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I was born in Motherwell in Scotland at the tail end of the 70's, the third of four kids to Margaret and Johnnie Logan, along with Kathleen, John and Julie. We are what I call 2nd generation folkies, not drawn to but rather weaned on the music. It was always there for as long as I can remember, in one form or another.
The earliest music I can remember (apart from nursery rhymes; particularly the ultra pagan I see the moon) would be records of Steeleye Span and Peer Gynt (Grieg), both of which assumed gigantic proportions in my young mind. Black Jack Davy and The Hall of The Mountain King are forever part of the same thing for me. I've always liked the dark stuff.
What really got me playing though was my brother John, who I hero worshipped from day dot. His records of eighties metal bands left a sonic imprint on my psyche that has never shifted. Never will either. And he showed me my first riffs, Apache by The Shadows and a bastardised Sweet Child O' Mine from Guns and Roses. Things were never the same again, Cheers John-Boy!
And then we hit the Celtic Club Sunday tune session (actually it hit us) in the early nineties. I didn't realise at the time that these freaks would become my best friends for the rest of my life, but there you go. Jeffrey Jones was the first to encourage me to get in there and play, Mark Nightingale explained a few of the chords, Danny Holmes explained the structure of the music and told me I should just listen to the bloody tune or words to that effect. Heady stuff for a young kid.
Mark Dalton gave me my first gig around this time. Thanks for the gig Mark, but sorry about the swearing in church thing. Actually I ain't. I enjoyed that.
I spent my teenage years playing Hendrix songs with my good mate Adam Campbell, and at the same time busking Irish tunes every weekend with Bill Shannon and Monica McNeill. The folk and the rock and roll have both been there ever since, in shifting ratios. I was told by a Gypsy in Glasgow in 1997 that I would be torn between two loves, which actually makes perfect sense in that regard. But enough with the existential crap. On with the story.
From the age of 18 I spent the best part of five years bouncing back and forth between Brisbane and Glasgow, playing with different bands and picking up different things along the way. I played in a notorious Irish Pub with Randall Matthews for about six months, if that, which was great. Great to not have to work, and a pleasure to play regularly with such a fine muso.
One band in Glasgow does deserve special mention, though it lasted less than two years for me. I learnt more about music from playing in The Whores than anything else up to that point, and I also fell in love with playing fucking loud.
I returned back to Oz in 2002 and fell in love with Rose Jacob (that's right trainspotters, last month's Folk Rag Cover Girl) Rose really more than anything got me back into playing folk music, for which, amongst other things, I will be eternally grateful. The two of us have played together as a Duo, in bush bands, pub bands, some trios and one completely unmanageable mega-group in the form of The Kytes, which I'll jump ahead to right now.
The Kytes were like the young folky equivalent of Frankenstein's monster. It didn't realise its own strength - - there were interior parts unknowingly working against each other, and then there were the bits that'd drop off and we'd have to sew something else on to help make it up. But put a few thousands volts through it and whad'ya know, “…IT'S ALIVE!”
We had twelve members pass through our ranks in the eighteen months or so that we were together, including Rachel and Jesse Witney, my sister-in-law Roisin Logan, Zac and Toshi Burvill, Beth Raymond, Rose Jacob, Caroline Hammond, Becky Lucas, Glen Donald, Jamie Corfield and myself. We had a great wall of sound and some great times, but at the end of the day it was just too much like hard work. Worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears though.
The other side of the coin was still there too. In the form of Funhouse, which I think was the best damn good time rock'n'roll band in town while we were together. If I may be so bold. We recorded a whole bunch of our songs with the seriously brilliant Mark Smith, so there will be an album emerging from the wreckage in the next year or so. Funhouse had another great mix of individuals, my high school mate Adam Campbell (there he is again) on Scorching Guitar and his old childhood mate Luke Ryalls on Bonzo Drums. Our greatest asset in many ways though, was the lovely Siobhan Zimmerman, another child of the folk revolution. There is a hell of a lot to be said for the feminine influence in a rock band; Siobhan brought a much needed balance to the hammer and tongs songwriting style that I was into at the time, with her sultry and spacious groove. If you ain't heard it yet, then you'll know what I'm talking about in years to come. All love to the above mentioned.
There ain't a whole lot more for me to say. But I'll borrow a line from Ken Butler. As he is often heard to say We're lucky people. I'll buy that for a dollar. I feel damn grateful to be around us mob. It's family. Closer even. So I'm gonna get all gushy at the sign off now, cause it only seems right. I love youse all.
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