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Mike Sweeney & Paddy O'Hare / Blog

Our first blog! The Story So Far...

Hi All,

We thought we'd better finally take the opportunity to get some of our thoughts down and let you know what's been going on since this whole thing kicked off last year. It all started in the early 2012 with a phone call from Mike to myself expressing his interest to develop a acoustic project he started before known as "The Roadrunners", which had since begun to languish. Since we had worked together at Rock Radio, and he knew we had very similar tastes in blues and rock, I guess he saw me as the obvious choice. We arranged a jam in my front room, he brought round his guitar and harmonicas, and played me some songs he'd written (finished and unfinished) and we set about arranging and completing them. This went on for a few months and we both had a tremendous amount of fun doing it. By May 2012 we had begun to try out some songs as a duo at various jam nights around Saddleworth and were pleasantly surprised by the great responses, so figured we might be onto something.....

On 7th July 2012 Mike and Paddy joined by Mark Stelfox walked into Manchester Midi School to begin recording five songs with Producer Ben Jacob. Mark put down Cajon along with some guide parts by Mike and I, throughout the first day John Buckle added mandolin and banjo parts, Dom Greenop added Bazouki, and I laid down 3 rhythm guitar parts in the last 45 minutes! The following day 8th July I finished off my rhythm guitars and both Mike and I added our vocals. On 12th July I went in and added electric guitars, and on 15th we both went in and Mike added his harmonica (as did Colum Coyle on Sonny & Brownie) plus we did BVs, Tambourine, Maracas and hand claps! Then we handed things over to producer Ben and we joined him for one mixing session (including recording his bass lines), and I joined him for the final desk mix in September.

On Thursday 11th October we played our very first gig at The Railway - Greenfield ably assisted by John Buckle and the first seeds of "The Collective" were then sown....this duo was becoming a band!

On 29th October we went out in Uppermill with brilliant photographer Stuart Coleman and shot what would become our EP cover and promo pictures. We also received the final mixes by Ben and Alasdair Taylor that week, which then hit our reverbnation page. By 2nd December for our second gig at Bike N Hound - Hyde, we were joined by Phil Grainger on Cajon, and the sound of us as a four piece had begun to generate more of a buzz; a very favourable review courtesy of Manchester Rocks, and some photos and video from the late Joe McKenna (RIP).

Starting the new year in Jan 2013 an article about us was printed in Cheers Magazine ahead of our 3rd gig. On this return to The Railway - Greenfield we were joined once again by John Buckle, Mark Stelfox on Cajon, and a new weapon in the guise of John's son Scott Buckle on stand up bass.......The Collective was born - A FIVE PIECE! We rounded out January hitting #1 on the reverbnation chart in the blues category!

On 1st February we were lucky enough to support blues legend Victor Brox at Jacksons Pit - Oldham where we again performed as a 5 piece joined by Phil Grainger on Cajon and a very enthusiastic crowd!

On 11th March Mike Sweeney & Paddy O'Hare's "Walking Down The Line" EP had been pressed and was in our hands, with thanks to the design work of the wonderful Ged Casserley, with whom I managed to turn it around in 7 days....its a pretty thing!

So other than all the gig announcements; supporting Wishbone Ash at Holmfirth Picturedrome in October, Headlander Festival in the summer, Mockfest in May, and DB Band this month that just about brings you up to date....oh and we made a come back as a duo on 15th March supporting Grammy Award winners Halestorm at Real Radio XS Studios (see tracks and video).

We hope to see you very soon, much more to come from us!

Paddy (& Mike) 9 April 2013 x