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Spot-lite on Paul Beckford

Paul Beckford is a man of many talents. He's a fantastic bass player, his whit is unrivalled and his sense of humour has been dried out in a smoke house in the woods. He's a wonderful musician with a very Birmingham-based past, and has been involved in so many aspects of Birmingham music in his time, I know you're going to love reading all about him!

Helen: All right Paul, question number one. Where are you from? And where did you grow up?

Paul: I am from Birmingham. I am from Handsworth and I grew up in Handsworth.

Helen: And you're still growing up now?

Paul: I am still growing up now. I've never stopped growing up.

Helen: But not actually in height, because you are quite tall.

Paul: Well I thought I was tall and then I discovered I'm actually only 5' 11". I thought it was 6' but I'm only 5' 11".

Helen: Really?

Paul: See, surprised you, didn't I?

Helen: Yeah, you look taller than that.

Paul: That's what I thought. I thought I was 6' 5" or something but no, no. 5' 11".

Helen: Are you sure you're not just slouching with the weight of life?

Paul: Well if you see the way I walk, hopefully I haven't got a slouch. I hate slouchy walking.

Helen: To be fair, I don't think I've ever seen you slouch. OK, so how did you get into music, Paul?

Paul: I never actually got into music. I was literally born into music. My mom was a staunch singer from the time she was in Jamaica. Whether it be in the church or not, she was always around music and singing. So she brought that spirit with her to England, had me, and from the time I had sense, my Mom was a dressmaker. And from the day I could comprehend things, there was always a radio on. So I was exposed to music from that young age. And while I was exposed to music, I learned to love music. So ever since I was a child, I remember my first record player was the top of my Mother's radio, and what I did was I took a piece of cardboard, cut out a circle, put the circle on top of the radio and got a piece of wood, like a lollipop stick, put that next to my cut out circle and that was my record player.

Helen: Awww.

Paul: So every time I heard my favourite song on my radio, out comes my record player.

Cause my aunt owned a record player, and of course at that young age - I don't know how old I was, maybe six or seven - I wasn't allowed to touch the record player, so I made my own.

Helen: Oh that's so sweet. Aww. That's such a lovely story! So how did you get into actually performing music?

Paul: Oh, that was a really long way round. Let's see now. Progress from my cardboard turntable, and I advanced to being able to play records on my aunt's gramophone or gram as you used to call it. At that time I was playing songs like 'My Boy Lollipop' and 'Ska Ska Ska' and that was all the records that were there. Those are the first records I ever got to hold and play. I was playing records up until I could go to school and by the time I was going to school I was able to ask my Mom to buy me my very first record which was 'Keep on Running'. You know that one?

*Cue some Helen singing "Keep on running, na na na naa naaaaa" *

Paul: That's the one. His name's escaped me.

Helen: Oh, erm... Steve Winwood.

Paul: Winwood, there you go.

Helen: And that was...The Spencer Davis Group.

Paul: Yes, that's right. It was the very first record I ever owned.

Helen: Weren't the Spencer Davis group signed to Island Records?

Paul: I think they were.

Helen: *furious typing* I'm only f***in right, Paul!

Paul: Yep, what year was that?

Helen: Doing some fast googling now. It was...1965.

Paul: Right, so I would have been four years old.

Helen: That's so sweet. Do you know what my favourite song was...the first song I can remember? You're going to laugh because you know my opinions on things. It was 'Can't help falling in love with you' by UB40.

Paul: How ironic.

Helen: And Kingston Town. I remember that from being small. The same summer really. I absolutely loved UB40. It was the first band I ever liked.

Paul: Ok. I remember going to virtually one of their first gigs. I don't know if you're old enough to remember. There used to be a venue on the Aston University site called The Triangle.

Helen: No, I'm not old enough to remember, but I do think I've heard of it.

Paul: All right. Well, that was one of the first places they ever did a gig. And the way I discovered them. Me being in my late teens in my local band. Lots of local bands. And I used to listen to the radio a lot. And it was...John Peel show. Yes. And he was playing up and coming artists. And we got this brand new reggae band from Birmingham. UB40. And I thought 'OK, let's check this out'. I listened to it and thought 'Oh, bloody hell, this sounds good'. And John Peel comes on and says 'Yes, they're a mixed race band from Birmingham and they look like they'll be doing big things'. I thought 'Mixed race. Black and white. Black and white, ok'. So when I heard that they were gigging, I thought 'I definitely have to go to this gig'. And I thought I can guess from what I heard on the radio who plays what. So I'm pretty sure the drummer is black. I know that the bass player is black. And there's no way that the singer isn't black either. So there was me going to this gig. And they had this support band, Weapon of Peace. And they did their thing. And there was a break and then the lights went down and had this big intro and I could see them coming on stage and putting their instruments on. And when I'm looking on stage, I can see all these white guys. And then I saw the bass. OK. And then I saw Astro and thought...OK. They're not black but they're dark enough. OK, so anyway they trump up and burst into this instrumental. I'm like 'What the hell?' There's a backing tape on here...And I'm looking on stage and I'm looking and thinking...'That drummer don't look dark enough. Hold on, that's a white guy playing reggae drums like that? You're joking.' So they're there playing their instruments and I'm rocking away going 'Bloody hell, they don't sound bad. Ok, well, obviously the lead singer's gonna jump on now.' And they started with the intro and the sax players on it and everything...and there's this white guy coming to the mic. I thought, oh he's going to introduce the singer now. And he pipes up! I'm like WTF. And I thought to myself, 'That's it. It's done. No other Birmingham artist is gonna get a record deal after that.'

Helen: Wow. That is so cool.

Paul: So that was my first introduction to UB40.

Helen: And you were like 'Oh, my God, they're so white?'

Paul: I could not believe this white band was knocking this reggae out, and you can imagine how long ago that was. That was a complete shock because that was just the thing: White guys can't play reggae. They don't get it. You know, they've tried. I'd say the closest they had come to it would have been Police. You didn't hear anybody else really trying standard reggae except for white people having a go at it. Like the Clash, they had a go at it. Pretenders had a go at it. Fine. Yeah. But UB40 were like a reggae band. A reggae band with lots of white guys in it. Who were White. Irish. You know?

Helen: So when did you first meet the bass?

Paul: Right. OK. The journey to my very first bass. When I was at school, say like from the 3rd year onwards, I was old enough to start going out and hanging out with my mates and you know, we could go to like community centres where we'd have like...the sound systems used to play.

Helen: Like in high school, yeah?

Paul: Yeah, so by that time, all of us young black kids from Handsworth were into the Rasta thing and the sound system thing was a big thing amongst most of these young people. So, nearly every other black guy that you knew from school, whether your school or Broadway or another school, somebody will be in a sound system or a handful of them would be forming their own sound system. So I was originally in a sound system called Nyah sound. Things changed, you know, like a band, as the years go by, things change, people changed, and then Nyah changed into...I can't remember the name. So I left Nyah and joined some of my school friends and we formed a sound system called Eternal Youth. And they're still going, by the way, as one of these Veteran sounds from back in the 70's. They're still around but they're like Elder Statesmen of the sound system.

Helen: I love that.

Paul: So I used to be in Eternal Youth and at the same time, out of our school, there was a sound system called Jah Messiah. So because we were from the same school we used to have our little musical rivalries and we'd meet up in some community centre and set our sound up and challenge each other to see who's got the best songs and the best DJ. And that went on for a while and everybody changed members and whatever. Anyway, I got a little disheartened with the whole sound system scene, still listened to reggae music and kind of got a little bit interested in playing music. The instrument I really loved was the drums. So I got into reggae drumming from school - we had a drum kit at school and a handful of us decided that we wanted to play instruments and I decided that I wanted to play drums. Couple of guys played guitars. One of my best mates, who I'm Godfather to his daughter, he is a keyboard player. So we decided to form our own little band. And we had another friend who also wanted to play music. But he wanted to play drums. So I'm like 'I'm already playing drums' and the rest of the guys turned around and said 'Well, yeah, I guess you were, but not now. He's coming in the band and he's gonna play drums so you're gonna play bass.' Right, ok then. I had an acoustic guitar and I couldn't get on with it, it had too many strings and it was too hard to play. But I had a knack of picking out the notes. So I used to pick out the notes for the bass lines, and I could get around it that way. So they knew I could do this as well as play drums, so they said 'Mark can only play drums so let Mark play drums and you learn the bass'. So I was bullied into the bass, more or less.

Helen: And you've been bullied into it ever since.

Paul: Yes! You bully me, everybody bullies me into playing the bass and it's been like that for the last 40 years or so.

Helen: I like it.

Paul: It did start out the acoustic guitar and then I asked my Mom to get a bass because the guys in the band want me to play bass and you know, I guess I'll play bass then. And luckily enough I've had this relationship with the bass ever since. We are best of best of buddies.

Helen: Yes, I agree with that. Can you think of any musicians or music that you're influenced by?

Paul: Third World. Next question.

Helen: Third World, that's it!

Paul: Don't get me started talking about Third World, pleaaase.

Helen: I mean, they are very very wonderful.

Paul: Well, the story that goes with that is that the keyboard player that was the founding member of my local band, discovered Third World via his older brother. So we used to go round to his house and his brother would have records and he told us 'Oh, you gotta listen to this man'. And he played this Third World song, and we're like 'WOW!' because by this time we've been listening to roots rock reggae music all this time. And then when we heard Third World. We're like 'What's with all these different chords?' and 'What's happening' and we got really excited and ever since then, from that day to this day, Third World has always been my favourite band. They're the most influential reggae band for me.

Helen: What is the first band you played in?

Paul: The very first band I played in was a band Senator. We were based in Handsworth and Aston. At the time there were other little bands running around. There was another band called Unity. So there were quite a few young reggae bands knocking around Handsworth at that time. Errol was in a band at the time - quite an influential band, but I forget the name right now. And when we came on the phone you asked me who I was listening to, and that's a band from that time as well called Carnastoan. Who else was going at that time? You know Jacko Melody? He is a hell of a singer and he was in a band at the time. To me, I'd say he was like Birmingham's Dennis Brown.

Helen: It's a big small world, isn't it? Birmingham reggae.

Paul: Oh yeah.

Helen: Can you remember the first time you played in public?

Paul: I was 16 at the time. I can't remember how on earth we got to play there, but it was a kind of...talent competition. There were a bunch of young people performing. It was at Hollyhead School. By that time, my young band Senator, we barely had a backline. I had a makeshift bass rig. My bass cab, I made. I think the same with the guitarist. He probably had his own little amplifier and his own little speaker going.

Helen: You've upgraded a little bit now.

Paul: Just a little bit. I don't think we could afford a proper drumkit - we had like, half a drum kit going on. We didn't have a singer. Nobody could - well, the keyboard player ended up being the singer in the end, after about a year or so. But at that time we were just playing instrumentals. We were just learning our instruments to tell the truth. I don't think we'd been together six months. Well, I hadn't been playing the bass for more than six months. Davey would have played the keyboards from when he was little so he had more of a knowledge of his instruments, but guitar and stuff were still learning from chord books. That's how that went, so we ended up playing instrumentals. And there were a couple of acts before us and they did all right. We thought they were bloody brilliant. Oh bloody hell, this is going to be embarrassing. So we went and did our thing, and it went down a storm! I think that is the main reason I'm in music today, because the reaction that we got at the time. And I thought 'Really? People can be fooled that easily?! I've never been so appreciated in all me life. This is what I'm gonna do'.

Helen: So what's the highlight of your musical career?

Paul: It's got to be working with Burning Spear for twelve years. Nothing is really gonna beat that, no matter what. Unless we, somehow, get on that level, by hook or by crook, there's nothing else that's going to compare to that.

Helen: Wow. 12 years.

Paul: 12 years. 1 Grammy nominated albums. No, two. I believe I'm on 2 Grammy nominated albums.

Helen: I believe you are. I've looked up your discography. You've got an official discography on the internet, because you're named in the credit. Did you know?

Paul: Well...I kinda did, but it's not something I look at every day. I try not to look at it at all. Just so I don't get above meself!

Helen: Well, you have already got quite a big head.

Paul: Exactly. I can't make it get any bigger.

Helen: So, turning inwards a little bit then. Now we've gone out from your first little makeshift record player and we've gone all the way out to Burning Spear for 12 years...How did you get into The Reggulites?

Paul: I probably got the bus down to town, got into Robannas, pushed the door, and there they were!

Helen: Your first gig was helped us out last minute at The Wyggeston, and we didn't even get time to rehears, did we?

Paul: Didn't we?

Helen: No! We met you at the gig.

Paul: So I learned everything via...YouTube I guess?

Helen: Yeah!

Paul: Wow. Well the man I've gotta give all the credit to is Sir Vernon. He was the one who introduced me to you guys first.

Helen: Yes, it was Izzy. He said he knew a bass player who had a cancellation.

Paul: Oh right, Ok. So from day one you've known me as Mr. Double Booked and Mr. Cancellation?

Helen: Oh yeah. It was really good luck actually. We'd got Izzy down for it. I can't remember what was going on with bass, but at the last minute we didn't have a bass. So we told Izzy the gig was going to be off. And he was like 'Hold on a minute, I might know a bass player'. And then I think it was all of three or four days before the gig that we sent you the stuff over and I met you on the stage, because you were already on stage by the time I got there!

Paul: I really can't remember this at all! I remember the gig. I thought it was that I went to a rehearsal and then we did the gig. I didn't realise I'd been thrown in at the deep end! But you know that's exactly how I joined Burning Spear. I got a phone call. Let me give you a little story. This is going back to...remember that YouTube video I sent you of the Scarecrow with the big hat on Top of the Pops? Some priests from the future? Well, during that period...or at the end of that period, there was me, Mark Rogers and Big Cliff...sorely missed, a bigger brother to me, he would have loved you guys. Definitely. And you would have loved him. Great big cuddly bear of a man. Anyway, he was part of the Hollywood Beyond crew. He wasn't on stage, he was producing a lot of the music and co-writing and whatever. So anyway, when the Hollywood Beyond thing was running, I was living in London, cause it was all high profile and Warner Bros and all that. So, I was actually living in London at that time. But when it folded and I had to get back to reality, I moved back to Brum and Cliff stayed in London. And while he stayed in London, he ended up working for a record label called Tommy Records. They did a lot of the mid 80's hip hop music when that was getting big. He got in a position where he was also working for an agency that was taking care of live acts as a tour manager. So he ended up being tour manager for the likes of LL Cool J and Public enemy, and he had a very strong connection with De La Soul, and any time they were touring the world, he used to be their tour manager. Outside of being tour manager for them and other big American acts, he was also managing some of the big reggae acts as well. One of them that he was managing was Burning Spear. So, that summer he was tour managing Burning Spear in Europe and halfway through their tour their bass player apparently had an epiphany. I mean, he was really really good, Mr Bradshaw. Really good bass player but apparently he'd got a little bit above his status.

Helen: Visions of grandeur?

Paul: Thank you! I knew you would know the phrase for me. He did have them a little bit. So what he decided to do while he was on tour, because all these people are giving the band all this accolade and he was being told how great he was, he decided to play his own bass lines to Burning Spear songs whilst they were on stage. Being creative and trying to make it different. And of course Spear turned round to him and said 'What you're doing is great mate, but can you stick to my bass lines because that's what the audience has really come out to hear - my stuff.' And he decided he didn't really want to do that. So Spear said 'OK not a problem' so he had a word with Cliff and said 'Do you know any bass players out there that might like to finish my tour.' So at the time I was hanging out at...I can't remember the name of the studio, and you'd be much too young to remember it yourself, but it used to located in Dale End. There were various rooms and I used to hang out with Linton a lot in those days. You know Linton from the Jam House? Me and him are very close. He used to have a pop band a bit like Go West, called Mr President. Really good stuff actually. So I used to hang out at the studio helping out and seeing what was going on and people sometimes needed a bass player for stuff. Occasionally I'd get called to play drums for somebody. So I could play the drums every now and again. This is way before technology, so my usual thing was go to the studio about 2ish, hang out there till 5ish, and then leave with the guys from Mr President and we'd be at that pub down Dale End, the Peaky Blinders pub. And that time I used to drink. So I used to get rat-arsed from about 5 and get home about 8ish. At that time I'm still living at home with my Mom. So I get home, and my Mom goes 'Paul, Cliff just phoned you today, he's gonna phone back later, he's got some work for you.' So I thought that's cool, I might be able to go to London and make a bit of money. So I'm waiting for this phone call. And Cliff phones and asks me what I'm up to and asks if I fancy doing a tour. I asked who, and he says Burning Spear. 'Burning Spear? That's a reggae band from the 70's isn't it?' he says 'Yeah'. I said 'Are they still going?'. Now the reason I reacted that way was because I'd just finished this pop band and previous to that I'd stopped listening to reggae from the time they started Dancehall with Shabba Ranks and all that. It put me off reggae completely because it was all electronic bass and badly programmed drum machines and the singer going left and the music going right. I can't listen to that. So I ended up listening to hip hop and RnB and Rap and all that. So when he came to me with Burning Spear I'm thinking that's going way beyond what I'm used to now, that's like from when I was a kid. So I'm like OK well I'll help these old geezers out, if that's the case. If they want to give me some work, fair enough. So he says I had to get to Torquay. Tomorrow. Because Spear is gonna fire his bass player and you've got to replace him. So they'll probably sort it out so he does a few more gigs and in that time you've got to make the time and space to learn the set and then we'll bring you on. So, long and short of it, I got myself sorted, got a couple of trains to Torquay, got to the venue and I was greeted with 'You've gotta leave now. We've got to get you out the way. Spear and the bass player are actually having a fight and it's probably not good for you to be around right now'. So anyway, he ended up doing that gig and if I'm not mistaken he was sent home the following morning. I was able to go to the show but I had to be in the audience so I wasn't eye to eye with the bass player. It was a big venue, holds like 1500 people. So when I'd got there for the soundcheck time I'm seeing this great big room and I thought 'Wow, this is a big room for this band that I've not heard of for the last 30 years, but maybe they have a bit of a following, they've booked this place and they'll get some people turning up.' When I got back to the venue in the evening, Helen, I couldn't get it. It was ram! They're all Burning Spear fans! I'm just in the audience and milling around. There's three girls on the horns and this big reggae band. They fired up, and when I heard the first few notes, it was like that UB40 thing again, my mouth hit the floor and I'm like WHAT THE HELL. They just came at me! Wow. And then the other reality was Hold on...I'm supposed to replace him? And this guy was throwing down! And then he was playing his own bass lines and they were wicked, but they weren't right, but they were brilliant and I was like sh*t. This guy can play. I aint played reggae for years and they want me to replace him? So after the show, Cliff grabs me, drags me back to the hotel, throws a load of tapes at me and says 'Learn those. You're on the show tomorrow.' At the time I used to smoke fags. After that first gig where I was just making stuff up as I went along obviously, one evening and one coach ride. From Torquay to Bristol. I had the time from when I got back to the hotel on the night, the morning, the coach, I had an old Walkman to sit with and learn the songs and then we did some of them in soundcheck and I was on stage at 8pm. To the same size audience.

Helen: Oh my God.

Paul: Helen, I couldn't believe it. Anyway, they were doing a 6 week tour and I came in on week 3. So I ended up doinf the last three weeks with them. And I kinda got on with them at the beginning, luckily, and by the end of the tour we were all really good friends. The way I see it is, by the end of the second to last gig of the tour I did with them, I'd learned the set.

Helen: It takes me so long...I can work out what the notes are. But it takes that bit of time to really know that you're putting it in the right place.

Paul: Ah, see you know what I'm talking about.

Helen: And it does take time. You can't do it over night, man.

Paul: I'm telling you. Every night I came off stage, back to the hotel, headphones on, bass in my lap. If we had a day off, some of the guys would be in my room with me and they were like...hardcore Jamaican. The first time I met those guys I was gonna knock them out! Because the drummer is like '********* English boy, learn dem ******** tings. You can't come up on stage like that' I'm like 'Hold on, are you talking to me?' Only to discover that when we became friends, this is how we relate anyway. Even when we're having a laugh, that's the language they spoke. We been family for like twelve years. I've lost some of them now. My room mate from day one, I lost him a couple of years back. I lose the percussionist not long ago and the drummer Nelson, me and him were really close and I lost him a couple of years back as well.

Helen: You do end up as family with musicians, though. It's more than family. You create things together.

Paul: That's the way it should be. That's what I say all the time. There's no point in you playing music if you're not amongst people who you get on with. I don't play with people I don't get on with. It affects how I play and how I feel. If it becomes irritable in any way, I don't want to be involved in it.

Helen: Yeah, it's not for that, man. There's enough things in life to get all twisted up for. Music isn't one of them.

Paul: No, it's a release. Normally, when you're in a band...even with yourself, Helen, I know you have your little things going on, but when it comes to your music, that's your escape. It's your heaven. It's our heaven. Or haven. Other people can't understand it. So many people like 'Why don't you get a proper job'. Stay in your dry world and leave me alone. You don't need to know why I go through this b******s just for music. It's not for you to understand. You either understand it and join me...or shut up.

Helen: Totally agree with that.

Helen: What's the best gig you've done with The Reggulites, and why?

Paul: *Cue demon noises*. It's an honest answer and an escape. All of them. It's not even a case of I play with other groups and I can't remember. I could play a gig today and tomorrow someone could ask me where I played and, you know me, I won't have a clue. I don't know where we played. All I know is that I had a good time. And I think the reason behind that is what we were just saying. If I'm not enjoying it, I'm thinking about it. I'll remember the bad gigs. But I don't play with bands that have bad gigs.

Helen: I tend to have that where I can't remember exactly what gig it was, but I remember exactly how I felt.

Paul: There you go. So, me working with The Reggulites. I never have a bad gig. It's all about the company I'm in. I play the way I play because of the people around me. That's what is more important to me. The audience, I want them to love it. And as you know, it's up and down. Some people love it, some people don't get it. Some people don't want you to leave. Other people wish you didn't come. But basically, you're always having a good time. Because this is what we do.

Helen: What is your favourite song that The Reggulites do?

Paul: Has it got to be one? I'll limit it to two. Valley of Jehoshaphat. I can't pronounce it but I love it. That is one of my favourites. My other favourite ones, believe it or not... It's one of my favourite ones because you feel it, and then when it comes to the change, you feel it a bit more. Lady.

Helen: Ohhhh, OK. Are we not putting in Tears on My Pillow, Paul?

Paul: *silence*...I do love playing Tears on My Pillow because again it is one of those that you feel. I have eventually learned it now. I don't know what happened to me out there, but then again I was quite traumatised being kicked out my house and all that, so...

Helen: Well, we'll allow that.

Paul: I did have a bit of a few days there. Even on a good day I can drop notes, so when it happened then I was like 'Oh...What else could go wrong. I've been kicked out my house and Reggulites are gonna fire me.' I ****ed it there. I know.

Helen: Oh bless ya. It was just so random. It was like...I turned round to look at you and you're looking at me like ... What has happened? What is happening?

Paul: It was like an outer body experience. I'm stood outside my body looking at myself going 'Look at you, you prat'.

*cue laughing*

Paul: You could have dropped a note, but no, you dropped a whole song, there. They can fire me. Leave me out here by the seaside. It's fine.

Helen: Can you imagine being that band that's like '**** you Paul, we're just gonna leave you here on the beach now.'

Paul: Don't joke. Cause Burning Spear has done that to musicians before. Other reggae bands have done it. They've been on tour and they've kicked out one of the musicians, and they just leave their ticket at the front desk, and they've gone. Either a plane or a coach ticket. I've seen all that happen.

Helen: Na, that was so random though. You looked so confused.

Paul: I remember you looking and I'm like 'Sorry, whatever you're expecting from me right now Helen, it's not going to happen. Nothing is happening. I don't even know what this thing is around my neck right now'.

Helen: It's a what guitar, now?

Paul: Every time I touch it it just gets louder and louder. Turn it off. Take it off. At least it was the last song. Oh man. But I still love playing it.

Helen: It is a tune. But Lady is an interesting choice.

Paul: I do love it. Ever since you guys introduced me to it and I got my head around it I've loved it. It's a great song. It's a great version.

Helen: I think with Lady, it is a little bit complicated, but when it hits right, it is a beautiful song.

Paul: Definitely.

Helen: Yeah, it ticks all the boxes for me. I know Lloyd loves singing it.

Paul: Yeah. He does a great job with it. When you play it right, he sings it right, and the more he sings it right, the more you play it right.

Helen: Last question. Tell me a little big about the other groups you're involved in.

Paul: Well, there's Ultimate 40.

Helen: With our favourite Andy.

Paul: Yes, managed by Mr Andrew Cliff. We're going through a change at the moment. I think you were involved at the time we started doing it, when you played with us. We're steering away from being just a UB40 band and mixing it up as a reggae covers band as well. That's really cool. The history of them...Steve and Vinnie being in Musical Youth. Big time guitarist Deco.

Helen: Oh he's lovely. I actually love him. He's such a beautiful heart.

Paul: Oh he's brilliant. I always take the p*** out of him, you know me. And long and short, you can also say I'm in The Gabbidon band and lots of us did The History of Reggae thing which was a Gabbidon project. And I play in Beatroot with Sir Dennis. My latest project is working with a writer called Ras Joseph.

Helen: I know who he is. He played at The Night Owl and none of his band were there.

Paul: Yeah, well, I'm part of his band.

Helen: Oh, well thanks for not turning up. I would have seen you. I like him. He's lovely.

Paul: He's a great guy. I've known Ras Joseph for the last ten years or so. Yeah, we've done little pieces. He's been and done little pieces for Basil. But recently he's been on the road over the last couple of years. I did end up doing a gig for him a few years back with his band. And he's one of them that is always writing and recording. He played me some of the stuff he recorded. And we went back in the studio and recorded them live. So yeah, that's what else I've been doing.

Helen: Brilliant, well thank you so much, Mr Paul!

I hope you've enjoyed reading all about Mr Paul and his interesting musical career and highlights. He's been around, that's for sure!

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