This is how it starts....
Back in the day, myself and another songwriter, Alex Brewood, wrote a bunch of songs and decided we liked them so much we'd record them properly with lots of friends - who happened to be great musicians. Thus was born Little Devils. Loads of great musicians dropped into that first album - some stayed a long time - others made brilliant cameo contributions. We are massively grateful to them all.
We took those songs out on the road in 2010 and played many hundreds of gigs - the line up changing over time as it will with any band subject to the pressures of life on the road. There's been pot holes, delays, diversions and various road traffic improvement schemes down the rock and roll highway but still the band rolls on. And, by the skin of our teeth sometimes, we never had to cancel a gig.
That was until this week. There have been changes in personnel before and I guess there will be in the future - the road goes ever on and "using clichés as crutches we clamber from one crisis to another" (to quote a song I must get round to recording someday). This time round, we had planned to make some changes at the end of the year. Yoka and Ray were leaving and we had new members getting prepared - all gigs were covered and we had a "plan".
However, on Friday, Sara got a call asking her if her other band could support The Stereophonics. This was an offer that couldn't be refused - but at such short notice, we couldn't find a dep drummer - despite frantic attempts all weekend "the minutia of the moment is amplified out of recognition" (it's that song again - got to record it one day). So we arrived at a place we've never been before - and hope to never be again. Having to cancel 3 gigs. My sincere apologies to the promoters and to the people who would have liked to have seen this incarnation of Little Devils one last time. I am afraid it's not to be.
So, where are we now? "There's a physical reward in the chemistry of sound communication" (yes, I must record that song). Little Devils will continue as we always have done. Give me just a little more time and all will be revealed. In the mean time, I'd like to thank so many people for their help and support. Firstly, Louise Davies, my/our manager, I don't know where I/we'd be without her. Also, Alan Pearce, Paul Stiles, all the brilliant IBBA DJs, Christine Moore, Steve Yourglivitch, Steve Dulieu, Terry Parker, Jerry Da Costa, Sylvia Van Essen, and many hundreds of other people who have helped promote Little Devils over the last few years. All the brilliant people who come out to gigs all around the country (and every country!) and support live music. All the kind generous people who have bought our albums, bought us drinks, given us shelter from the storm or in any other way - kept us going - you have my never ending gratitude.
It's a very hard and expensive business keeping a band on the road - as my bank balance will testify - rehearsals, PA, insurances, CDs, posters & flyers, postage, studio time, van, diesel, servicing and a million other costs. The rewards are great gigs with great audiences. Meeting really lovely people and hopefully communicating through the music - articulately with intelligent songs and inarticulately with emotional music. My belief in Little Devils is that we play heartfelt, honest, passionate songs in the same manner. This is the only way I know how to play music - one trick pony I'm afraid - so it's the way Little Devils will continue to play. I hope to see you down the road apiece with the new line up. We'll be kicking up a storm very soon.
Last thing, there's a bit of writing on a rock in The Avenue of Rememberances in Easington Colliery. It says "Get understanding and promote goodwill in all things".
Love and peace