The Paul Rodgers Story
My brother Ian had a lot of influence on me because we shared the same interest in music. Ian died in Dec 2006 at the early age of 48 but I know my big bro will always be with me were ever I go.
A lot of people have often said how similar my voice sounds to Paul Rodgers, not in his early years but as he sounds now.
I have supported people like Sir Bob Geldoff at Gateshead festival along with Zoe Becket, The Bootleg Beatles, Mike Hall (a tribute to Eric Clapton) also Jason Bonham, Pauline Gillian (Ian Gillans sister) and Black Rose at the Middlesbrough town hall crypt.
I met one of my heroes, the man himself Paul Rodgers, about 5 years ago. What a nice man. After talking to him for 20 minutes I got his autograph and he asked me what I do, so I told him my name and that I was working at Teesside Airport and was singing in a Paul Rodgers tribute band. I was 'astonished' to here Paul say "I think I have heard of you"! Well what can I say? You could have pushed me over with a feather. I have also met Simon Kirke the drummer out of Free and Bad Company, a real pleasure.
The band I use to sing for sent a CD to Simon
and got a letter back from him saying "what a great job you have all done in
honouring our music" and wished us all the very best.
Kenny first started to play guitar when he was 15. He decided to do this because someone at school could play and he was always surrounded by girls when he played. Kenny thought "I want to be surrounded by girls - I guess I'll have to learn to play guitar!" He also saw Slade on Top of the Pops at about the same time and the guitarist hardly moved his fingers but was making this great noise and Kenny thought this looks easy, I could do that. (He would later find that actually - he couldn't!!)
He got together with some people he knew but they couldn't find a good enough singer until at a local gig they saw a band called Red Dog with a singer called Doggy.
This band was called Holland, with Kenny writing most of the songs, who after much gigging got themselves a record deal and in 1984 released an album called Early Warning. (At last - the "Big Time" - a real record all black and round and stuff with a hole in the middle!) They released a second album in 1985 called Contract with Hell.
Kenny got himself a record deal and formed his next band - Fast Kutz who in 1987 released an album called Burnin' this was much heavier music, Kenny finally getting the band to do the music he wanted. They got to record a session for Radio One's Friday Rock Show with Tommy Vance and had people such as Mega-Rock God Ozzy Osbourne singing their praises. A second album was recorded but then the record company went bust and the album was never released.
Ken stayed with Outrageous Wallpaper through many line up changes and was one of the members of OW offshoot Doggy and the Puppies.
During Kens time in D&TP he had frequently asked Doggy if he fancied doing a Paul Rodgers tribute band but nothing ever came of it. A couple of years later and a chance meeting with Paul D. in a Darlington pub and the long planned project was on.....
I was introduced to rock music at the young age of 6 months when my parents took me to my first festival, Monsters of Rock 1984 with ACDC, Gary Moore etc on the bill.. I'd like to say i remember it but think I was probs more interested in Rusks and Rattles at that age..I was born into a very musical family so there was only one way for me to go really.. Started piano lessons at age 10, then picked up the guitar at about 16.. And have been gigging regularly ever since at pubs, clubs, weddings, festivals etc.. wherever will have me really.. A few gigs to mention are I played once with The Guy Forsythe Band in Austin, TX and did a year long stint in Tenerife playing with Tom Kellichan, ex drummer from The Skids. Been back home for a while now and Im currently playing with The Alex Fawcett Band and The Hayley McKay Band... Not forgetting The Paul Rodgers Story of course, which I'm really happy to be a part of again. I have a pretty broad range of influences, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Cat Stevens, Peter Green, ACDC, SRV.. And what the hell.... Paul Rodgers!
Bob first started to play drum kit at the age of 14 (God, has it been that long? You'd think he'd be a bit better than that by now!) and has been entirely self taught ...(Ah, that would explain it then!). His first drum kit was a little 4 piece Del Ray (?) kit in blue sparkle, a birthday present blackmailed from loving parents, well it was either the drums or a CB radio. ("You're not putting one of those things in my car" said Father).
Bob and a bunch of schoolmates fulfilled that dream of all post-pubescent teenagers and formed a band. Going under the name of Jagged Edge (this was 1980 by the way, long before the succesfull band with the same name that is about at the moment) They mangled their way through all the classic rock covers gradually honing their skills until, out of the blue, the lead guitarist from a local college band came to practice, liked what he heard and never left. Now armed with at least one member who could actually play his instrument, the lads had a change of name to Ivory Tower, and a change of direction which saw them writing and performing their own material. An illustrious few years went by playing all over the North East, recording several future classics (?) and even radio sessions for Radio Tees and airplay on Radio 1 no less. During this time the band had the pleasure of supporting local mega-rock band Hammer at their local 6th form college where Bob met a familiar guitarist and vocalist for the first time. ("Here Kenny, who's the spotty kid on drums?" "Dunno Doggy, but he's f***ing loud and look at all those sodding cymbals!").
There now followed a period of frantic inactivity,
punctuated by several writing/recording projects with old Ivory members, These posts were eventually filled by Mal and Outrageous original
bassist, Alan Stephenson. A mate temporarily
stepped into the breach and we managed to bluff the gig (Cheers Steve!) but the
search was on for a permanent replacement. Sitting 'round Mal's house one
night, trying to make sense of that wallpaper, the doorbell rang and there, at
the door stood an unmistakable silhouette. "Blimey, look lads, a real rock star"
was Mals' comment as, resplendent in tight jeans, cowboy boots, leather jacket
and THAT hair stood the one and only Mr Kenny Nicholson. The nucleus of
Outrageous Wallpaper was now formed.
Around the middle of 2007 Ken got
in touch with Bob and Paul, who were trying to get another band together with
mixed fortune, and asked if they were interested in joining with him and a
cracking singer from Darlington and form a Paul Rodgers tribute band.
I started playing around 10 years old when my dad went to the club at night, I would take his Hofner 12 string upstairs to my room and try and remember the notes or chords that I saw my dad play earlier that day, this led quickly to getting an electric guitar to which I couldn't quite grasp the point.
yep you guessed it, BASS was my calling, starting of with a no named precision bass learning anything I could, seemed I had the ear for it.
Early influences from Steve Harris, Phil Lynott, Phil Kennemore, Geddy Lee, Billy Sheehan, to name a few, helped me on my way to developing my own style.
I was lucky enough to play with some good bands over the years like Stoneheart, Trixxter, Fallen Angel, Vivid, Black Rose, and even the very first line up of The Paul Rodgers Story with Paul, Gary and Deano, back in around 95? so to go full circle and come back after all these years was just meant to be.
Mick Howard and Paul Simpson had both done a sterling job on bass over the years putting their own feel on these great tunes so time to roll up my sleeves and give it my best shot!
This line up is amazing, such great guys to work with making my job a lot easier, Cheers Guys! just need some practice which seems to be the hardest thing in the world to sort out lol.
lets hope the fans love the songs ,love the sound, love the feel of this great band that I feel privileged to be part off, Thank you for giving me a second stab playing these great songs!