How does one go about forming a band?
I am from a little village in Renfrewshire called Howwood. It’s name derives from ‘Hollow in the Wood’ and… blah, blah, blah. Nice wee place, though.
Musicians were limited. My mate Craig couldn’t play an instrument and the only music he owned was a double cassette of ‘Queen: Live At Wembley ’86’. Bass for him, then.
1 down, at least 2 to go. Craig borrowed the minister’s son’s bass and into the cellar of Howwood Parish Church we went.
Boredom set in quickly. We needed a guitarist. Luckily, Craig knew a guy who played guitar through a friend of a friend. Rumour had it, though, that he was a big Slayer/Iron Maiden/Metallica fan. This did not please me. Heavy Metal was, for me, the bastardisation of all music at the time. No doubt he had long hair and piercings. How uncouth.
Michael Page is the most placid, quietly spoken and talented individual I have met to this day. Could he play guitar? Fuck aye. You see, that’s the thing about ‘Heavy Metal’; technically it is brilliant. It is an abhorrence to behold, in my opinion, but it fair teaches someone how to play guitar.
Michael was invited to join my band. At this point I would like to stress the importance of the statement “my band”. It was always MY band. Start to finish. Anyway, we started by covering songs like ‘The Fly’ and, oddly, Stiltskin’s Levi advert song ‘Inside’. Nobody singing. Just a musical ‘tribute’.
We needed a singer.
Through my industry contacts at the Mossend Brewers Fayre, I found out that a young man called Ryan fancied himself as a ‘bit of a chanter’. Turns out he was a ‘bit of a chancer’. First audition, Ryan turned up at 10 am (supposed to be 9 am) with a black guitar with ‘Axe’ written on it in a clear guitar case. A half consumed bottle of Irn-Bru was cradled like a baby under his left arm and he was still drunk. Ryan was 16. Craig and Pagey looked at him, horrified. I looked at him and thought “you’re in, my friend.”
We started off thinking about a name. Many were suggested, none I can remember. We settled for the inappropriate name ‘Dream Out Loud’. Inappropriate mainly because we didn’t have any of our own songs. It’s also a fucking AWFUL name for a band. Still, we were young and excited.
We mostly tried to play Beatles and U2 songs. The occasional other bands got a look in, not often though.
There we were, quite settled as our little 4 piece, boring as sin band. Clean, tidy, dull.
Something happened in 1994, though. Something that would change our (and many other) lives, forever.
A little known group of 5 Mancunian scallies released an album called ‘Definitely Maybe’…