|Born on: 10.10.1972
As a young child of about the age of seven, I started hitting anything that resembled a drum, biscuit tins or paint pots; in the end, my dad ended up making me a drum kit out industrial cardboard tubes and plastic sheeting. This didn’t last long though; I think I demolished it in about two weeks.
I joined the local marching band aged ten just so I could bring one of the marching drums home, unfortunately within about a month, I had destroyed it playing along to the Osmond’s track, Crazy Horses, that's how long ago it was !
At the age of about twelve, I’d saved up enough money from my paper round to buy my first real drum kit; it was a Milano Franco five piece I believe, covered in black vinyl. My parents would allow me to play it in the house for a half an hour only, every night, but that was probably enough, as the whole street would brace themselves every evening at about six for the onslaught.
FreewayMy first real band was called Freeway, it was a three piece; we played Status Quo covers. My first gig was the Coop Hall in Throckley; we sold about 300 tickets and the place was rammed. Unfortunately a fight broke out, ending the gig prematurely. We got a bit bored playing Status Quo covers, and eventually broke up; but in 1977 we made a comeback, playing in Keith’s front garden for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
My next band was called Warrior; this was a heavy metal group based on a farm in Throckley of all places; I remember rehearsing in an old smelly barn with them; I don’t know what happened with them, I think we just grew apart, musical differences etc…ha.
The next band I joined was a punk band called ‘Pure Chaos’; we used to play political songs about Northern Ireland, I can’t think why, coming from Newcastle. The songs were nothing to do with me, I just played. However, with this band, I experienced my first recording studio session in Ken Black’s basement studio in Gateshead; we recorded a two track demo but nothing ever happened with it.
The next band I joined, was a group by the name of ‘Zenith’; this turned out to be a poor man’s Rush, with songs like ‘The Forest’ and 'The Cave' with a young Dave Shaw from local band The Force.
Tiffany's 1982MayfairRonnies Studio
I think my name was starting to get around a bit, as I was often being asked to play the drums for people. In about 1981, I became friends with two brothers who went by the name of Emmerson, guitarist and Bass Player; we formed a band called Black Widow, this was then changed to Emmerson by guess who….them!. Anyway, we went with that name and played some great gigs and recorded some great songs; my studio playing was getting a little better by now, but not good enough it would seem. A drummer called Charlie Mackenzie just happened to be a mate of the new singer and I knew the writing was on the wall as he was better than me, so I left graciously.
I played drums for a few other bands between 1982 and 1984.
TR707In 1984, I was asked to play drums for ex Tygers of Pang Tang vocalist Jess Cox to play shows up and down the UK and some TV, appearing on the first series of TX45 from Tyne Tees Television. I later went on to record a strange album with Jess and Rob Weir from the Tygers under the name Tyger Tyger, strange because I programmed the drums on a Roland TR707 and then played real cymbals in the studio, bizarre.
I eventually got together with Russ Thompson, a singer and guitarist from Blyth. We discovered that we had a good song writing partnership, so we wrote a few songs. We were later joined by Brian Emmerson who had been playing with a band called ‘Bronze’ from London and Mick White, also from London; together with Tim Jebb, we formed a group called ‘Vogue’. This band did quite well on the local scene, playing some of the best gigs and recording at some of the best studios, for example, Fairview, in Hull; Def Leopard’s first studio. Mick White, vocalist, finally left to join a band called Samson and Vogue disbanded. However, Russ and I stayed together and continued to write new songs.
VogueSecret SamVogue Session10
We formed a new band but had no name, however, Rob from the Tygers and Colin Rowell, stage manager from The Tube offered to manage us, we said yes and Secret Sam was born. Secret Sam was very successful to a point, but narrowly missed out on a major deal with CBS and later Atlantic. After recording some great songs, touring and TV, the signs weren’t looking great for the future of the band and after a few different line-ups’, the band finally gave up in 1986.
In 1986, I was approached by a heavy metal band from Sunderland called Battleaxe. This was great for me as the band enjoyed loud drums; this was going to be fun. Battleaxe had a record contract and their own recording studio, everything looked great, however, the metal scene was waning and we just plodded on writing and recording through to about 1994.
Paul RecordingOn tour with RIOTDusseldorf
In 1995, I was playing around the local pubs and clubs, when I was approached by a band called Skyclad to play some christmas shows. I had nine days to learn the set and go on tour with Saxon, Yngwie Malmsteen and Blind Guardian; it was great fun playing abroad for the first time.
Skyclad BerlinAthensSkyclad Jacobs
I stayed with Skyclad up until 1997 after recording ‘Oui Avant-Garde a Chance’ and ‘The Answer Machine’ and playing lots of tours throughout Europe.
In 1997, I gave up drums; I didn’t want to be in a band for a while. I eventually started playing the local scene again with bands like ‘Shine’ and ‘Sticky Fingers’in 98.
In 2007, Brian and I, started remixing some of the old Battleaxe recordings just for fun; and later that year we shot our first video to ‘Chopper Attack’ from the ‘Power from the Universe’ album with Dave King and Mick Percy.
Battleaxe 2007Academy 09Live 2009
In 2008, I started working for an organisation called RocksCool Academy; teaching young people to play drums and be in rock bands, I continue to do this.
In 2009, this year, Battleaxe have been asked to play the ‘Headbangers Open Air’ in Hamburg, Germany; we are now working on that and a number of shows throughout Europe for 2010.