Friday, 26 February 2021

A Life in Music: Richard March

One way to extend a career built on Pop. Did it really Eat Itself?

Photo Credit: Nick Sayers
This is a companion blog post to my Lives in Music Podcast with the excellent Richard March. You can find it here, or scroll down to the bottom of this post, or follow this link for the entire Lives in Music list.

Richard has been in a huge array of bands and projects in his 30 years or so as a working musician. I first met Rich when he was in the much loved Rhino and The Ranters; but he cut his teeth with 80s legends Pop Will Eat Itself and then Bentley Rhythm Ace, and now he's a member of Swampmeat Family Band, and, oh yes, let's not forget the Boom Operators. with other projects bubbling away nicely. Some of those projects come up in this podcast.

Five years ago, I wrote a Radio To Go blog post about 
Richard's walking bass saga. His standup double bass 
was stolen from outside his house, along with a lot of PA kit. The bass was returned intact – it was found in the street, unlike the 
stolen kit. In short order a fundraiser was launched to help Rich 
replace everything. 
It hit its target very promptly, which let Rich replace at least his PA kit, with the 
remaining £400 going to Nordhoff Robbins, the music charity. These guys could 
not be better - as it says on their site, they use music to 'enrich the lives of people 
with life-limiting illness, disabilities of feelings of isolation'. 

Coping with our Covid nightmare lockdown. Ugh...
This podcast post covers very different ground, the likes of which we could not 
have imagined in 2016. Most of this series of Lives in Music was recorded remotely,
in lockdown. If you listen hard, you can tell who has, by far, the poshest 

I'm particularly interested in how creativity can flourish in lockdown, and we touch on all sorts of ways that performers can hit their audiences. We cover some of the ways – largely on YouTube. At the bottom of this post, I've I listed quite a few examples that you can go see and enjoy.

The Tonight Matthew colabs

I used two excerpts in the podcast, taken from the collaborative videos in the 
Tonight Matthew series, where Richard and pals covered Sex and Drugs and Rock 
and Roll, and Life During Wartime. To check out the full personnel, search these 
titles on YouTube. The series has raised some £5000 for Help Musicians – another 
great cause. Why not look in and bung them a few quid?

First off, here's links to the Tonight Matthew series, with Rich on guitar or bass 
on all of them:

Good Morning Britain
Mr Blue Sky Life During Wartime Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll Blue Monday Echo Beach Another Girl Another Planet Love Cats Our Lips Are Sealed Another Girl Another Planet For What It's Worth
Then there's others. More than I can list. But anyway, here's some suggestions Suzi Dian doing Bill Withers' Lean on Me solo
and with some friends
The life-affirming Bolero from Juilliard students and alumni

Peter Gabriel and friends worldwide reprising Biko

Jimi Somerville and Rick Astley Wishing You Well, also for Help Musicians
The great Vo Fletcher does weekly live shows on his Facebook Page
I'll stop there. I know there's a lot more, and I apologise if I've missed anyone out. 
But if you have any recommendations, drop me a line in the comments section :-)

This week's episode

The Lives in Music Podcast series   
I've been doing this for about two years now. These are interviews with local 
musicians, looking at how music has shaped them throughout their lives. Series 3 
also looks hard at how lockdown has had an impact. There are some lovely stories. 

To see who's in the series of artists, here's a link to see every episode.

One further footnote: the intro and outro flourishes I'm using in this series of Lives in Music podcast come from Vo himself. I asked him for a bit of live impro, and this was the result.  

The Radio To Go blog

This blog has been going since 2007. I started it to focus mainly on radio stories, as the industry went through a series of convulsive changes. Those changes aren't over yet, not by a long chalk. Over the years I expanded the range of topics to cover local music, another subject close to my heart. I think it was a Destroyers gig that pulled me in that direction. I've banged out several hundred posts in that time, and of course deleted quite a few. But if you're interested in thoughts on the local scene and/or radio futures, by all means visit the full topic index on the Radio To Go blog.


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