In 1987 I left Australia and moved to the Isle of Man. It was a move that was
more than half inspired by the romantic notion of living on an island
which had resisted progress and remained charmingly old-fashioned; Manx people
had no need to lock either their cars or their front
doors, there had only been one murder in the past fifty years and the local
papers filled their pages with reports of traffic offences and
charity fund-raising events. It was a place where you made your own
fun, especially through the winter months, and so I returned to
playing music after a long absence.
The folk/rock band
played many pub gigs around the island, some of
them during the busy TT motorcycle racing season. The band consisted of Dawn
Ashton, John Herdman, Peter Woodman and myself.
Strange But True
I was able to experiment with songwriting. After four
years of playing together, which included stand-out gigs at the iconic
(before it was demolished) as well as local festivals - the
and the annual
Big Wheel Blues Festival
- we put together a CD of
our tunes. SBT consisted of George Hughes, Andy Radcliffe, Roger Leece and
with occasional contributions from other local musicians.
Sometime in that decade I was approached by a band who were planning a
Pink Floyd Tribute concert.
Pigs On The Wing
were rehearsing on the top floor of a semi-derelict building
in the main Strand, ambitiously putting together a
show which consisted of playing the whole of
The Dark Side of the Moon.
were terrific young musicians and had no problem reproducing most of the
material, with the exception of the female vocals on
Great Gig in the Sky.
After a couple of experimental rehearsals, I took on the task of performing
Great Gig with them through some memorable TT shows at the Villa Marina, nights
of spectacular lighting effects and huge sound that constitute some of the best
fun I've ever had.