I began my career in the music business as an assistant sound engineering in 1985 at A wonderful place called Strawberry Recording studios which was based in Stockport, in the northwest of England. I was hungry for knowledge and began building my skills working alongside some of the UK's best producers on projects with bands like “The Smiths“, "Echo and the Bunnymen”. I was taught on the job and went to Salford University one day a week for electronics education, but I learned most of my skills by sitting in on sessions helping the in-house engineers (Martin Lawrence, Richard Scott, and Strawberry studios co-founder Peter Tattersall). After 6 months of watching and perfecting my skills at brewing up, I was asked to start engineering overnight sessions with local bands such as The Milltown Brothers, The mock turtles and the unsung heroes of Manchester 90's music scene, "The world of twist", who were signed by major record companies almost immediately after my initial demo sessions.
By the Late 80's, I’d been working on some interesting pop projects, working with bands such as "The Housemartins", "A Certain Ratio", and on to "The Happy Mondays" legendary Album "bummed", Working alongside Martin “zero” Hannett. Who introduced me to a crazy crazy world, most of it spent retrieving him from the waterloo pub, which was less than 20 yards across the road from the studio. He showed me many recording techniques, which changed my whole view of the recording techniques of other Producer/engineers. He was somehow able to capture the energy and angst of performers and players' personalities on to Magnetic tape, not just recording a vocal or a guitar. He somehow managed to get the band into such a mental state that he controlled everything, like a movie director or an orchestral conductor. He always managed to keep everyone on their toes whilst capturing the rawest performances.
After doing these sessions with martin and the Mondays, everything seemed so much easier. Not only was martin a great producer he was a skilled Talent scout. and would be able to find bands with incredible talent while hanging out in small venues and nightclubs, He found many of the bands he worked with that way.
I went on to work with Martin again with a band called The High. on their first Album Somewhere soon, which turned in to a career changing session.
After we'd finished the "Somewhere soon" album, I was asked By the band to leave Strawberry and work full time with The High. now at that point in time strawberry studios was being pulled to pieces by the new owner Nick Turnbull, I jumped at the chance, not only because they were fun to work with, i think it had something to do with them offering a wage of Twenty times more than my salary I was receiving from strawberry. We had a lot of fun from 91 onwards.