After years of slugging it out, Geoff is living out his rock dream (From Braintree and Witham Times)
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After years of slugging it out, Geoff is living out his rock dream
YOU’RE never too old to live that rock ‘n’ roll dream. And for all those hard working bands out there still trying to get a break, take heart from Rowhedge’s Geoff Lawrence.
After years of plugging away in various bands he finally got a music deal, at the age of 39.
And if that wasn't enough, he also got the chance to play New York.
“I’d always wanted to play there,” he smiles, “I was getting to that age, pushing 40 and all that, and having the opportunity to play out there was great.
“And to top it all Jeff Buckley’s old drummer was the sound engineer.”
Geoff formed Slugworth back in 1996 with Stuart Hill and Carl Pallot, and for six years the trio plied their musical trade all over the UK and further afield.
Recording their album in Norwich, they got to master it at the world famous Abbey Road Studios “jam packed with all this incredible equipment dating back to the Fifties and Sixties,” says Geoff.
Born and brought up in Colchester, Geoff first started playing in bands in 1977 with his gig at the George Hotel playing with the Hiliarious Astral Claptrap Band.
Many music lovers may know Geoff as one half of the Orphans of Babylon, a group made famous by Times journalist Giles Smith in his seminal book, Lost in Music.
Geoff says: “He didn’t drink as much as I did. “Giles and I have kept texting each other with lyrics and eventually he got me back for a one-off gig at the Colchester Arts Centre back in 2009 with Ragged String Band and Surfquake.
Geoff was in Orphans of Babylon from 1981 to 1986 and had some terrific gigs, including supporting folk singer Fred Wedlock on a cider promotional tour; playing Guys Hospital and supporting the Pasadena Roof Orchestra.
Slugworth reformed for Geoff's wife's birthday.
“She'd never seen the band before so we got back together for that,” he adds. “Then there was the Free Festival. I went along last year and thought I would love to be a part of that.”
And he was.
In fact the band performed such a triumphant set at this year’s Colchester Free Festival they have been picking up gigs all over the area.
“It’s slightly odd but this time there’s no pressure,” he says. “It's great just playing the old songs.”
Next month Slugworth play a headline set at Tin Pan Alley in Queen Street, Colchester, on December 15, and then in February they will be supporting post punk band the Chapman Family at the Colchester Arts Centre.
See, it’s never too late.