In 1970, Kevin and David met whilst they were working in the Labour Exchange Office on Aytoun St, Manchester. Both played guitar and had been searching for other musicians who played atmospheric music. Kevin had been playing in small clubs in Manchester and David performed in a few local bands. One evening, they jammed together at Kevin’s family home, and quickly realized that their playing blended together to form the basis of the sound they had been looking for. In the late ‘70s, the music scene in Manchester was bursting with new bands and music.
However, Kevin and David had little in common with the local acts, being disciples of a more meditative approach. They followed a path of their own, reaching for an otherworldly sound that they heard from artists like John Martyn, David Crosby, Erik Satie, Terry Riley, Eberhard Weber, Alice Coltrane, and Ralph Towner. They experimented combining their acoustic guitars and David’s bass with various effects pedals and techniques to try and achieve a warm and expansive sound that rides the line between ambient, jazz, and psychedelic folk Music.
Towards 1981, they had written eleven songs and accompanied a few with Moog synthesizer laid down by Rob Baxter. All were recorded on cassette decks in their simple home studios. They named this collection of music “Light Patterns”, after a poem Kevin had written. With Light Patterns complete, they set out to find a label to represent their music. They started playing a few gigs in Manchester; Band On The Wall, the Gallery, and other venues, such as Rotters which local promoter Alan Wise had organized. They set up with small amps along with their effects and played as though they were back at home. As Kevin remarks, “It was unusual, to say the least, to play such venues in a low volume chilled out way. However, people listened, often in shocked curiosity, and some even asked for tapes.”
Peter Jenner, of Blackhill Enterprises, eventually picked up the album for his new label, “Sheet”. Peter had managed lots of experimental bands and solo artists, including Pink Floyd in their early Syd Barrett days. He always favored outsiders! The tapes were taken to Strawberry Recording Studios in Manchester, who were surprised when Kevin and David walked in with just a couple of home-produced cassette tapes. Fortunately, they liked them and agreed to master the album. It was then sent to Portland Recording Studios in London for final mastering to vinyl. George Peckham, aka “Porky”, did the pressing with a personal message in the deadwax; “Kaftans, Candles and be Cool Man”. The artwork for the album cover was done by the late Barney Bubbles, a truly visionary artist.
After the album’s release, the pair continued to play together regularly until David moved away from the city. Kevin still resides near Manchester in the rolling hills outside of the city. He continues to experiment with dreamy music in his loft, and we are set to share a selection of his ethereal archival and current compositions in the coming months. David lives a quiet life in a small coastal town in the South, he likes to sail and is an avid cricket fan. We’re excited to make Light Patterns accessible again for the first time in nearly 40 years, remastered from the original tapes. As the original press release said, “Put the album on, lie back and enter the land of no floors”.