I played in a band with Roger Kinder when I was about 14 or 15. He was all of 23 at the time – a proper grown up, except when he got anywhere near a stage, at which point he became a monster. I knew he was the best guitarist I’d ever heard and that we were beyond lucky to have him. At first, he was standing in, helping us out as we’d accidentally misplaced our previous guitarist, but I remember the night, about 2am outside a party in Paddock, Huddersfield, when he told me he was going to join us full-time because, he said, we had better parties than his regular band.
Most of all though, I remember the quality of the man. He was working for Yorkshire Water (The Water Board back then) on the ‘dirty side’. His gang often worked the area close to my school, so, many times when I was escaping school for a few hours, or eating chips of a lunchtime, I’d bump into Rog and his co-workers on the streets, me in my school uniform, they in their high vis and hard hats. I knew his work mates would take the piss mercilessly, because he played in a band with a with a school kid and some of them would snigger as I as approached him in my shabby Royd’s Hall blazer and tie, but never once did Roger hide from me, even when it might have been easy to do so; never did he fail to acknowledge me or come up to me for a chat. His mates could say what they liked.
We largely lost touch when the band split up and I moved away to university, though there were some memorable band reunions.
Move forward a couple of decades and it was a chance encounter at another party that I next saw Rog, and he helped me get going as a songwriter. We chatted about songwriting and I bored him with my usual tales of woe at the time – how I could get lots of ideas together but I just didn’t seem to be able to finish writing a single song. Full of enthusiasm and positivity, he invited me to his home-studio to try recording something. So, rather than looking like a loser to this respected local musician, I just got myself into gear and finished a song that I’d been toying with for years. Then I finished another and so it went on.
We recorded a few tracks and Rog also stood in with me for a year or so, playing live as a duo and in the Boo Sutcliffe Band, alongside his regular band work with Razorbach.
In the intervening years, Rog had also taken to film making, following another long-standing passion, and his creative energy is just as apparent in these endeavours as it is in everything else he does. We’ve made videos for quite a few of my songs –most are available on my YouTube channel.
On 28 April, my latest single will be out, accompanied by a one of Roger’s videos. I think this is our best work together yet. There is a special advance version of the video available here.
I’d love to know what you make of it. If you could leave comments on the YouTube page that would be ideal.
Love you both. What a blog post. Serendipity that two of the best people ever should meet.
Thanks Claire. “… two of the best people ever” is perhaps stretching it a bit _ there have been a lot of people _ but very happy to take the compliment in the spirit in which it was given.