PERSONAL MUSICAL HISTORYPAGE 5 OF 6
Fall '82-End of '83: A year of musical decline. Contracts have expired, frustration sets in and I have to find a day-job. Fortunately it's with a Theatre and Dance Company, Chalwai! Kendell Smith (Poet/Actor) is the cool & talented guy running the project and an interesting time is had by all for one year. I find acting tough, all those lines of dialogue to learn, it's not bloody easy, but it also turns out to be a lot of fun! We do some community work, perform two original productions, a musical/dance piece 'Celebration' and a satirical play by John Vernon about Hollywood's 'treatment' of Edgar Allen Poe's ouvrage 'The Strange Facts....' After the year is over, Lynda and I have become good friends with Kendell and record a couple of tracks, Toots Hibberts 'Pressure Drop/Style & Fashion' at Woodbine with Rick Medlock on drums. (Kendell goes on to record 'Time Is Running Out' with The Mad Professor for his Ariwa label and much later features on 'Todays Specials' for Virgin with a newly reconstituted Specials ') - Shortly after all of this Lynda and I fly to Kos with good friends Martin & Sue for a long overdue holiday!
'84 - '86. My next diversion is running Coventry Music Workshops at Holyhead Youth Centre and other venues around Coventry and outlying areas with Matt Backer, 'Aitch' Bembridge, Chris Christie & Mark Yakes. This is known as the 'Coventry Youth Support Team' and is co-ordinated and put together by Phil Dunn. This turns out to be quite rewarding but sometimes could also be a headache (imagine four 10 year old kids 'expressing themselves' with a guitar and a 50w amp!) At the end of it's course, a recording of some of the people who attended is made on a Tascam Portastudio by Peter Every. The annoying aspect of the Music Workshops is after we have successfully 'piloted' the scheme, musicians from outside of Coventry are deemed necessary to continue this work.
Pete & I record 'Global Network' under the name 'Neo' as a cassette release. This (musical bricolage) is well received and voted cassette of the year by Staalplaat in Holland. Our other extra-curricular project is 'Art/Noise' group 'The Urban Terrorists' this line-up also includes Gary Hodge (bass) & Glenn McCalla (who sadly dies at an early age). We play a handful of gigs, record two tracks at Cabin Studio and one at the Holyhead Youth Centre, where we also shoot a 'tasteful' video, for Coventry Cable. Before that we make another video for CCMC for the song 'Watchout!'. See this on youtube (The recorded output is a little 'tame' compared to the live performances). There is talk and offers of gigs in Holland but ultimately nothing develops, I'm drinking too much for my own good, entropy ensues and we finally go our own ways. These two projects recharge the creative batteries for awhile and a much needed sense of playfulness is once again invoked, but the question soon nagging at the forefront of my mind is "what the fuck do I do now?" > Baptism of Fire (1.9mb)
Temporarily supervise YTS (Youth Training Scheme) 'Painting & Decorating' is not quite what I envisaged the answer to be. C'est la vie ! Anyway this lasts for only 3-4 months (a good job too, as I am completely useless at paper-hanging) and it's more about trying to motivate young people than passing on my limited skills. '86-'88. Next is supervising YTS Design & Print, I feel a little more comfortable in this capacity and spend about a year doing this particular job. The gang there produce their own monthly magazine 'Searchlight' and design & print stuff for the local community. There's not much music produced during this time but I'm beginning to learn about MIDI sequencing and I buy my second computer, the Atari 1024 and a Sampler. Shortly after that I start learning how to use Steinberg Pro-24.
'89 - '93. I start work on an initiative to learn teachers and pupils how to use the computers they have at one school whilst providing technical knowledge and support at another. The only reason I mention this is that it means I'm now getting a lot more familiar with computers in a much broader way, getting to grips with technical issues and learning about wide and varied applications. (The pupils are generally great and I find some of the teachers are really nice but others are complete and utter cynics or have an exaggerated sense of their own importance and fuck me around for their own perverse enjoyment. Some are vile and openly racist)
'94-'99. Around about this time I continue to work on varied musical projects with Mark Osborne. (lobster men/iceberg) Also I start getting some work providing music for corporate videos. (strictly for the cash)
(To be continued) Kevin Harrison. © 2004 - 2006
Photos: top to bottom: Kendell Smith '83 by Tony Bodinar • Pete Every - unknown • Kevin 2005 by Rick Medlock