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Ricky's History

On this page you will read about Ricky's own music history

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My sweet young life began in Glasgow in December 1968. I was a huge baby weighing over 10 pounds, my mother always jokes  that when I was born all the nurses came to see me and they had to look for a pair of overalls to fit me.
I moved to Cumbernauld at an early age and went through most of my school years there.
 
I was first introduced  to music probably about 4 years old, when every summer my family, grannys, grandpas, aunties, uncles, cousins, lots of family friends, cats, dogs,anybody and anything really were  going  for 4 weeks camping to the beautifull Carradale bay on the Mull of Kintyre. We also had a boat so every night the kids were collecting all the fire wood and would wait for the adults to come home with the boat and  fresh fish. Then we used to  light huge bonfires and eat the fish then  all the guitars would appear and there was an almighty sing song for the rest of the evening helped by a crate or two of eldorado wine.
These holydays went on for years and the best I can remember we were like a band of  gypsies,travelling in old vans and eating anything even wild birds eggs.
What a great youth!
 
My parents bought for me my first set of drumsticks when I was 12 years old and I would drive everybody crazy in the house running around  hitting anything I could get a sound out of .
At that time I was listening to all the punk rock bands especiallly The Clash and the Sex Pistols.
At about 15 years old I bought my first harmonica and started listening a lot to The Pogues and The Waterboys.
From the age of 16 I served a 4 years apprenticeship in a local garage as a car spray painter, also attending various colleges and sitting exams.
During this time I had my first stage appearance.
 It happened one night when I was 18 in my local pub.I was in the toilet and  a band was playing in the bar. I heard them playing a Sex Pistols song so I zipped up and ran out the toilet, jumped over two pool tables, ran on stage pushed  the singer out the way, grabbed the microphone and sang the rest of the song while all my friends jumped and danced crazy about on the floor. The band were so shocked that they just kept playing.
 
My oldest brother is a good guitar player and singer and many times I was finding myself in his room jamming with him with harmonicas and various drums he used to  bring back from festivals.
 
By the age of 20 my desire for better things took me to London where I spent about 3 years restoring classic cars and where every weekend I was going out to see live bands performing and really loved it. Many times I found myself on stage singing with them or playing something.
During this time I met Shane McGowan of The Pogues and Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69 and realized that music stars were not supermen but normal human beings.
 
When I returned back to Scotland I quickly get bored .It was great to go camping all the time, go walking in the mountains and go to all the folk festivals but inside of me something was burning to do something with my life.
So I bought a one way ticket to Australia and met up with one of my brothers there. We travelled for one year backpacking staying in hostels, tents and old caravans. I worked picking bananas and vegetables, cooking in kitchens and doing all sort of jobs and was also playing harmonica in various lively Irish pubs.
 
On returning to Scotland I felt that  I still hadn't found what I was looking for and got another one way ticket to Australia after  saving for few months enough money.
I started working painting yachths and game fishing boats. Soon  I met some Irish musicians and Scottish fiddler John Davidson and  started to get really into traditional scene.At one point  locking myself in a room for one month with a bodhran and a video of The Chieftains and when I came out I said to John: "Now we can go". It wasn't long before we where playing in lots of sessions and  festivals.
By this time I was playing bodhran, bongos and harmonica.
After one year my visa expired and I had to return back to Scotland.
 
 
I stayed in Edinburgh for three long years with John, formed a folk band which was heavily influenced by The Chieftains. We played  lots of gigs, in bars around Edinburgh before bringing in  two fine musicians from Orkney, Neil Dickson and Chris Drever.
After this we were performing  a lot at home and abroad and running weekly sessions in Edinburgh in particluar in The Hebridean pub.
During this time I also co-formed a dance fusion band Celtic Wah Wah with John and Jamie Wilson, another fine musician from Glasgow. As we thought that the traditional scene was getting a bit stale and wanted to try to bring it up to date a bit.
With these bands I played all over Scotland in venues and festivals as T-In The Park, Edinburgh International Festival, Millennium Hogmanay at The Arches (Glasgow) and King Tuts to name some but a few as well as performing for the Norwegian Royal Family  appearing several times on Tv and  radio and working on the music for various theatre companies.
 
Also during this time I had a bad accident crushing my spine and leaving me wearing a huge back brace for almost a year and contemplating  giving up music all together but I was determined to succeed so kept blasting away.
 
The music also took me to  festivals abroad and it was while performing at Festival Celtique in Italy in august 1998 that I met my girlfriend Rosina who was one of the organisers.
 
 For various reasons these bands started to break up which for me was very very sad and it was then in early 2003 that I answered  to an advertisement in a newspaper for a percussionist for a celtic folk band.
The first rehearsal I went to with  this new band the roof of the studio had collapsed so we had to cancell, the second one I got lost on the motorway to our sound man Bones studio and  I began to wonder in which adventure my life was taking me now but after a few frantic phone calls from a service station I finally arrived in the studio and found this group of crazy guys drinking beer and belting out the music.
I started gigging with them and 3 months later one night when we were sitting in an hotel in London, on our way to Denmark,  I was asked to join the band full time. I was very happy to accept and the rest as they say  is history.
 
Now looking back at all the years I'm very happy I got off my arse and went to Australia to find something better in my life which I always knew was there but had't a clue what it was and so with this I found the music and with the music I found my sweetheart Rosina.

Ricky's Own Page

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