I am an enthusiastic, if very limited, musician. I’ve never been able to read music properly, I’ve never had a lesson and I am certainly not a virtuoso. Yet playing music means a lot to me. Of course it would be nice to be able to play the guitar better and to have a stronger singing voice, but to be able to play at all is better than nothing. I’m delighted to still be playing in a band and have (during lockdown) built a new website.
So you can find out more about us and listen to One for the Wall here.
The following is a work in progress.
One for the Wall came out of a duo formed by two architecture undergraduates at Bristol University in the mid ‘70s. Joanna Elford, a classically-trained singer, and singer-guitarist Bernard Hanaway performed in folk clubs and on local radio. Soon Bernard was writing songs for Jo’s distinctive, soaring soprano voice. In 1977 he moved to Oxford, becoming part of a thriving music scene.
I joined the following year, playing electric and 12-string guitar. After very little practice, we entered the 1978/9 Melody Maker Rock/Folk contest, winning our heat and progressing to the final at Soho’s famously sweaty Marquee Club. The competition was won by Splodgenessabounds, who soon had a UK Top Ten hit with “Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please”. We came second, with Chris Welch apparently unable to convince his fellow judges that we were the only proper band to perform that evening.
But never mind, we carried on anyway
Four decades on (albeit with a career break of more than 30 years in the middle!), five of the band’s original members are still playing together, despite being scattered from Devon to Northumberland. We are currently working on some new, original material – getting together one weekend a month (at most).
And finally, a gig! With a whole new album’s worth of new material we played Klub Kakofanney, at The Wheatsheaf, Oxford in January 2020. We were all set for a return in March when Covid-19 struck.