Today’s Featured Artist – INTERVIEW – Skidders

Tell us about:

Your latest single you have released:

I released “Aunty Bulgaria” from my latest album, “Friends & Family Vol. 2” on 15th January this year. It’s a rock instrumental, dedicated to a nurse friend but also all the NHS heroes. I was really happy with the end result of this track – I got the sound just as I wanted and was very pleased with its composition.

Your first single and how you felt when it was released:

My first single was also a rock instrumental called “Baggies Battle Cry”, I worked hard at getting it promoted pre-release and was hoping for chart entry, as it was being being promoted by a football club. If you get 30,000 at a game and half purchase, hey presto a chart entry. Unfortunately, I misjudged the frugalness of football supporters! At least it was a foot on the ladder.

Your favourite song that you have created that is an album track:

I really like “Aunty Bulgaria” off my latest album, but “I Wonder” from the same album trumps it. I wrote it for my wife and not being able to sing “serious” songs, I drafted Cotswold’s legend Andrew James to sing. It’s also got a really nice video on YouTube which fits the songs perfectly, as a love song.

Your favourite song to play live:

“Baggies Battle Cry” is great to play live. You can really crank things up and there are lots of power chords. Although I don’t put a live band together too often, it’s one everyone enjoys. I even got my partner in the duo “Bukechi” to sing some lyrics on a version of this song. Incidentally, you can check out Bukechi on Apple Music etc – look for the album “Welcome to Suburbia”.

Your most emotional track:

“I Wonder” for sure, although my latest and previous album were both dedicated to friends and family members, past and present. A song on my last album “Friends & Family” called “Lotus Flower” is a close call as it was dedicated to a lovely lady, sadly no longer with us. Of course, all tracks dedicated to those no longer with us are particularly emotional, but “I Wonder” and “Lotus Flower” top them.

The best lyric you have ever written:

Firstly, I should say 95% of my tracks are instrumental, as I cannot sing serious songs. Sure, I’ve done a few touch-in-cheek songs, but nothing serious like “I Wonder”. So as not to be boring, I’ll say the best lyrics I’ve written were for “Just Boozin’” on my first album. Basically, it’s me drinking too much with the female vocals replying with complaints of my intoxication. The lady singer is actually my wife and it does actually reflect true life! She did a great job of the vocals. There’s a humorous video of this on YouTube with incredibly poor lip sync.

Describe the feeling you get when you walk on stage to do a show:

It depends on the event and venue. The first time I walked onto the stage at the Cavern in Liverpool, for me it was a religious experience. Also playing the Forum in Kentish Town was fabulous – proper rock & roll. We had our own changing room with our own fridge full of Budweiser; dry ice on stage etc. Of course these events, you feel on top of the world when you get on stage.

The antithesis of this is playing a festival at the end where there’s hardly anyone left. That can be a little soul destroying and can end up more of a rehearsal sadly. Still, all in all, getting on that stage and hitting that first note is always an amazing feeling.

The hardest track to play live:

Technically, I’ve not played it live, but “Monday is Calling” from my latest album would be the hardest. I have to admit, it took several takes to get right and to play perfectly the whole track live would be difficult to say the least. I would not want to do a cut down version of this track as I am particularly proud of it.

Logistically, either of the two “masala” tracks would be near impossible without Indian Bhangra backing. So neither have I played this live. I will not play with a “hard disk” as they call it.

To be honest, I try and challenge myself live, but leave out anything that would not sound great.

Essential items you always take on tour with you?

My own pillow, MacBook, iPad, iPhone, charger and gear! What more do you need?

Describe your fans in three words:

Loyal, discerning, fantastic!

A song by another artist or band you wish you had written:

“Alright Now” by Free. Perfect rock; amazing guitar for the time. Timeless!

What we can look forward to from your band this year:

I am still in promotion mode for my latest album and my next and 4th album “Feckem Hall”, I do not plan to release for around 3 years. We are moving home, so I may be limited as to what I can and can’t do in 2022. I’ll be gigging with my lovely Bukechi partner, Sammi Roberts née Houston and also doing session guitar work for a writer called Kylolus who is putting together a pro-rock album.

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