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FROM MANCHESTER WITH LOVE

My first band Hulio RidiculoHULIO - BAND EVOLUTION VOLUMES 1,2,3 & 4. Hulio rehearsed 5 days a week for six years down the cellar of the bass player Adam Speakmans house, learning their trade, self taught. Factory Records wanted to sign us, but by the time I found out, it was fifteen years later. Phil Sachs told me after a Man Utd match we met at, that the manager was asking for too much money. This album finally started to come together, when the guitarist from the band Rod Smith, knocked on my door after I had not seen him for years, with a box of Hulio gig and rehearsal tapes. I listened to as much as I could and asked Rod to digitise them. I then tracklisted it and sent it to John Leckie to master. John, ever the gent, obliged. For me, it is akin to The Beatles 'White Album' and deserved a man who worked with The Beatles to have a look at the levels and EQ. Each volume might be available seperately soon in the shop. I can't stop listening to them. Is that because it is me performing live in one of the best Manchester bands that never got signed, or that it is just something very special to me? I don't know. As far as live music goes though, this biblical collection of songs, from a band on the musical ropes of their local gig scene, is as good as it gets. Vol 1 is mostly instruMENTAL Vol 2 is the SONGS Vol 3 is an Arabic, 70's cop, polka, music hall, EXTRAVAGANZA and Vol 4 is the ANTHEMS as the band punk up the volume after six years rehearsing, gigging and giving everything to the gig goers of Manchester and London um and ah men.  

My second band Kid Dynamo. This is the band that Rod Smith, Hulio guitarist and chief songwriter and myself formed after Hulio split up. We did the opposite of Hulio, hardly rehearsed and only did a few gigs in Manchester. We managed to record more though. When the chance came, we turned into One Lady Owner and took the record deal with Creation. Managed by Shaun Ryders dad Derek, who was so busy having top fun with Black Grape's success, he couldn't be bothered getting it to the man. Unpublished.

 
My third band One Lady Owner. Signed by Alan McGee to Creation Records in 1998. 1st single 'I Do Need You' peaked in the UK singles chart at #98. Turned down the first CD:UK because it wasn't rock 'n' roll enough. Undertook 6 toilet tours of the UK with bands like Mansun and Dark Star. Played every major UK festival in 1999. We were also featured in an Omnibus documentary about Creation Records as Alan's latest signing. Deleted a long time ago but soon to resurface on RR. 

My fouth band My Computer. Debut album 'VULNERABILIA' released to nationwide critical acclaim in the UK in 2002. Tracks 1. 'More To Life' 2. 'For Somebody Else' 3. 'No More Dealing'. Crafted by two friends who had turned into enemies by the time they had gone full circle with the music business over two albums. A classic 'Lost' album which appeared in NME's Unspun Heroes column in 2010. Anyone who thinks that Definitely Maybe was the best debut album ever made by a Manchester Band has got it totally wrong. This sold 12,000 vinyl copies in it's first two weeks of release, but was then deleted for schoolboy reasons. Vulnerabilia really has got it all. Rock, Roll, Controversy, Poetry, Heavenly Acoustic and Mesmerising Electric Guitars, Serious Synthplay, Drama, Ecstasy, Highs & Lows, Ups & Downs, Delectable Dance Beats, Punishing Programming, Liquid Audio, Genetically Modified Songwriting, Piano Playing That Coldplay, Can't Play and The Best Singer In The UK, when he is on it. Don't believe me? Here's what the critics had to say when it was released in 2002.

Talent borrows where genius steals? No it doesn't Pablo. Real talent works hard for years and perfects its ability to create, inovate and inspire genius in those that have it in them. (Andy Chester - Hong Kong 2013)

''Vulnerabilia' is the most original debut by a Manchester band since 'Squirrel & G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People..., maybe even 'Unknown Pleasures'... Astounding (Uncut - ***** Sept '02)

'Leaps straight to the head of the queue for the title of album of the year' (Sunday Times - Aug '02)

'A nine minute debut single.  Folk songs fed through computers.  Mike Leigh attitude, Brian Eno sounds.  Tracks which in a second swing from Jeff Buckley to the Prodigy...  You can trust My Computer.  Completely'. (NME - Aug '02)

'On the cusp of brilliance' (The Face - July '02)

''Vulnerabilia' is a sprawling work of utter insanity and small g-genius' (i-D - Aug '02)

'An album of such naive beauty and thought that we may be seeing the birth of a truly spellbinding Mancunian act' (The Fly - July '02)

'Like Muse rewired by Squarepusher via Royksopp...  Electronic music rarely sounds so human' (Seven Update - July '02)

'An oasis of ideas' (Music Week ; 'Recommended' - Aug '02)

My Computer sound like true originals' (The Observer - Aug '02)

''A quite extraordinary debut album...  Vulnerabilia' is a beautiful triumph' (The Times ; Album of the Week - Aug '02)


'Acid-house squelches battle against guitar feedback, distorted proto blues is welded to Air-like synths and Farfisa driven funk...  Chesy has more than earned his stripes(Time Out London - Aug '02)

'A fantastic, stunningly inventive debut album' (Evening Standard ; Album of the Week - Aug '02)

 

The 2nd My Computer album 'No CV' produced by John Leckie. Released to nationwide critical acclaim in the UK in 2005. This record, because of the acclaim of Vulnerabilia and money it yielded, took an agonising three years to finish. It would be the last record I would make with David Luke, who I spent five years with, making both albums, in a damp, subterranean, basement recording studio, on Flixton Rd, Urmston, Manchester. Deleted after selling 5,500 in the first two weeks of release. Owned now by the receivers of GUT who put it out. They offered me the last box of 300 for a pound each. I couldn't afford to buy it. I was GUTted. A seriously futuristic, electronic rock and roll album that appears in John Leckies top 10 albums you must hear before you die in The Quietus. 

 
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The 3rd 'Unplugged' My Computer album 'No Computer' When we had finally finished 'No CV' and been dropped by Universal, because they couldn't open the 5.1 surround sound mix of it we sent them, I took my Taylor Guitar to my sisters caravan in Snowdonia and wrote 17 songs in three days. The love of my life had left me. I was 35 and washed up on the rocks of the music business for the fourth time. I spent the last of my money on beer and a turkey and just let the songs pour out of me. My friend Carl Clements dropped me off and said he would be back in three days to pick me up. It was dark, cold, wet and windy outside that caravan. I went to light the gas fire and the thing blew up in my face. I opened the fridge on Christmas day to get my turkey rocking and the fridge had been turned off since I arrived. That turkey WAS a massive loss. It was gonna keep me in sandwiches until Carl came back to fetch me. I had to ask the owner of the site, who was cooking Christmas dinner for guests in the caravan park pub, for a free Christmas dinner. He obliged me. I left the pub and couldn't find my sisters caravan. I had to sleep under another one. The songs reflect all this and the beer that was drunk. Blues on top of blues. If it is true that all great art stems from great misery, then these songs, are positively picasso. Currently with John Leckie being mixed as the last My Computer album, who has the hard drive of parts recorded with Black Jackson after recording eViL sPaNiSh. 

 
The 4th My Computer Album - eViL sPaNiSh. A couple of years later, after I had made the Good Neighbour album, Carl came to visit me and said that a band from Radcliffe that he knew called Black Jackson, loved No Computer so much they wanted to work with me. Carl told me they were taking some time off from building two consecutive mills for Black Jackson to rehearse in and said he would run me down there everyday to make a record with them. I asked Carl about his job. He looked at me and said "I ******* hate my job" and that was that. Carl picked me up everyday and ran me to Radcliffe. It was a fast record. We made it in three months, which was made possible because some bloke called Pete turned up like the magician in Mr Benns shop and bought ALL his recording gear down to the mill and had asked us, if we minded him recording us. Not at all I said. Pete ended up mixing the album with Rob the guitarist. We also recorded parts for No Computer, because I had the stems from Pete King, who I had recorded No Computer with. Owen from The Captain & The Caveman is currently trying to salvage what he can from the sessions. The only track that has so far survived is 'I Believe' which has just been mastered by John Leckie. eViL sPaNiSh is a straight ahead, balls out, no nonsence rock 'n' roll record. 
 
 
The 5th My Computer album 'Death of a Duo'. Tracks 1. 'If You Never Leave Me' 2. 'Green Eyed Girl' 3. 'One & The Same'. I had stopped paying my rip off sub - prime mortgage, that had been (mis)sold to me and I was sat at my computer, listening to tracks that didn't make the cut of 'No CV'. I realised that there was enough to compile an out-takes album. I let Rob Partridge at Coalition do the tracklist of 'No CV' after he told me he had written the sleeve notes for Bob Marley's Legend album. He also told me he took U2 to Island. Rob had suffered six heart attacks the year I met him and I am pretty sure 'No CV' would have been one of the last albums he ever worked on. He was one of the best music business people I ever met. This is a dark album, with good intentions. Quig from Chrome Bumper Films likes 'Green Eyed Girl' so much he is trying to find a project for it to fit into. He also told me he he is gonna try and make the film of my book. You need things to look forward to in life and what a soundtrack.
 
 
The 6th My Computer album 'SIRENS'. This is the last My Computer album I wrote with Adsinthe between 2010 and 2012. The first single from it will be the title track, which is published by Toolroom Publishing. I have asked Quig to do the video. Will it be a hit? Probably not, but it's worth a punt I reckon. Quig has given all my unpublished albums to Don Robinson at Interscope and he likes them. What does the future have in store for My Computer? Fame at last, or a thing of the past. You decide. I have registered Recreation as a Limited Company in Hong Kong, for the deal I am about to do with a well known and respected online retailer. An unexpected route to market in Hong Kong & Macau and the reason why Recreation is now black, white and clean. 

 The 7th My Computer album 'Regular Money'. Tracks 1. 'Don't Look Back' (slight return) 2. 'Break Free' 3. 'Both My Parents Went To Hell' 4. 'French' 5. 'Never Rely On A man For Money' 6. 'Buddah' - This mini album is yet to be finished. It was written mostly with Black Jackson after we finished eViL sPaNiSh, but Never Rely On A Man For Money was actually the last song I recorded with David Luke before My Computer Mark 1 ran out of petrol. Buddah was written in 5 minutes with Adsinths mate Sam in their Moston home in Manchester, a day before I left the UK for Hong Kong. Mastered in 2015 by who else, John Leckie. Full mastered album will appear here soon.

My fifth band Good Neighbour. Album 'There Was A Time'. Tracks 1. 'Understand' 2. 'Green Eyed Girl' 3. 'Find Your Mind'. This got New Band Of The Day # 123 off Paul Lester who had given Vulnerabilia a 5* review in UNCUT and made it number 6 in UNCUTS top 100 albums of 2012. Another fast album that I made with a young hip hop producer Lee Doyle who I had met through stacking shelves at my local Wilkinsons store in Stretford. Lee had been taught how to make hip hop beats by a member of Man Made, a seminal rap band from Moss Side featuring Kermit and Psycho from Black Grape. Man Made, made a hip hop album so dark, that it scared the life out of East West who they made it for and it never came out. The full story of the making of this album can be found in my book. It is worth a read. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2007/jun/14/popandrock