It's been a strange old journey really from playing half empty bars to sold out arenas supporting the Specials and it's still unfolding. It's hard to look back as we are always too busy looking forward and it sometimes seems of no real significance anyway. What I can tell you is that we have always believed it, lived it, breathed it, dreamed it. Right from the off.
For those who are intrigued by the history lesson it started in earnest around 10 summers ago when the two Neil's worlds collided, an instant mash. Ideas, songs and a vision formed but a band didn't. Members joined and then left or were shown the door, a stable, solid line up took time. Any gang worth it's salt (and pepper) does. This had to be right, more than music, a family affair. Once the team was in place they would still take the duration required to firmly knit the solid bond their hearts desired. The understanding between the seven was crucial. Yes, seven that's right. We knew it had to be. Hammond, Horns over a solid soulful (stone) foundation, we didn't want anyone just dipping their toes in the water. We were off to swim the channel.
In our time was the first fruit of the labours of this group. It had its moments, still does on reflection, certainly a firm step in the right direction outlining the intention and what could and would be built upon. The live shows (although it's not a show you understand) gathered pace and started to catch fire and peoples imaginations. It had probably been a while since gig goers had chanced upon a hard hitting seven piece putting in a proper shift, grafting. It was work in progress (still is), commanding, earning and deserving respect. We would play dates opening for the old guard, we always had the upmost for the majority of them, we could always learn something from them (even if it was Terry "Don't talk to me about Jagger" Reid's wife's Jamaican Jerk recipe) that respect was reciprocated when Steve Gibbons phoned all the venues on his forthcoming tour and warned them not to book us as support. "Nowhere to run to baby, nowhere to..............." shame because he always wore such good shoes.