Gerry at the Crossroads

So, where to begin? . . . Ah yes, I know, I'll start right here. 
If you had said to me in 2006 that I would begin to do music 
once more I would have looked at you with some surprise. 
"How is that going to happen?" I would have said. 

Anyway, back then, in 2006 I was still working as an illustrator 
and any interest I had in music seemed to have faded into 
memory. Something I used to do when I was younger. 
But something happened back then that still surprises me now 
and makes me wonder. 

I still played my old Telecaster from time to time. Switched on my 
1982 Roland Cube, plugged in and, for a brief time I would play with chords 
and ideas in my workspace upstairs, in our old semi by the sea. 

I began to play songs and write with my good friend John McCullough. 
We went along to some open mic nights at The Hewitt, Lower Donegal 
Street in Belfast. We also went along to a few busking events too. All 
challenging stuff to someone without any real plans to be doing it. 

We played some wee events at ARNIE'S BACKPACKERS in Fitzwilliam 
Street near Queens. I began to do some home recording on a new laptop 
with Garageband. So, as time went on I learned a bit about recording while 
gathering up a great wee mic called a Snowflake, made by a company called 
Blue. It made everything seem clear like looking into a rock pool. 

By early 2010 I had recorded some tracks. A friend suggested I send in a 
couple of songs for radio play. I sent off four padded envelopes with a CD 
enclosed in each. Not long after 
I was washing the dishes and on came one of my tracks, on the radio. I 
t was being played by GERRY ANDERSON himself. Radio Foyle/BBC 
Radio Ulster, live, from Derry. 

From then on everything changed. Gerry continued to play my tracks 
and his audience liked them. So I sent in a few more. Eventually he asked 
me in to play live with a couple of friends. 

By the September I had recorded a full album, just on my own, layer upon 
layer, creating a 21 track CD. I just learned how to do it as the weeks and 
months went by. 

As September approached I had been on Gerry's show twice. He offered 
to come along to the launch gig and introduce the band, THE MOON SHED, 
live at The Black Box, in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast. The place was packed 
and we played live on Gerry's show the next day. 

Barry Tipping/Guitar and vocals. Myself on Lead vocal, Guitar and Mandolin, 
John McKeever/Guitar and Vocals, Micael Sands/Banjo and Vocals and Rohan 
Young/Bodhrán and vocals. Catherine, Michaels wife, had also played the night 
before. An amazing evening. 

I could hardly take it in. What had happened was hard to process as it seemed 
to just come up out of the blue with more to follow . . . 


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