DAVE ‘DOC’ CUTTER
I’ll start by saying I’m a bass player, not a guitarist. Always feels a little bit alien having the extra strings and a lack of that bottom end that makes you want to curl one off when it smashes into you’re unwary sphincter.
Got my first guitar at 10 and by the time I was 12 had swapped to bass after a mate of my brother’s gave me a go on his Gibson Thunderbird. Played everything from rock to reggae, jazz to punk for a few years, gigging with anyone who’d put up with my ability to out drink myself.
When I was around 18 I ended up in a studio doing a demo with Diesel Pig, another rock outfit but playing and writing originals for the first time. That’s when I first heard Rockabilly. Breathless were in at the same time recording a single, can’t remember which one but the engineer played it to us and I remember being blown away by how raw it was. Livestock Davies was their guitarist and he popped his head in the room and grunted and that was that for about 4 or 5 years.
Caught a few Breathless gigs and Colin Edwards became probably my biggest influence on the slap bass. I’ve never seen anyone hit the thing as hard and I probably never will.
Back playing rock for a couple more years it was Phil Lynott, Herbie Flowers and a bloke that is still my favourite bass player, Norman Watt-Roy of the Blockheads who I aspired to be like.
Knock on the door, there’s Livestock standing there. “You can play drums, wanna do an album with Cavan, Breathless and Freddie Fingers Lee?” Colin their drummer had buggered off to Oz so I ended up doing the ‘Saddletramps’ album with them and my first venture into Rockabilly came with a pair of sticks in my hand. Did a few gigs with them and that was that again.
Knock on the door, there’s Livestock and old pal Paul Bale. “Fancy coming busking?” that was Katsquire. We were together for about five years, busking, gigging, recording and generally debauching our way around Europe. What a ball! At this time in my life I was living in Newport Gwent, a hot bed of musical talent with the legendary TJ’s at its epicentre. When we were off tour we’d all play in scratch bands and one of those was the Gibbering Heaps. Four piece rockabilly with Livestock on Guitar, me on slap and Baz and John Oldfield from the infamous ‘ABS’ on vocals and drums.
Knock on the door, Baz and John (the Reverend Naughty Pencil). “Got some money for studio time from Rough Trade. We’re putting some stuff down with a guitarist from Sunderland called Dickie Hammond, fancy playing bass?” Spent a few amazing years with those guys touring and recording some of my favourite albums under the banner of Doctor Bison. Had a few near death experiences but made some lifelong friends on route. I still think Baz is the greatest songwriter to come out of Wales. Fondest memories of the late, great, immensely talented Hammond who sadly drank himself to death a couple of years ago, just as I was getting to understand what the ‘fooook’ he was saying without the aid of a translator.
Tired of touring I took some time out of music and went back to being a stonemason/carver, and after years of abusing my body in any way I could, it finally took its revenge. Slipped a couple of discs. If truth be told, I blame the Chunky sisters in Stuttgart but that’s another story. I’m off work for ten weeks after my op so I bought a 16 track recorder, learned how to record and wrote and pressed ‘Died Jogging’. It was only ever gonna be a library album but Livestock heard it and thought it might sell on the Rockin scene. It did. That was 2006 and now I’m finally playing those tracks and a bucket full of new ones with Richie and John. Back to Rock n Roll, this time on guitar.
You’ll notice one name keeps popping up. Rob ‘Livestock’ Davies, undoubtedly my biggest influence in music, favourite guitarist and grumpy twat. It’s all his fault!!!!!!!
RICHIE ‘MEGABASS’ EVANS
The Rock and Roll Bug started for me when I was 11 buying my first vinyl, Buddy Holly (Rave on). Then the Stray Cats released their first album in 1981 which I bought for £3.89 from HMV!
I played it LOUD!! I loved the sound of the double bass and my dad didn’t mind either, he was a teddy boy back in the day!
I soon had the bug to play double bass!! So I saved money and got my first bass when I was 17. I went to gigs in Cardiff, Bristol and then the Klub Foot in London, watching all the bass players closely and taking tips.
I formed my first band The Flyrites a year later and played some gigs, went busking and got some tattoos!!
I moved to Cardiff and played in a couple of bands (Rockin Retards) but was still learning the technique. After 2 years I moved back to hometown Carmarthen and formed a ska/skiffle/gypsy/punk band called Tootin Ska Moon.
We played loads of festivals and gigs over 15 years. Even made it to Glastonbury in 1993 on the Avalon stage where I also played with local legend Nik Turner in the Circus fields. Tootin Ska Moon was a great experience and every gig we did was to a full house.
I’ve played with several musicians in the Carmarthen area over the years, all great players and all different styles but I’ve always been looking for a Rockin guitarist. Because, the reason I play double bass is my love for the slap rockabilly style!!
I got introduced to Doc through a mate and we started to jam and from then I joined Doc and The Headshrinkers.
JOHN ‘HAIRCUT’ LOVELL
I started playing drums when I was 15. After many failed attempts at mastering various other instruments I heard a school rock band play at assembly and loved the energy of the drummer. I managed to talk my way in to having a go on the kit and knew from that minute that I was going to be a drummer. A year later I had my own kit. Convincing my parents that it wasn’t just another fad took some work, they had their reservations on the inevitable racket that would ensue. Eventually we came to the agreement that if I saved enough for half the kit they would pay the rest. I played them every day, watched countless live shows to pick up techniques. I Learned to pick songs apart and suss out what the drummer was doing.
My main influences at the time were Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Green Day, Pink Floyd and Led Zep. When I wasn’t playing the drums I was tapping on anything and everything to the annoyance of pretty much everyone.
Within a year I had formed my first band ‘Alcatraz Melon Project’ with my close friends, playing a medley of Grunge and Prog Rock. From then to the present I played in a variety of outfits playing everything from Reggae/Ska to PunkPop and Psychobilly.
I’d known Richie from the local scene and was asked to fill in for a gig with his then current band, Monsterometer. At the gig he asked if I’d be interested in drumming with the Headshrinkers. I’d never played Rockabilly but after hearing Docs’ music I was gonna give it a bloody good go. Within weeks of meeting him we were in the studio recording the single and Doc & the Headshrinkers were truly born.