Terry St Clair

Terry St Clair

Born in Burslem Stoke on Trent. Terry and his family moved to Hinckley Leicestershire in 1953 at the age 2 years. Started piano lessons at the age of 9 years. Terry also practiced his singing skills whilst being a member of the local church choir where he also played the church organ. The first guitar was homemade and hardly stayed in tune. It was at a school concert that older pupil Geoff Richardson performed the folk blues of Bert Jansch and Jackson C Franks that inspired Terry to play the guitar. Geoff Richardson joined 'Caravan' in the 1970's and is now a member of the 'Penguin Cafe Orchestra'.

Terry worked as an apprentice Book-binder, enrolling at the Matthew Bolton College in Birmingham. During this five year period he spent most of his time playing guitar and singing in local folk clubs. Terry started to write songs during this period. The first one being 'You Don't Need Me' written for a friend who used heroin and sadly died in 1993. 'You Don't Need Me' was not recorded until 1994 on 'Basically'.

In 1968 Terry met Toni Savage. Toni was a local folk club organizer and agent. He ran a private press from his work shop in Leicester. Where he printed and published material for Spike Milligan among others. Toni supported Terry's career and booked him into folk clubs and concerts around the Country.

Terry's Television debut was (wait for it) ITV's 'New Faces' on his birthday 1974. Singing one of his own songs 'So Many Empty Mornings'. Interesting remarks were made by the panel of judges made up of Tony Hatch, Arthur Askey and Mickey Most. Believe or not they actually liked Terry's music. Mickey Most gave him 9/10 for star quality.

That same year Terry headed south for London and a professional life as a singer songwriter. To make ends meet playing in wine bars and restaurants became the norm, along with many other musicians in the big city.

In 1977 Terry moved back to the Midlands, got married and had a daughter Anna born 1978. With a family to feed Terry got a job as a sales rep with a record distributor. During this period Terry formed a folk rock band called 'Millstone Bill' with old friend Steve Southorne they played pub and club venues around the Midlands UK. Terry was still writing songs and the band performed most of the material.

Terry's marriage broke up 1980 and he moved back to London. First working as a Driving Instructor for BSM where in 1981 he met Kim his partner.

Between 1982/84 Terry travelled extensively around Europe. Initially by hitch-hiking to France, Italy and Greece. Playing the guitar and singing to survive. Before long Terry set up home in North London with Kim and by this time being booked to play in Italy, Holland and Southern Ireland as well as all over the UK.

Street Theatre was very popular and Terry also enjoyed this freedom to perform in Towns and Cites throughout Europe and also to be paid for it. It was during this period that Terry performed alongside comedians such as Eddie Izzard, also Sarah Crow and Ann Bryson (then known as the Flaming Hamsters)

'Band Aid' happened in 1985 and so did 'Busk Aid'. Terry wrote the song 'Maybe Not Tomorrow' at this time, and performed it on BBC Breakfast TV to promote the event and help raise money for the cause. Many thousands of pounds were raised on the Piazza at Covent Garden. This event was also filmed by the BBC. The performers from Covent Garden also raised money for many charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. Where they put on a big show to a full house at the Duke of Yorks Theatre, St Martins Lane, London. The show was Co-produced by Kim Mace.

'Not between Two and Five' Terry's first album came out in 1985. Financed by business man Nelson King. Recorded and produced by Bob Lamb ( also produced the early UB40 albums) at his studio at Kings Health, Birmingham, UK. And has now sold well in excess of 60.000 copies. Bob was also the drummer in the Bob Seger Band. Keyboards and arrangement were by Phil Johnstone then unknown, now a world famous keyboard player and producer and has worked with Robert Plant for many years.

Terry continued to write songs and perform throughout the Eighties gaining bigger audiences (he even played at a Barry Manilow concert at Blenheim Palace! (True story) In 1988 Terry performed to 5000 people at the Festival of Voices at Wembley Conference Centre.

There were many TV and Radio appearances and the second Album 'From the Little Back Room' was released in 1991. It took 18 months to record. This was completely one man produced album. The production, arrangements using electronic sequencing and samples (apart from acoustic guitar) were done by Terry. This album was very popular but Terry was already moving back to his acoustic roots and very bored with computer programmed or generated music.

In 1994 Terry recorded 'Basically...Terry St.Clair' and his first completely acoustic album. Just guitar and voice. Some of the songs on the album had been on previous albums. Basically has been a extremely popular album and the public response has been very good.

Terry now feels this is the most satisfying and honest way to record and as much as possible using first takes to try and capture the energy that can be lost after many takes.

'Black White' superseded Basically. This album includes some familiar songs plus new material. Beautifully recorded at Denton Studios, Chiswick, London. UK, Produced by Paul Stephenson and engineered by Ben Matthews. Terry is very proud of the quality and reality of these recordings.

'If I fall in love with you' has been used in a Kevin Costner movie called 'Upside of Anger' directed by Mike Binder.

www.terrystclair.com

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