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BILLY MITCHELL REPLIES TO YOUR QUESTIONS

 
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Bob
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:21 pm    Post subject: BILLY MITCHELL REPLIES TO YOUR QUESTIONS  Reply with quote

Billy's Q&A replies are here, hot off the press.  

Many thanks to Billy for taking the time to do this, it's very much appreciated.


Touring with Bob Fox

Initially I wasn’t sure about the collaboration with Bob, but it soon became obvious that it was going to work well, and we were both going to have a good time.  After thirty years of being acquainted, but not really knowing each other, Bob and I found that we are very alike in lots of ways, not least in our liking for the music, the red wine and the craic.
Yes we will be out on the road again in Autumn 2009.  The plan is to record a new B&B album in the summer, and then get out and sell you CDs in Sept/Oct.


Yorkshire Anthology

This was an interesting project taken on by Ray, Bob and me.  The plan was to arrange ‘modern’ versions of Yorkshire ‘folk songs’, and lay down backing tracks with a view to the final vocal being performed by a singer or singers from Yorkshire.  Dave Burland was first choice for this, but as Dave had recently been bereaved, his participation was put on hold.  Bob and I sang guide vocals and the tracks are now in the vault at MWM. We had some fun doing it and came up with some good stuff, no doubt the dust will be blown off them sometime in the future, and they will surface in some form or other


Joining Lindisfarne

I think I’ve said this before: I had no hesitation in joining the band, and never regretted my decision to do so.  All members of the band wanted to continue after Alan died and they thought I would be the one to help to do this.  We played for about eight years, recorded a few albums, some fans liked it, some didn’t, that’s life.  Reunion very unlikely, tribute gig has been done……….end of story.


Jack the Lad

I had been playing in ‘rock’ bands since I was fifteen, when in 1969, I discovered ‘The Wheatsheaf  Folk Club’.  This was a place you could go to with just an acoustic guitar, play anything you wanted to play, recite a poem, stand on your head and drink a bottle of Brown Ale…………………have a good time.  And I wasn’t the only one, Ralph McTell, Billy Connelly, Jasper Carrott, Alan Hull, Jerry Rafferty, Rab Noakes, Bretheren, and a squillion others were doing their thing in folk clubs all over the country.  

So, when Rod decided to leave JTL, I suggested Phil Murray as a replacement cos I knew he had the same sort of musical history with early rock bands, and Hedgehog Pie.  We went to see Phil play with the Hedgepigs, Walter was playing fiddle, and Ray, Si, and me just thought we could make beautiful music together (not in the biblical sense).  Folk Rock with more emphasis on the rock and some smart laffs thrown in just cos we wanted to.  We thought we would start with some trad. songs from the North East cos they were there, and they were good, and it saved us writing any new ones just for now.

So, ‘The Old Straight Track’ was a venture into the unknown, in a minimalist acoustic sort of way, which totally threw Hugh Murphy, our producer, who had produced the first album, and probably expected something similar to follow………..how wrong can you be.   JTL now had it’s own musical identity, away from the Lindisfarne comparison we had been subjected to since the bands conception.  Charisma was happy enough with the direction the band was taking, so off we went to have some fun.


JTL Gigs

I guess the romantic version would be; waking up in somebody’s bed with rose petals strewn over you, but of course the fitting scenario after a JTL gig is exactly as you describe: in somebody’s flower bed, with rose thorns embedded in your arse………….how apt.

Unlikely reunion…..do we have the patience, audience, energy, memory?


Career

Not a word I would use to describe stumbling, usually by accident, from one musical situation to another, with a bit of comedy in between, but I have enjoyed, and still enjoy all of it.


Instruments
Peter Cook 6 string acoustic parlour guitar.
Peter Cook 6 string acoustic Dreadnought guitar.
Guild 12 string J230 A07 acoustic guitar.
Fender Telecaster.
Washburn Mirage Deluxe Blue 6 string guitar.
Washburn Mirage Deluxe Natural 6 string guitar (Nashville strung).
Fender Musicmaster bass.
Ffylde flatback peardrop mandolin.
Ozark 5 string G Banjo.


Influences

So many. Here’s some I remember, in no particular order:
Buddy Holly
The Beatles
Muddy Waters
Ray Davies
The Dubliners
Alan Hull
James Taylor
Randy Newman
Ray Laidlaw
Rod Clements
Warren Zevon
Bob Dylan


Simon Cowe

We had just signed a new record deal with United Artists and were under some pressure to get the album written and recorded.  During an extended writing and demo session at Mrs. Dartboards farmhouse in Devon, Si was going through some personal problems, and the sessions were very ‘stop/start’ with Si rarely contributing.  Eventually the whole thing was abandoned and we all went home.  Recording time was booked and we had to go ahead without Si.

It was a ‘sticky’ time for all of us, hearts ruling heads on one side, and visa versa.  I was the biggest culprit in pushing for ‘business as usual’, which caused Si to leave the band… a regrettable decision for all, as JTL was never the same again.  Lucky for me, Si never held a grudge, and we have remained firm friends.

The ‘Jackpot’ album sleeve had already been designed. In place of Si’s photo, we substituted a pic of the back of our roadie, John Blackburns head, just after he had a perm. (which made his head look like a blackberry)  The things you do for love…..


Pacamax

Playing what you want, where, and when you want, having a good time, no pressure. That’s the way it should be, and that’s what Pacamax set out to be.  Everybody had a say in what songs we played, a flexible line-up…….I think everyone enjoyed it for what it was. I thought the live album was good, well done Micky Sweeney.

There were more songs recorded that night at The Maggie Bank, one of which, I remember was ‘Tracks of my Tears’, a showstopper usually, but I think we f**ked it up that night, so it didn’t make it onto the album.

As far as future Pacamax performances, I think we have been doing just that with the Hull Story line-up, the Sunday for Sammy Band, Teenage Cancer Trust Band etc. and that’s about enough.


Songwriting

Not my strong suit. A very patchy effort in the lifetime song writing stakes.  Started with my old mate Vince, back in Callies days, and we came up with a couple of things that were ok. It was all down to ‘if Alan Hull can do it, let’s give it a go’.  Not as easy as we thought…..Hully had a gift, we tried quite hard.  I still have to try hard, songwriting doesn’t come naturally to me, it’s a blank sheet of paper and a lot of work.
I always need pushing to write stuff, a commission with a definite subject, and a deadline, is always a help.

It took nearly a year to write and record ‘The Devil’s Ground’ album.
Words always suggest tunes to me. I’ve never had the problem of, lots of lyrics but no tunes, it’s always the other way round.

‘Born at the right Time’ seems to be a favourite with most people, and I remember being really chuffed about it, as it was the first song I’d written in decades, and it made it onto a Lindisfarne album.  Dave Denholm and I were doing a lot of front room playing at the time, and his 12 string guitar playing really brought the song to life.  Ian Thomson played a three to the bar bass line when we recorded it, and that made the whole thing work for me.

I felt that my songs on ‘Promenade’ were sort of oddball compared with the rest of the album, a bit left field, almost in the way Si’s songs were on the early albums. It wasn’t deliberately done that way, it’s just that they were the songs which Nigel Stonier decided to use.


Happy or Not

The Happy Birthday Dad, dad seems to be happy, but maybe that’s because he has forgotten how to remember to be sad, and what was it he was sad about anyway…he can’t quite remember, but he thinks he will be going home soon, even though he’s well looked after here, and visitors are always welcome, not that they come very often, well who can blame them, he doesn’t know who they are half the time……


Fantasy Band

John Lennon guitar, George Harrison guitar, Paul McCartney bass, Ringo Starr drums, Billy Preston keys.
Opening song. Get Back
Encore. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.


Sharing a stage with

As above.


What to do, apart from sing

I think I would have liked to be an actor.  I know I do panto and stuff, but that’s just larking about, having a good time, not proper acting.  But then proper actors always say “don’t act, just be yourself ” so maybe I could get into this acting lark, maybe playing the old bloke who becomes aperplexic and screams at the TV every time a slimy, over-sincere politician appears, telling lies, and more lies……………yes, that would be just being myself.


Canada

I was living in Vancouver, had a steady day job…..not too taxing.  I was also playing in a multi-racial folk group, two Scots, an Irishman and me. We played the ex-pat club scene and all the Irish bars in Vancouver.  All was well, Meg and I had been back to England for Xmas cos we’d been a bit homesick. That was when Ray told me about Lindisfarne splitting after the Japan tour, and would I join the band to play live gigs as Alan wanted to be off the road to write….would I ???

Back to Vancouver in January not able to tell anyone……………….just as well, February, Ray visits from Japan, plans have changed……..the band is staying together. Oh well, never mind, ’The Crofters’ Scots/Irish/Geordie folk group is doing fine, the job is ok, Canada’s not a bad place to be.

April 1st the phone rings in the middle of the night…it’s Si on the phone from London…..plans have changed again, do I want to join with him, Ray and Rod to form a new band?…………………I’m on my way…


Charisma

Jack the Lad was with Charisma for the first three albums.  The Charisma team did everything for the band, ..management, agency, and record company.

After the third album, ‘Rough Diamonds’ there was a distinct cooling towards the band from the ‘young guns’ at Charisma.  We weren’t playing the kind of stuff  that they were into, there was a change in the air, the London ‘pub band’ circuit seemed to be the thing with bands like ‘Bees make Honey’, and ‘The Kursaal Flyers’, becoming flavour of the month.

Our publisher, Barbara Hayes, started looking for a recording deal, management, and agency, and came up with all three. So we said farewell to Charisma, joined United Artists and the rest is hysterical.


Songs we never played

I remember during a weeks gigs at Ronnie Scotts in Birmingham, we decided to try out some new (old) songs on an afternoon rehearsal.  I don’t think we had really started writing anything new for the band, so we were still trawling through the back catalogue of songs (mostly Alans) for something else to play.  I always liked ‘Soho Square’ so we set about trying to cobble together something for that night.  Marty Craggs was sitting in the auditorium, changing the reed on his sax, or maybe just sitting there so he didn’t have to be on stage with us, (things weren’t altogether friendly at that time) and after our first attempt at ‘Soho Square’, Marty said something like  “sounds like a bunch of old jazzers”……… I think that might have been the first time Ian Thomson threatened to knock his f**king head off…..

Ahhh happy days, we never did play ‘Soho Square’…probably just as well.
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emma louise crouchley



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:32 pm    Post subject: Re: BILLY MITCHELL REPLIES TO YOUR QUESTIONS Reply with quote

appreciated.


Touring with Bob Fox

Initially I wasn’t sure about the collaboration with Bob, but it soon becameAnthology[/u][/b]

This was an interesting project taken on by Ray, Bob and me.  The plan was to arrange ‘modern’ versions of Yorkshire ‘folk songs’, and lay down backing tracks with a view to the final vocal being performed by a singer or singers from Yorkshire.  Dave Burland was first choice for this, but as Dave had recently been bereaved, his participation was put on hold.  Bob and I sang guide vocals and the tracks are now in the vault at MWM. We, play anything you wanted to play, recite a poem, stand on your head and drink a bottle of Brown Ale…………………have a good time.  And I wasn’t the only one, Ralph McTell, Billy Connelly, Jasper Carrott, Alan Hull, Jerry Rafferty, Rab Noakes, Bretheren, and a squillion others were doing their thing in folk clubs all over the country.  

So, when Rod decided to leave JTL, I suggested Phil Murray as a replacement cos I knew he had the same sort of musical history with early rock bands, and Hedgehog Pie.  We went to see Phil play with the Hedgepigs, Walter was playing fiddle, and Ray, Si, and me just thought we could make beautiful music together (not in the biblical sense).  Folk Rock with more emphasis on the rock and some smart laffs thrown in just cos we wanted to.  We thought we would start with some trad. songs from the North East cos they were there, and they were good, and it saved us writing any new ones just for now.

So, ‘The Old Straight Track’ was a venture into the unknown, in a minimalist acoustic sort of way, which totally threw Hugh Murphy, our producer, who had produced the first album, and probably expected something similar to follow………..how wrong can you be.   JTL now had it’s own musical identity, away from the Lindisfarne comparison we had been subjected to since the bands conception.  Charisma was happy enough with the direction the band was taking, so off we went to have some fun.


JTL Gigs

I guess the romantic version would be; waking up in somebody’s bed with rose petals strewn over you, but of course the fitting scenario after a JTL gig is exactly as you describe: in somebody’s flower bed, with rose thorns embedded in your arse………….how apt.

Unlikely reunion…..do we have the patience, audience, energy, memory?


Career

Not a word I would use to describe stumbling, usually by accident, from one musical situation to another, with a bit of comedy in between, but I have enjoyed, and still enjoy all of it.


Instruments
Peter Cook 6 string acoustic parlour guitar.
Peter Cook 6 string acoustic Dreadnought guitar.
Guild 12 string J230 A07 acoustic guitar.
Fender Telecaster.
Washburn Mirage Deluxe Blue 6 string guitar.
Washburn Mirage Deluxe Natural 6 string guitar (Nashville strung).
Fender Musicmaster bass.
Ffylde flatback peardrop mandolin.
Ozark 5 string G Banjo.


Influences

So many. Here’s some I remember, in no particular order:
Buddy Holly
The Beatles
Muddy Waters
Ray Davies
The Dubliners
Alan Hull
James Taylor
Randy Newman
Ray Laidlaw
Rod Clements
Warren Zevon
Bob Dylan


Simon Cowe

We had just signed a new record deal with United Artists and were under some pressure to get the album written and recorded.  During an extended writing and demo session at Mrs. Dartboards farmhouse in Devon, Si was going through some personal problems, and the sessions were very ‘stop/start’ with Si rarely contributing.  Eventually the whole thing was abandoned and we all went home.  Recording time was booked and we had to go ahead without Si.

It was a ‘sticky’ time for all of us, hearts ruling heads on one side, and visa versa.  I was the biggest culprit in pushing for ‘business as usual’, which caused Si to leave the band… a regrettable decision for all, as JTL was never the same again.  Lucky for me, Si never held a grudge, and we have remained firm friends.

The ‘Jackpot’ album sleeve had already been designed. In place of Si’s photo, we substituted a pic of the back of our roadie, John Blackburns head, just after he had a perm. (which made his head look like a blackberry)  The things you do for love…..


Pacamax

Playing what you want, where, and when you want, having a good time, no pressure. That’s the way it should be, and that’s what Pacamax set out to be.  Everybody had a say in what songs we played, a flexible line-up…….I think everyone enjoyed it for what it was. I thought the live album was good, well done Micky Sweeney.

There were more songs recorded that night at The Maggie Bank, one of which, I remember was ‘Tracks of my Tears’, a showstopper usually, but I think we f**ked it up that night, so it didn’t make it onto the album.

As far as future Pacamax performances, I think we have been doing just that with the Hull Story line-up, the Sunday for Sammy Band, Teenage Cancer Trust Band etc. and that’s about enough.


Songwriting

Not my strong suit. A very patchy effort in the lifetime song writing stakes.  Started with my old mate Vince, back in Callies days, and we came up with a couple of things that were ok. It was all down to ‘if Alan Hull can do it, let’s give it a go’.  Not as easy as we thought…..Hully had a gift, we tried quite hard.  I still have to try hard, songwriting doesn’t come naturally to me, it’s a blank sheet of paper and a lot of work.
I always need pushing to write stuff, a commission with a definite subject, and a deadline, is always a help.

It took nearly a year to write and record ‘The Devil’s Ground’ album.
Words always suggest tunes to me. I’ve never had the problem of, lots of lyrics but no tunes, it’s always the other way round.

‘Born at the right Time’ seems to be a favourite with most people, and I remember being really chuffed about it, as it was the first song I’d written in decades, and it made it onto a Lindisfarne album.  Dave Denholm and I were doing a lot of front room playing at the time, and his 12 string guitar playing really brought the song to life.  Ian Thomson played a three to the bar bass line when we recorded it, and that made the whole thing work for me.

I felt that my songs on ‘Promenade’ were sort of oddball compared with the rest of the album, a bit left field, almost in the way Si’s songs were on the early albums. It wasn’t deliberately done that way, it’s just that they were the songs which Nigel Stonier decided to use.


Happy or Not

The Happy Birthday Dad, dad seems to be happy, but maybe that’s because he has forgotten how to remember to be sad, and what was it he was sad about anyway…he can’t quite remember, but he thinks he will be going home soon, even though he’s well looked after here, and visitors are always welcome, not that they come very often, well who can blame them, he doesn’t know who they are half the time……


Fantasy Band

John Lennon guitar, George Harrison guitar, Paul McCartney bass, Ringo Starr drums, Billy Preston keys.
Opening song. Get Back
Encore. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.


Sharing a stage with

As above.


What to do, apart from sing

I think I would have liked to be an actor.  I know I do panto and stuff, but that’s just larking about, having a good time, not proper acting.  But then proper actors always say “don’t act, just be yourself ” so maybe I could get into this acting lark, maybe playing the old bloke who becomes aperplexic and screams at the TV every time a slimy, over-sincere politician appears, telling lies, and more lies……………yes, that would be just being myself.


Canada

I was living in Vancouver, had a steady day job…..not too taxing.  I was also playing in a multi-racial folk group, two Scots, an Irishman and me. We played the ex-pat club scene and all the Irish bars in Vancouver.  All was well, Meg and I had been back to England for Xmas cos we’d been a bit homesick. That was when Ray told me about Lindisfarne splitting after the Japan tour, and would I join the band to play live gigs as Alan wanted to be off the road to write….would I ???

Back to Vancouver in January not able to tell anyone……………….just as well, February, Ray visits from Japan, plans have changed……..the band is staying together. Oh well, never mind, ’The Crofters’ Scots/Irish/Geordie folk group is doing fine, the job is ok, Canada’s not a bad place to be.

April 1st the phone rings in the middle of the night…it’s Si on the phone from London…..plans have changed again, do I want to join with him, Ray and Rod to form a new band?…………………I’m on my way…


Charisma

Jack the Lad was with Charisma for the first three albums.  The Charisma team did everything for the band, ..management, agency, and record company.

After the third album, ‘Rough Diamonds’ there was a distinct cooling towards the band from the ‘young guns’ at Charisma.  We weren’t playing the kind of stuff  that they were into, there was a change in the air, the London ‘pub band’ circuit seemed to be the thing with bands like ‘Bees make Honey’, and ‘The Kursaal Flyers’, becoming flavour of the month.

Our publisher, Barbara Hayes, started looking for a recording deal, management, and agency, and came up with all three. So we said farewell to Charisma, joined United Artists and the rest is hysterical.


Songs we never played

I remember during a weeks gigs at Ronnie Scotts in Birmingham, we decided to try out some new (old) songs on an afternoon rehearsal.  I don’t think we had really started writing anything new for the band, so we were still trawling through the back catalogue of songs (mostly Alans) for something else to play.  I always liked ‘Soho Square’ so we set about trying to cobble together something for that night.  Marty Craggs was sitting in the auditorium, changing the reed on his sax, or maybe just sitting there so he didn’t have to be on stage with us, (things weren’t altogether friendly at that time) and after our first attempt at ‘Soho Square’, Marty said something like  “sounds like a bunch of old jazzers”……… I think that might have been the first time Ian Thomson threatened to knock his f**king head off…..

Ahhh happy days, we never did play ‘Soho Square’…probably just as well.[/quote]
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emma louise crouchley



Joined: 06 Mar 2011
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Location: no

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:41 pm    Post subject: run for home Reply with quote

hi there is there any live dates for your next performence can you please let me know and i can put the dates in my diary also i am partiseing run for home on you tube and i need help on ghost in blue sude shoes as well. on sundays at the hallgarth can you play there or not is there a cd on back on city road when is it out i would like a copy of it if that is possiable.



thanks


Emma Crouchley

xxxx
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Kirsty



Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 134


Location: Sittin in a sleazey snack bar in whailey bay

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:01 pm    Post subject: Re: run for home Reply with quote

emma louise crouchley wrote:
hi there is there any live dates for your next performence can you please let me know and i can put the dates in my diary also i am partiseing run for home on you tube and i need help on ghost in blue sude shoes as well. on sundays at the hallgarth can you play there or not is there a cd on back on city road when is it out i would like a copy of it if that is possiable.



thanks


Emma Crouchley

xxxx



Maybe Mr Mitchell could do a one off gig doing soho square for forum members!

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