UK Open Mic

Full Retard

Meet Birmingham-born UK Open Mic performer Full Retard:

Full Retard

Hi Full Retard, thanks for joining us! Let’s get into it:

Do you play solo only, or also in a group?


What’s the name of the group?


How old are you?


Where were you born?


Where did you grow up?

This is an aspiration but I’ve lived in Portsmouth and Birmingham and London.

How did that place influence your music? (if at all!)

Birmingham is not near the seaside which generated within me a penchant for the blues.

Where are you based now, and why?

London because it’s nearer to the seaside and miles from Birmingham which is not.

What got you into making music in the first place?

I got such a mad buzz out of listening to some tracks that everything else just disappeared, including hours. They seemed like the ultimate expression of freedom and lack of inhibition. The best being a sort of magic, like being in touch with god or the universe or something.

What instrument/s do you play?

Singing, Guitar, Bass

Who would be in your top 10 musical influences, and why?

1. Rolling Stones up to Start me Up. Songwriting talent and blues roots plus the sexually assertive, don’t give a fuck and why should they image.
2. Mick Taylor. AbsolutelySublime phrasing fantastic slide guitar.
3. Sex Pistols. Similar reasons to the Stones but born of an era when everything was going to shit. Resentfully declaring that you don’t have to be a product of the 1960’s boomer generation and be able to do a 10 minute guitar solo to be in a band.
4. Morcombe and Wise. Just love the vibe of ‘Bring Me Sunshine’. A great uplifting, friendly tune.
5. Burt Bacharach. Spot on melodies and fantastic arrangements. Full of passion. His instrumental versions of his own tunes are fantastic. He knows how to deploy the use of dynamics.
6. Rod Stewart and the Faces. Great tunes presented with casual verve and what a voice. Plus slide guitar.
7. Herbie Flowers and David Essex on ‘Rock On’. That song is a classic. Dave took a detour into excellence and fortunately Herbie was there to meet him.
8. Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Search n’ Destroy. James Williamson played on that. Sincerity to the core.
9. The Kingsmen. Louie Louie. Fantastic vocal performance. He was drunk and leant backwards looking at the ceiling to get that take plus an historic scratch your eyes out guitar solo that will be referenced in a thousand years.
10. Slade. Songwriting greatness. Merry Christmas Everybody, Coz I luv You, Mama Weer All Crazee Now, Cum on Feel the Noize, Gudbuy T’Jane…
10.1. I can’t do a top ten only… othes equally as good, T Rex, Booker T and the MG’s, David Bowie, Beatles, The Doors, Santana, The Hollies, Andy Williams, John Barry, Velvet Underground, Althea and Donna, Benny Hill, Freda Payne, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Dave and Ansell Collins, Jean Jacques Perrey, Dick Dale, Eric Idle, Flora Adams, Gary Glitter, Harry Nilsson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Maxine Nightingale, Roy Budd, Symarip, The Piglets, The New Seekers, The Trashmen, Toots and the Maytals, The Meters, Matt Munro… plus

Do you write your own songs?


How many years have you been writing songs for?


What process, or processes, do you often find yourself using when you write songs?

Spontaneous enthusiasm.

How long have you been playing open mic nights?


Why did you get into playing them in the first place?

I teach guitar and backed up my students first public performances.

What advice would you give new performers who are just starting out playing their first open mics?

Don’t get anxious about the first 1000 shows number 1001 will be brilliant.

What’s the hardest thing, for you, about playing open mics?

Torrid working conditions, shit PA, lack of set up time, wrong audience for your genre. Good character building stuff.

What’s the most bizarre, or fun, open mic, or gig, you’ve ever played, and why?

Once I was on a revolving stage and the other guitarist who was always out of tune got his lead caught up and severed. Delightful.

If it’s not already, are you hoping to make music your full-time career?


What do you currently find the hardest and biggest obstacles to moving your music career forward?

Getting reliable and talented muso’s on board on a zero budget.

What’s the one truth about you that people often find surprising?

I believe my dentist thought I was a vagrant because I pitched up straight from a Pilates class wearing a ragged bomber jacket and joggers. His presumptions were adjusted the next time we met which was at a Pilates class I was instructing. We had a discussion about who causes the most pain to their clients in a professional capacity.

What’s the most exciting project you’re working on at the moment?

Do you have your own music video, channel or playlist you’d like to share?

Do you have music on streaming? What’s you main streaming channel to send people to?

Where is the main place should people go to find out more about you?

What other sites/profiles should people go to to find out more about you?

We’re done! Anything else ou want to share before we go?

No thanks!

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