While you have all been told to stay at home, some have you may have noticed that there have been many performers who have been sharing their talents with us online because their usual work has ground to a halt due to venues closing. We are funny creatures us human beings - most of us learn to adapt to the trickiest of situations that life may throw at us.
One of these musicians I happened to come across is from all the way up t’ north in Lancashire, UK (North West to be precise) in a city called Lancaster. His name is Andy Creevy and I got chatting to him after seeing him perform his acoustic set one day on the Lockdown Musicians Festival, which has been a regular streaming event on Facebook since this lockdown began. It turns out that this talented chap is also part of a Ska band called The Reggie Mental Band - who doesn’t like a bit of Ska?!
- So, how long have you been playing music for and when was The Reggie Mental Band formed?
I have been playing music since I was in school. I was born in Merseyside and brought up in a great musical and creative community. I played in local bands and wrote songs for many years. I moved to Morecambe in 1985 to do my nurse training and got involved in the local music scene. I started playing covers to supplement my income as a nurse, and have since played and toured all over the UK.
The Reggie Mental band was formed out of a country band which a few of us played in. We had a horn section in the band because we played songs by The Mavericks who were very popular at the time. We were asked to play at an outdoor festival called The Light and Water festival in Morecambe, and we played a set of Ska and Reggae with the addition of a vocal harmony section. Our performance was well received on that day, so we continue to perform as The Reggie Mental Band as a side project to our other musical interests.
- Would you please tell us a little about The Reggie Mental Band, the other members and where we can usually find you?
As mentioned earlier, most of the band are professional musicians, music teachers and songwriters. We have had many changes in the line up over the years; however, four of the original members still perform in the band. We have all become firm friends over the years and the band is very much a social gathering, as well as being professional in our work as musicians. We have even had guys play gigs with us that have previously played the main stage at Glastonbury and sell out gigs at Manchester Arena.
We tend to play locally to our area due to logistics - there are ten of us and a large sound system to truck around, so it’s often difficult and not financially viable to travel too far.
- Do you (usually) have a daytime job, and if so what do you do?
Most of us in the band are professional musicians, and I am now a full time musician having retired from nursing two years ago.
- Do you have any live streams lined up, and where can people find more information?
We have nothing specific lined up at the time of writing this, but please feel free to check out (and like) our Facebook page: @TheReggieMentalBand. You can also find some of our performances on YouTube.
Andy you have been a gent - thank you for talking with us and I look forward to your future gigs whether they might be online or live.
If there is anything this lockdown situation has taught me, it is that the mainstream music/art scene gets far too much attention. We should all be supporting these hard working musicians that have soldiered on and entertained us through these difficult times!
Did you do any entertaining through the lockdown? Please drop us an email and we’ll give you a shout out: firstname.lastname@example.org