Highlighting an incredible multi-talented yet modest musician
You know the sort of person, every town has at least one, Ilfracombe seems to have more than it’s fair share.
Peter Bradshaw has been playing bass guitar in a couple of local bands for a while, but a few years ago he was regularly playing well paid gigs in a busy functions band and touring all over the country.
What is surprising is not that he is no longer getting paid professional money for playing; lots of musicians decide to ease off and just play for fun, while earning money in their “proper job” and when you are a well educated, intelligent, and hard working bloke, like Peter is, you can earn respectable money doing a proper job.
No, the surprising thing is that Peter is not just a superb bass player* but he is also an accomplished guitarist as well. Sure, he is not in the league of Harvey Hudson, or Jimmy Page, but he can pick up a guitar and jam along to pretty much any song you start to play. Modestly he will deny this, and try to laugh it off, but the truth is when push comes to shove, he will always pull it off.
Now that would of course be enough for most musicians wouldn’t it? I would almost kill to be able to play a guitar as well as sing. Oh; did I mention Peter can sing as well? No? Well he can, and not just a rough old voice that is good enough for a pub band, or backing vocals, no. Peter has a beautiful voice that can be quiet and gentle or roaring and soaring, and his range is amazing, from a deep baritone to a high falsetto, in short he is the singer I would like to think I am.
OK, so Peter can play, bass guitar, and normal guitar, and sing. So would it surprise you to learn that he can also play keyboards? Of course it wouldn’t. Now, when I say he can play, I am not talking about “Chopsticks” or a basic version of “Fleur Elise”.
A while ago, Peter came along to a rehearsal with my last failed band, Surrogate Suns. We had asked him to learn various songs including “Child In Time”, and “Hush”. He pretended he wasn’t very good and then went on to play all the keyboard parts perfectly and make it look easy. Since then I have found out that he knows and can play pretty much every piano piece by Queen, Elton John, Billy Joel, and loads more.
As if that wasn’t enough, he can play flute! Yes, FLUTE! “Nights In White Satin” “Stairway to Heaven” “Hocus Pocus” all just a walk in the park to this guy. So he plays, guitar, bass, keys, and flute, and he is also learning Saxaphone.
“Enough!” I hear you cry. I hate him already. But of course you can’t hate him. He’s an insanely talented musician, who is also by the way a very, very nice guy, self effacing, generous, personable, and intelligent; on top of all that, I said ON TOP OF ALL THAT, he writes some great songs.
Just yesterday at the open mic night at the Chill Bar, he played one he wrote about open mics. A comedy song, having a tongue in cheek dig at the very thing we were doing. Annoyingly I didn’t film it although I did film the song before which was also very good.
Anyway, the best thing of all about this multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist, jolly good bloke, is that he is going to be joining “Badly Worn Toy“ playing keyboards, and flute, or occasionally covering for Nathan on bass, if he can’t make a gig. I am quite excited.
*And he is superb, toting a six string bass, he picks, pulls, slaps, strums, and beats his plank to attain every style and mood that can be wrung from a bass guitar; even, he has joined the small but talented ranks of Alec Tappenden and Dave Lynn-Deverre in creating music using just the bass guitar. See my post Bass Desires – A story of coincidence)
RETURN TO ARTICLE