Devon boy Bully has a wealth of experience in the live music scene, superb song writing skills and a powerful, versatile voice. His musical journey started at a young age as a singer in school, and church choirs until atheism kicked in. As a teenager and initially inspired by the Punk/New Wave explosion, he took up playing Bass in a band called Taroplane before moving on to Guitar and Vocals a few years later, realising the guitar was a better vehicle for composition.
Throughout his 20’s Bully played solo gigs, made solo albums, and supported many British greats including Martin Carthy, Rory Macleod, Robyn Hitchcock & Jackie Leven. He also developed a friendship and mutual appreciation with acclaimed local guitarist Dave Wood, which led to many shared gigs and an eventual band collaboration, Rifiki along with Fred Ehressman and Rich Cooke. During this time Bully also started working with Jake Klosin, doing PA and stage management work followed by the birth of Mudskippers and other musical collaborations including a short lived yet well remembered trio called Another Fine Mess.
This all came to an end, when, through his continued PA work, Bully got offered a job with a little known local band called Muse. A couple of years touring around the world as Muse’s guitar tech was fun and life-changing but had meant a hiatus to his own music. A week after finishing with Muse, Bully joined Beggar’s Farm who played around pubs doing covers of raucous punky folk – Levellers, Pogues etc. This led to further work with Under Suspicion and the duo Fruitcake with Jon Smith. Bully and Jon are still working together on songs they have reimagined but not written, as well as their own material.
Bully has often worked on recordings in the home environment, initially using four-track cassette, switching to the digital domain in recent years. Whilst under no illusions of being a sound engineer – which he views as being very specialist and skilled – he has managed to produce the Mudskippers’ first album, with some final assistance and post production from Duncan Chave at Sound Gallery Studios.
Bully continues to be a searching songwriter and musician; singing, playing Bass, Guitar and dabbling in lots of other instruments. He has also co-fronted a function band as a singer and played Bass with Dakar Audio Club. He shows no signs of wanting to slow down or mellowing with age and remains the hot headed, creative, questioning, anarchic person that he was when he started all those years ago!
Bully has a long list of music and musicians that have inspired and influenced him. They range from Punk heroes such as Joe Strummer, John Lydon & Paul Weller to eclectic experimenters such as Peter Hammill and Brian Eno, to Jazz legends such as Charles Mingus and Weather Report. Along the way picking up huge inspiration from the broad range of British Folk music from traditional to modern as well as, so called 'World Music'. His thirst for new sounds continues with a recent passion for modern Americana, such as Low Anthem and Calexico and independent music, such as The Leisure Society and John Grant.
Cellist Jo has been playing for over thirty years, although originally classically trained with orchestral experience, Jo broke away from classical playing relatively early in her musical career to focus on Indie, Rock, Folk and more experimental playing which match her main musical influences.
Jo has played with folk/jazz singer and guitarist Greg Hancock and Rosa Rebecka, and featured on mini album Coincide by Ryn and Fly Yeti Fly's debut album Shine a Light in the Dark released March 2017. She has also recently been playing gigs and festivals with Fly Yeti Fly. She enjoys messing about with her Loop Station, chopping techniques and traditional Scottish Folk music, often trying to explore the full potential of the instrument. Greg says: “Jo adds such depth to the sound and comes up with accompaniments that sometimes transform the whole concept of a song – always in an exciting way.”
Jo also likes to put her old art degree to use by designing the band’s website and producing the artwork for the album Replacing the Stone.
As a teenager of the 80’s, Jo listened, danced and sang along to new romantics, new wave and post-punk with favourites including Duran Duran, Japan, and The Smiths. She then got into rock often listening to bands like The Doors and Velvet Underground as well as heavy rock, before mellowing into ambient and experimental music including Brian Eno and Penguin Café, contemporary folk (Nick Drake, Roy Harper) and lively folk rock/fusion (The Levellers, The Waterboys, Shooglenifty). Other favourites include The Leisure Society, The Low Anthem, Rivers of England, Lau, Afro Celt Sound System, Natalie Haas and Alasdair Fraser, Ray Lamontagne, and British rock bands like Elbow, Radiohead and Coldplay.
Coming from a very musical family, Corinne was always surrounded by odd assortments of instruments and even odder musicians whilst growing up. She dabbled in playing Piano, French Horn, Timpani, but settled on the Clarinet.
In more recent years, she wasn’t quite satisfied with just one instrument though, and the Saxophone – both tenor and altos – were added to the mix. Corinne also plays Accordion, accompanies Bully with vocal harmonies and rattles some Percussion when she has enough hands free.
Musical influences definitely come from the Post Punk, New Wave era but Corinne is quite eclectic in her tastes which is fortunate as Mudskippers don’t quite fit into any box either.
Corinne has also lead Soundwaves Music Project, which showcases the talents of disabled musicians, and has experience of theatre production and acting.
Together, Jo and Corinne have slightly different musical influences and preferences so when they come together in a practice they both come up their own harmonies, often playing off of each other, adding syncopation, tone and texture that gels perfectly behind the sounds of frontman Bully. They both also play in an instrumental group called Akoya which was all about improvisation and having lots of fun.
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