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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I can remember hearing in my cot, “Scarlett Ribbons”. Growing up, I always loved music. I saw Hank Marvin playing his Stratocater on the TV and wanted to do that. Then the Beatles came along and I wanted to play their music. Nothing could have been better than a Stratocaster and the Beatles music!
As it turned out, I became a Professional Engineer and didn’t turn to full time music until later in life, despite playing in bands from the age of 14 onwards.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love fly fishing. It indirectly helps my creativity the same as meditation would. It is mentally beneficial and you are in natural surrounding (see video of “Tish Tosh Tash”
How long has your band been around?
Age 14 to now, 67. Don’t forget, Clapton is 77!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am currently based in Birmingham, UK but will soon be returning to the Coventry area - both in the centre of England. Both have fabulous music scenes, Coventry more eclectic which suits Skidders more with his eclectic music. Coventry being the city of the Specials, Skidders has played with their bass player, Horace Panter.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
My name is Steve Skidmore and friends just started calling me "Skidders". As a unique name, I decided to use this for my music.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Being a huge Beatles fan, playing in the Cavern in Liverpool (on both stages). A couple of weeks after playing there, Paul McCartney was on the TV playing the same stage I had been on!
Also, playing at the Forum in Old Kentish Town was memorable, with dry ice on stage, our own dressing room and fridge full of beer!
What is your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
The Cavern fulfilled any desires - I cannot better that!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Great question! Eric Clapton & the Beatles. Wow!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
For both - gig, gig, gig! Forever write, re-write - ensure your band members are on the same wavelength.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
When I was 16. I was offered an audition with Andy Fairweather-Lowe and turned it down as I was doing an Engineering apprenticeship.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“I Wonder” as it’s dedicated to my wife and I think the video to compliment it is lovely (
Which songs are your favourite to play and which get requested the most?
“Aunty Bulgaria” and “Where Am I” - pure rock instrumentals that are power driven and seem to be well appreciated.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Can start from zero or have a them in mind. For example “Achill Island” on album 3, I had virtually composed before touching any instrument or written anything down. The end result was almost exactly as I had imagined.
“Where Am I’ was a track I’d out done for a Bukechi duo song but we didn’t get round to doing it. I needed and extra track to complete album one, so I hijacked it and added the lead guitar. I was really pleased with the outcome and it is quite “Jeff Beck”’ish.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I’m not a politician or put great emphasis on putting across ideas or beliefs. Most tracks are instrumental and mainly are either ‘just tunes’ or dedicated to special people. For example, “I Wonder” was absolutely dedicated to my wife, whereas “Brown Trout” was just a random title for an instrumental I cam up with that was for no specific purpose other than what I though was nice music.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Thankfully, there’s just me.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Another album, which will take later than 12 months album 3 took. I hope to play with Andrew James, playing ‘swing’ and our duo Bukechi have gigs coming up shortly. Also session guitar work for Andre James and writer Kylosus.