certain major life events can leave a hole in your psyche so deep, can throw up so many questions as why you're doing what you're doing, that to climb back on the ladder without addressing these issues seems dishonest, let alone bloody difficult.
A series of random events brought me to California when the band were recording the album. The fact that I recorded Sacrifice and the Celtic Song in two sessions, without really having played them, or been in a recording studio before, didn't surprise me, it was just something I could do. The decision to quit my career as a businessman was also totally random, it felt like tossing a coin, although I was always careful to be able to justify it in logical and reasonable terms at the time. The first 6 months while we recorded the album felt like a holiday, an escape from all the perceived disaster that was my life back in the U.K. However, all the time I was developing as a musician, I was starting to become part of Stirling Brig. The fact that I had to go back to England for 5 months, just when I had finally become part of the music, meant that I had to, for the first time, truly evaluate, What I was, What I was doing and Why I was doing it.
These are questions we rarely, if ever, ask ourselves. It is a particularly uncomfortable experience because it inevitably results in a course of action that is alien to you, let alone friends and relatives.
I used to bring many things to the metaphorical party. I was, and still am, enthusiastic, energetic, open minded. I got along with most people, tried to bring some fun to the experience. I was hardworking, ambitious for success; both in family and in business. Yes I was arrogant at times, complacent at others, sometimes so blindingly unaware of things that were right under my nose I'd make the wrong decision, but all in all, I thought I was a pretty good person, I still do! However, when I looked at what I really brought to the party I was surprised. As I've said, I've played the piano all my life, and quite literally have taken it for granted. But when I stopped focussing on the last 6 years and trying to work out where I went wrong, and started looking at my whole 31 years and focussed on what I did well, what I did that brought me and others pleasure, it was like being hit with a brick!!
Stirling Brig is not just a Pop Group. We are not adolescent adults escaping reality and responsibility on an irrational fantasy. When the 4 of us play, when we lock together, the music that is produced is unlike anything I have ever heard. When people hear us play live they are astounded, they too are blown away by the energy produced. There is no rational explanation for this, it can't be put in a box and quantified or classified. People leave the studio feeling great, I know we do. I am an intrinsic part of this and it feels amazing. I get to do what I do best, what gives me the greatest sensation I have ever experienced, and have the chance to play to as many people as possible, and leave them feeling as good as I do. When I consider this against the questions, What am I, What am I doing and Why am I doing this; for my own personal ethics and morality, I exceed any course of action I have taken in my life to date.
Finally for those of you who have heard the CD "This Way Out", be aware that it was made to capture the essence of our live performance. It gives you an idea of what we are like when we play, but until you hear us live, you will not believe how powerful an experience it is. We are aware that in order to reach our full potential, we have to play to as many people as possible. To that end we are in the process of changing how the music industry operates. Fortunately this requires a series of skill sets such as; Vision, Tenacity, I.T., Business Acumen, all skills that we have spent 10 years in the "Real" World developing. The full plan will be published on this site shortly.
To you who has read this, thank you. If you wish to help us, tell everybody you know about this band, even buy a CD. The more support we get, the sooner we will be playing in your town.