Who is Number 1?
"If Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney had a child this is what he would sound like.
"Beautiful guitar. Fantastic melody. Your a very talented guy Phil. I'm loving your music."
" Love Thats the way it is' great song everyone should check it out"
"Wonderful art of songwriting and performing here Phil:)!"
"some really beautiful songs you have there! Thanks for sharing!"
" Especially like the instrumental guitar work on "Summerisle" and the John Lennon vibe on "Mind and You"
"I really like this guy's voice. VERY real."
"Have a hint of Bob Dylan quality to the first track "That's the Way it Is".
"the Village have a brilliant album that is available to download from iTunes imminently. Get to it cool cats!!"
"Great individual tracks and song writing. Love 'That's The Way It Is'."
"Little Tom Peep...so well sung."
"Listened to your music on Reverbnation.com. Awesome music"
I've loved music for as long as I can remember. I recall feeling a real shiver of excitement when some of my class mates mimed Twist and Shout as part of a school pantomime. From that day on I knew that playing guitar and performing was what I wanted to do.
My first band was formed with some school mates while I was in the sixth form at school we named it Erik Von Sterik and his Ethnic Shuffle Band. The music was a hybrid of English contemporary folk rock and pop music,
Over the years I have played in many different bands playing many different styles of music, from progressive rock with Applause to out-and-out rock and roll with Clip Ballinger and the 78s.
Some of the bands were intended as cover performers only, but even they found space for songs that I had written or co-written.
In 1984 I began a long-running recording project named Lost and Found, before the name was shortened to the initial letters LaF as was the style at the time. All of the LaF the songs were written either by me alone or in conjunction with other creative types.
LaF, only ever intended as a studio outfit, have released half a dozen albums and a single with the great Gavin Monaghan, who has a CV more impressive than most. He includes the likes of Robert Plant, Grace Jones and Courtney Love among his clients.
LaF eventually became a performing band, taking a mix of originals and covers around the local circuit while also preparing a seventh album for release.
By this time I had built up a backlog of songs too many and too varied for the band. The obvious solution was to record these songs for a separate project which I called 'the Village', after the TV show The Prisoner.
With all my LaF bandmates busy, I decided to not only write the songs on my own but also play all of the instruments.
After several months of writing and recording I released the album Welcome to the Village in January 2014. The tracks have been played on over 250 radio stations, and have been downloaded and streamed thousands of times.
I had no intention of performing the songs live until a friend of mine, who had heard the album suggested I went along to a music night that she had organised and played some of them live.
Having always been part of a band it was a strange experience playing on my own for the first time – rather like one of those dreams where you suddenly find yourself naked in front of a large crowd with no real reason, but I soon grew to love doing it and have subsequently played several hundred shows.
I followed up album number one with a second. This one titled Voodoo Skull. I started using more percussion while cutting down on the use of a drum machine, but the album may well be best known for being named after a song that wasn't actually included on it.
Which brings me nicely on to album number three, which took far longer to complete than the gap between the last two paragraphs.
It was titled Carnival of Fools, and yes, the opening track was obviously – Voodoo Skull. By now I had created some hard and fast rules for my recordings, with the main one being that I would only incorporate instruments that I could physically play. Out went the drum machine and in came the cajon (a South American instrument originally from Peru).
This album mixed songs from the archives that had never been recorded previously with a batch of new songs. Two of the songs, “Always On Her Mind” and Secret Garden were picked up by and began a run at he top of the their folk/rock chart which lasted over 2 years.
Always On Her Mind appeared on the cover mount CD that accompanies Rock and Reel magazine as did “Nothing Happens Here”.
All which brings us to the fourth album “Winds of Change”. By now the buzz phrase accompanying my music was “folked up Beatles” - coined by a reviewer of the album, and a pretty good statement of intent I thought.
The album was given a 3 star rating in the review in Rock and Reel, while “Looks Like It's Friday Again.” earned a place on their cover mount CD.
It's been an interesting ride to get this far, and I can only wonder where it will take me next.