Wally has been playing for a long time, but he’s been a bit lazy about it all until the last few years. Lucky enough to be a teenager living in London in the 1960s, he has picked up all sorts of musical influences over the years. In 1966 he played in a band called The Waterproof Sparrows; the drummer, Steve Porter, left the band after a tumultuous few months to join Marc Bolan as Steve Peregrin Took in Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Wally joined North Devon folk-rock band Saltpeter in 1973. He’s the skinny one on the right playing a nice Burns guitar.
They played regularly round the county, with several residencies, and support to notable names like Wizzard, Lindisfarne, and Chicory Tip!
In 1974 Wally moved to Hebden Bridge (not yet christened Happy Valley) and after a year or so with the Corduroy Hot Rhythm Boys, joined the newly-formed folk/prog rock band Havana Lake. They recorded an album in 1977 titled Concrete Valley – these days it’s considered a bit of a rarity and pops up now and then on vinyl collectors’ websites.
Around this time Wally met his current recording partner Steve Andrews, and they played together for a while in a covers band called The Outfit, performing often at the recently opened Trades Club in Hebden Bridge.
After moving to Leeds in 1979, Wally became interested in recording, starting by using two tape recorders and bouncing tracks between them in an attempt to emulate the technique of Mike Oldfield on the cheap. in 1980 he and his friend Martin Briggs part-exchanged two Vox AC30 amplifiers for a Tascam Portastudio (how times change!) and that gave a massive boost to his love of recording music.
More recently, Wally has been playing and singing with Hebden Bridge ska/rock legends Owter Zeds, and has recorded two albums – Songs From a Shed and Wrecked – with Steve Andrews (as Uncle Wally and Uncle Steve). He’s also trying to become a decent fingerstsyle guitarist, but has a way to go yet…..