Monday, 25 June 2012

Bones and the Aft biogs:
Winco. Mulleen
I first saw Wingco (AKA Ian Mckean) standing next to Paul Trew on my first day at Farnborough Grammar School in late  1971 , me only  recently removed from the colonial inglories of Singapore and still reeling from the culture shock. Do you like music? I believe were his first words to me, and I did of course, revealing that I had singles by Curved Air, T.Rex, The Faces and Marmalade , although no record player.
Mckean had not only a record player but actual LPs!…including Tommy by the Who, which he could play, on battered spanish guitar, almost in its entirety, at age 14.
Trogsie Trew,  Mulleen and kid sister Andrea formed our first band soon after- Illydre we were called-  and we did our first gig at The Church of Scotland New Years Eve under 14’s disco on Queens Avenue, Aldershot January 1972, a full forty years ago…..(we were thrown out of the building after two songs for our  lewd behaviour……)

Later, I moved to Hong Kong (army kids, see….) and Illydre evolved into White as white and twice as dirty, the last progs or the first punks depending on which fence you sat on, playing Windsor and Watchfield festivals, as teenagers. At Watchfield, they shared stages with The Guildford  Stranglers and the 101ers and Joe Strummer borrowed Ian’s guitar…times were changing. 
We shared Foundation together at Farnham Art College, then went our separate career ways. Ian gave up his place studying Graphic Design at Farnham to play guitar in the Beatles-like Thirteen. Beset by an unlucky name (Their drummer died in a motorcycle accident whilst recording their first single), and the onset of Punk, they were followed by the dissolute tower block glam of Bad Detective and the leather clad tower block rock of Twenty Flight Rockers; one of least embarrassing Generation X offshoots, this one containing drummer Mark Laff.

After this came ten years or so in DIY punk-pop innovators,  the criminally underrated Balaam and the Angel. Originally notorious for their hand made hair and clothes and equally unusual instrumentation, they created their own highly influential Chapter 22 record label before eventually signing to Virgin as worldwide success seemed to beckon. Becoming increasingly louder with every passing year, Balaam toured extensively throughout the eighties and early nineties and now Mulleen has only one eardrum left…...

More recently, he has been playing for Camden pub rock supergroup The Runner Bros and doing classical gigs after retraining as a classical musician after he lost his eardrum (somewhere under the sofa).

 In 2010 Wingco Mulleen responded positively to Bently’s request to join him, musically  reunited after 35 years,  in the great Bones and the aft adventure……

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