I’ve been writing songs and playing in bands since I was 15. I learnt guitar with my best friend Kim and we spent all our spare time listening to music, writing songs and being in a band. We were influenced by Love, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and the Poison Girls. My neighbour let us use her cellar to practice in and her son was our drummer for a few years. We painted the lyrics to ‘Persons Unknown’, a Poison Girls song, across the walls.
A few years later I met Dan at a gig in Manchester and he gave me and a bunch of other people a lift home that night. We played a gig together and then decided to form a band. He got Andy to come play drums and for the next 7 years we were Standard Fare. We played a lot of awful gigs to nobody for many years until a friend of mine sent a demo to Huw Stephens who played us on the radio. He asked us to play a gig in London (which, after much expectation was an anti-climax) and after that I was scared there was nowhere to go next so I sent a load of emails to labels in the north. One of those labels was Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation. Darren emailed me back and basically introduced Standard Fare to the wonderful world of Indiepop. He sent us to 2fly studios in Sheffield, run by Alan Smyth, released our music, helped us get reviewed by blogs and put us in touch with some wonderful promoters across the UK. We were finally playing gigs to nice people with other good bands and promoters who liked us and paid us!
Standard Fare released two albums on Thee SPC and Melodic/BarNone (USA), recorded a Maida Vale session for Huw Stephens, were interviewed by Steve Lamacq live on 6 music, toured the USA, including SXSW, and played gigs across the UK, and in Germany, France, and Spain.
SF parted ways in 2013 amicably and I decided to get involved in as many different music projects as I could. I collaborated with Darren Hayman and Gold-Bears, sang with some of my favourite songwriters, Nat Johnson and Rory McVicar, as Without Feathers, and started a new band called Mammoth Penguins. I also started writing some solo material on the subject of my family which I released as an EP on WIAIWYA.