Roy Weard - A Musical History VII


So now we fast forward a bit. I moved from Hamburg back to the UK and settled in Brighton. At some point in 2000 Tony called me up out of the blue to ask me to be the sound engineer at a gig he was doing in Maidstone Prison. John Mortimer played drums on that gig which also featured Steve Simpson from Chappo's band and Glen Tilbrook among others. Then a year or so later I got a surprise email from Alan Essex (aka The Cardinal Biggles).. We met up again and found we still enjoyed the same music. I had been given an EMS Synthi by the late Boz Burrell when I did some work for him so I passed it to Alan on an extended loan. I think it was at this point he decided we should look for the other band members. Somehow he got back in touch with Terry Morley and The Legendary Wooden Lion began to rise from the ashes. We got in touch with Tony 'Mr. Juan D'Erful' Morley and all got together at his place one afternoon. John Brown our roadie from back then made an appearance and 'Big' Steve Wollington, famed Wooden Lion roadie, Dogwatch sound man and a man who has toured with me while I was in Sound Engineer mode, set to vinyl and old cassette tape into CDs.

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We started rehearsals for the new band with the intention that we would feature music from all three of the acts that Tony and I were involved in over our 30 - odd `year partnership. There were several rehearsals over a period of a year but it was fairly difficult to get at stable unit together. We all wanted John Mortimer to be the drummer but his personal circumstances made that more and more impossible. We auditioned several drummers over the following six months but none of them were what we were looking for. All of this began to grind to a halt and, at the start of 2006, when we had still not found a suitable drummer we stopped for a while. The seed had been set though. I remembered how much I enjoyed this whole business of making music.

One of the people I had been in touch with about joining the band was Last Post guitarist, Steve Bensusan. At the time he was not available but interested and he called me up again in mid-2006 to ask what progress we had made. I told him about the drummer situation and, a few weeks later he called back to say he had a drummer and bassist who would be up for it. We met up in the Trafalgar Pub in Greenwich and decided to set up rehearsals. Alan was still involved so we booked a studio and set to work on songs from both Dogwatch and the Last Post.

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The line up for That Legendary Wooden Lion is: Roy 'Captain' Weard : Vocals & guitars, Alan Essex (aka The Cardinal Biggles) : synthesisers,Steve Bensusan : guitar, vocals, Chris Cottage : bass, Chris Mott : drums

We rehearsed for a while in a couple of studios in Essex and then Chris Mott said we should move to Middle Eight in Barking. It turned out that the studio was owned by none other than JB - the original Wooden Lion roadie! We did our first gig at the Quebec Curve in East London.on the 30th Novemver 2007. Opening number was the one we used to start the set with in the Last Post days, 'Triangle'. As I stood there in the flying jacket waiting for my cue to go on I wondered if I could remember how you did this 'gig thing'. Seems I did, seems I did, and I think I have continued to remember that feeling.

We motored through 2008 and 2009 doing lots of gigs and recording tracks for the new CD but things began to become a little unravelled during 2010. Personal problems in lives of a couple of the band members have curtailed gigging during 2010 and now, as we approach the end of the year we are about to release the new CD, 'Writing in a Skeleton Key' , but are unsure what the line up willl be in 2011. All somewhat frustrating. As a personal statement Roy Weard and The Cardinal Biggles are determined to carry on from here. I will post more details as they emerge. In the meantime you can order the new CD from our shop and we will put somemore stuff up there to buy soon.

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See The Captain's Blog for the story as it happened and as it continues.

Mission statement from Roy Weard:

So we have reached the present day. When I started to put this up it was just going to be one page with a few details of old bands and photos. I did not know that that 'one page' would lead to a new band, a whole load of gigs and a new CD. I have been writing much more than I can possibly perform, the songs back up here, but it has all kindled a new fire in me for performing and creating. I am not sure what form the next stage will be in but it will be documented here - Roy.