By the close of 2012, with a our debut album The Sweet Release flying off the shelves and the song Summertime Blues a permanent fixture on Radio Cornwall, it became apparent we needed to expand. We'd outgrown the trio format, often turning to the bass player for bigger gigs, but now we were on the search for a drummer too. In early 2013 we posted an add on Gumtree, received a wealth of interest from various beaters, met a few of them, invited one chap to join the band before even playing with him, then sacked him after the first rehearsal! We met a Spanish dude who couldn't speak English, a drum teacher with no rhythm and a percussionist who insisted we also hire his brother on bass! In amongst the many responses was an email from a chap named Andy Watson, included was a decent CV and a nice cheery message. He, along with countless others, was ignored. We'd grown disillusioned with meeting new people, what with the language barrier and the nepotism, and had instead coaxed our friend Frazer Young out of retirement. Frazer was a great percussionist and he played three good gigs with us over that spring period and for a time it seemed this would be a lasting relationship. We thought we could cope with him living in London, not having a car or even a drumkit; in those heady days, we thought we could cope with anything! But we couldn't, and the bloom finally fell off the rose. We re-opened the add with haste, 'must have a drumkit!' we wrote, and then, 'and a car!' and then, 'and live in Bristol!'.
Responses trickled in, some new faces; a chap who was traveling in Central America all summer, and then Jim who had 5 drumkits and 4 children! Once again there was a message from the very same Andy Watson. This time I replied. Asking him how old he was, for with a CV like that, he appeared to have been there and done it all. He was 37. Not bad. A few more sporadic emails trying to arrange a meeting and it fizzled out once again, we'd began trialing a stomp box and saw out the summer back as a quartet! But in September we signed with an agent and had our first tour scheduled that was to be captured in our debut film How NOT to be in a Band. With days to spare we finally met Andy Watson. We knew in a matter of minutes he was the perfect fit, a tidy drummer, steady as an ox, who played exactly what the song needed. He had a car, could drive, lived nearby, had contacts in the industry and knew our agent personally. He was keen to get involved in the running of the band. He was an absolute steal. We signed him up immediately, taught him 15 songs in an afternoon and then stuck him in front of a camera. No pressure. He slotted in perfectly. Unfazed by the ramshackle approach. Invited on the most bizarre tour he's ever done and I doubt he'll ever do again. Travelling 400 miles in a 30 year old renault 4 with a piano strapped to the roof rack for a succession of unconventional gigs. He spent his first night with The Odd Folk camping on the Peak District. Next he was introduced to our London fans, our Bristol fans and finally dragged home to Cornwall to meet the family. He passed every test he faced. He is Mr. Dependable. Mr. Meticulous. Never late. Never lazy. As an outsider in a close-knit brood, it can't have been easy. The only non-Cornish, the only "furriner". But he hasn't shied away. He's got involved. Got his hands dirty. Tested himself. He's not only our friend, he's a friend to many of you now. Whether in Bottallack or Bristol or Belgium. And that will continue. It's not the end of our story with Andy Watson. Just the end of this chapter.
|Andy Watson: Sept 2013 - Sept 2016|
"Raise your glass to the sky, wave your old life goodbye"