Currently with Loved up Les and Men of A Certain Age, Formerly with Yachts/The Christians
Henry has been using SG drums since May 2014 when he asked Spence to join Men Of A Certain Age on stage at BAMfest, in conversation afterwards, Henry mentioned that he played drums……Spence then offered an SG Bass Cajon to Henry. The next day Henry came to our drum stall and chose his Cajon. Spence has played with MOACA a few times since, and Henry has become a firm friend to the company, even, signing and donating his first cajon to be auctioned to raise funds for the RNLI
“Having started on drums when I was 10 years old (before gravitating to keys and guitar in my teens), it’s great to be back providing the backbeat to songs again using my SG cajon….it sounds amazing!” Henry Priestman
Henry trying out his new SG Cajon
Henry is now on his second Bass Cajon after donating the first one to raise funds for the RNLI
Henry playing his SG Bass Cajon with Men of a Certain Age
Henry Priestman Official Biog 2015/Press Media quotes
“a great favourite at festivals…quirky, witty, & definitely idiosyncratic.” Mike Harding
Henry on drums in 1966
After over 38 years in the music business – and with a credit list longer than both your arms – in 2009 Henry Priestman (having not sung since 1981!!) reinvented himself as a singer-songwriter and released his debut solo CD “The Chronicles of Modern Life” on the famous Island Records label. He followed that up in 2014 with “The Last Mad Surge of Youth”(released on Proper Records) and in 2015 put out his first live 20 track “Settle Down”, which contains 20 songs from a long and varied career
Both albums are the sound of a man who’s seen the music world explode from punk (his band Yachts supported the Sex Pistols in ’77, and The Who on European Tour in ‘79) via pop (three million albums with The Christians; a top five single for Mark Owen) through to the digital age (soundtracks for James Bond/Xbox, BBC’s Wildlife on One, Natural World), writing/production duties with the likes of singer/songwriters Lowri Evans, Amy Wadge, Lotte Mullan, 10cc’s Graham Gouldman, even Aled Jones (who covered “At The End of the Day” the opening song from “Surge..” on his last album), and still has something worth singing about.
So in this age of genre’s, niches and “tribes”, where does Henry fit in? Amazon.com seem to think he’s folk (“Chronicles…” topped the Amazon “Folk and World” charts on it’s release), Radio 2’s Johnnie Walker described Henry’s new direction as “music for grumpy old men”, The Daily Mail said he is “a master of the rueful observation”, and elsewhere the phrase “post-punk-folk-protest” has been bandied about.
Henry Priestman’s “got form,” his “previous” including Yachts (described in Gene Sculatti’s U.S. book The Catalog of Cool as“Cole Porter Punk”!), It’s Immaterial, The Christians (writing all songs on their 1987 triple-platinum debut), sharing a mic and a number one single with Paul McCartney, composing the title song for London West End musical “Dreamboats and Petticoats”, and even having Aled Jones cover a track on his latest album. To say nothing of a roll call of sessions for fellow North West luminaries including Lightning Seeds, Johnny Marr, Ian McCulloch, Pete Wylie, Ian McNabb and Echo & The Bunnymen, plus vocals on Jools Holland/Tom Jones’ 2004 CD.
Tracks from his debut album (including “Grey’s The New Blond”) were playlisted at Radio 2 & featured on BBC Breakfast TV http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOiTSqpjhR0 and his latest “Surge…” album garnered Henry the best reviews he’s had in 37 years of releasing records.
Having discovered a new found love of live work (usually with his partner-in-crime “Loved- Up Les” Glover, mixing ramshackle chaos & tear-jerking poignancy in equal measures!) he will be touring all over the UK this year (check website: www.henrypriestman.com), and is available for housegigs too (24 housegigs booked in for 2016 already!). You could say he likes to keep busy… his last mad surge of youth perhaps?
Press and Media quotes below.
Press/media quotes about Henry Priestman’s 2 solo albums
“An album of rough-hewn charm that should appeal to listeners for whom thumping disappointment & bloody-minded stoicism are the new rock and roll” **** The Sunday Times
“A master of the rueful observation” *** The Daily Mail
“…compares favourably to Ray Davies. These are heart-warming self-assured songs from a man confidently declaring that he’s not done yet” 8/10 UnCut
“Clever crafted songwriting…full of proper tunes & grown-up words…a clever, wily, literate writer” **** R2
“A solo album full of wit and love and disappointment and vitriol… perfect pop decorated with spikiness and anger” **** Rock n Reel
“…a welcome addition to a varied and charming back catalogue *** The NME
“This is Grumpy Old Men set to music … fantastic” The Guardian
“It’s all bound by Priestman’s songwriterly craft: some things age cannot whither” *** Q
“A lovingly crafted album…his fourth act might be his best” **** Classic Pop Magazine
“unique clarity, and honesty… not much youth, but plenty of surge…keep buzzing, Henry, keep buzzing.” ****1/2 (CD of the Week) New Zealand, The Sunday Star Times
“Priestman occupies the territory somewhere between Ray Davies’ sardonic take on life and Nick Lowe’s sly humour” **** New Zealand, The Dominion Post
“The Last Mad Surge of Youth is just the latest sonic jewel in nearly four decades of musical achievement for Henry Priestman” Guitarist Magazine
“A one-man musical battle against banking greed” The Independent
“It really is a fabulous album…gorgeous” Janice Long, BBC Radio 2, 10-10-09
“it’s absolutely brilliant…..he’s found his voice!” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2
Website : http://henrypriestman.com/
You can listen to Henry Priestman on Spotify, and info/vids/photos/gig lists etc are all at: