kristian - 'words & music', lead vox, rhythm guitar

Kristian was born in Denmark to working-class English and Welsh parents: his father hailed from The Old Kent Road; his mother's family were coalminers. Kris' childhood was an unusual one, but music was always his connection to the world, his earliest memories being sitting in his dad's Buik when living in Qatar, listening to Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds on the radio and asking what 'kaleidoscope' meant.

His father being posted from country to country almost every year, Kris' schooling was sporadic: he attended two Dutch schools (picking up the language into the bargain) before an English classroom was eventually built when the family were living in Gabon in French West Africa.

At nine, Kris was packed off to Prep school in Surrey where he unwittingly rubbed shoulders with Right Honourables, and sons of diplomats and pop stars. He remembers teasing one son-of-a-Bee-Gee about how much better The Beatles were - in fact Kris loved the early Bee Gees, and this was a few short years after their disco peak. Scaitcliffe was pretty posh - it's Richard Branson's old school and Kris was taught by many of the same teachers.

Always a risk-taker since getting stuck in a hole in the road aged three and jumping off the back bumper of a moving bus at six, Kris formed a secret gang at boarding school who used to climb out of dormitory sash-window fire-escapes at two in the morning to scale the roofs of the three-storey Victorian building, or escape school bounds wearing only pyjamas and slippers. Once they even set fire to the toilet block because they realised the grease-proof Jeys 'paper' provided made excellent kindling...
Photo - Powder Photography

Photo - Powder Photography

These pranks came to and end, however, when he was sent to military school near Reading. The prison-like regime of harsh discipline and punishment was designed to crush the spirit - with extra parades, spit'n'polish, working parties and morning 'ackers' followed by cold showers. The place was so oppressive there were a couple of suicides, and it was all a sensitive and shy Kristian could do to lay low and concentrate on schoolwork.

Inevitably, careers guidance at 'Nautical College, Pangbourne' was sadly lacking. The school totally overlooked Kris' musicality and facility with language, instead steering him into the Sciences. Fancying himself then as an airline pilot, Kris was merely told it was far too difficult to get onto the training courses and not to bother applying: by then he'd all but lost the power of individual creative thought and duly followed orders, destined it seemed forever to watch planes rather than fly.

Then, at seventeen, a new world opened up when his Grandad (also a writer) taught him a couple of George Formby numbers on a cut-down Concert Grand banjo he'd strung up as a ukelele. Kris found he could take his love of music into another dimension and before long he was teaching himself chords and transposition by ear and from a Beatles songbook. Soon he'd be writing his own: an outlet for his hitherto suppressed creativity.
After he'd finished his first degree, whilst travelling during a gap year, something clicked - and Kris began to compose his first real songs. The following year, whilst studying Environmental Science at Manchester, he met David Dobson, who'd been in a band with Krispin Mills (Kula Shaka) and they began writing and recording together. Although Dave left to persue his own band project in London, Kris now realised he'd eventually found something he really wanted to do - only, quite possibly, much, much too late.
By then in his mid-twenties and saddled with crippling University debt, Kris felt he had no option but to settle unhappily into the mediocrity of an unstimulating nine-to-five lab job, but, determined, he honed his songwriting skills quietly to collect enough material for a couple of potential albums. Choosing a couple of his best songs, and in the days before internet, he responded to a Melody Maker ad. that turned out to be Ian Catt (Saint Etienne) touting for work - and so the pair began work on demos that would later make the finals of the UKSC.
It was shortly after this, when living in Oxford in the late-ninties, that Kris joined a Beatles covers band as bassist and lead singer. He and guitarist/songwriter Duncan Morter quickly realised their common musical influences, notably McCartney's melodic style and - although Duncan was soon to be based in Yorkshire - they resolved to work together on their original songs.

Continually finding inspiration for originality and innovation in his melodies, chord structures and lyrics, and despite work, family and financial pressures as well as the distance between them (or perhaps because of them) Kris has since the early noughties written and recorded (with Duncan's help, and albeit only in demo form) what have clearly proved to be his finest and most personal songs.

Having played and sung on scores of occasions at gigs up and down the country as part of the covers band or either solo or as part of a duo or trio at open mic evenings, Kris has managed to put the right musicians together to take his songs live, indeed they've attracted several publishing offers and production deal offers as well as festival bookings this decade, keeping alive dreams that recording and releasing several fine albums' worth of back-catalogue might become reality.