I am really grateful to singer-song writer Peter Kearney, who encouraged me to start learning to play the fiddle in the early 1970s. Pete is Australian; at the time he was teaching in Basildon New Town, where I was a restless teenager.
My first ever gig involved banging a drum (on the off-beat, off-puttingly for the other musicians) for Peter's recorder ensemble who were playing in Basildon town centre, somewhere near the Post Office, in the shadow of Brooke House. I wonder if anyone could hear us?
A few years later (by which time Peter and his partner Madge had left Basildon and moved somewhere near Wellingborough), I played fiddle on Pete's recordings of some of his own (excellent) songs. The recording setup was not sophisticated. To increase the volume level when I soloed, I had to step up onto a brick, to get nearer the microphone. I still have a copy of the recording.
Pete is now an internationally known song writer, and has been a full-time musician since 1982. He has toured extensively through Australia, also in Ireland and the UK.