Hi, I'm Richie, I'm 36 years old and I come from County Durham.
From singing and playing the piano from 4 years old, to picking up the guitar at 10.
Music was always a big part of my childhood.
After leaving school, I went to study music at college, but unfortunately in a poor northern town, my course was cancelled half way through to knock down the college and build private housing.
With no alternative courses at the 6th form, and no other colleges local enough, I was forced to get a job.
Luckily my uncle had a signwriting business where he employed me and taught me the whole trade.
I played drums in a heavy metal band with some friends, and we were.... Terrible. But 6 years down the line, and seeing music take less and less of an impact on my life, I decided I must try and persue it once more.
So now being older and able to drive, I applied for a music course at a college a few towns away. I studied my A levels for 2 years with great results and during that time became the lead singer of a locally sucessfull Red Hot Chilli Peppers tribute band, where we gigged to help us through college.
To make further funds this is where I started busking in my town. The first time I went I had to have my mum come with me and watch me because I was so nervous, I didn't know what was going to happen. But as the songs played, change fell into my case and the confidence that I was able to do this grew.
I really wanted to go to a good music university, and my very close friend had gone to the Brighton Institute of Modern Music or BIMM a year earlier. He was telling me about how amazing it was there and the oppotunities were abundant. so I was very inspired to go.
But there was a catch?
To audition there, I needed to pay £600 up front (just to audition!) Now that may not sound like much, but I come from a poor background where money stands in the way of most things.
The only thing to do was busk. So I did, and I busked and I busked for months over the spring/summer to save the money.
To which I prevailed, and off I went to Brighton to audition.
Success! I had passed the audition and was accepted to study there the coming September. I met so many great musicians and learned a whole heap. My friends and housemates Ben and Sheldon were two of the collest guys to have by you in a new daunting place. We started a band called Chillin' With Zeus. It was a funky first band project and we had lots of fun with it.
After my studies I left Brighton to tour with a travelling festival band called the Scallywags. We spent two years touring festivals in the UK. I played a few instruments, but became particularly known for my strange ability to play the triangle, despite never playing one before. Hence the name Richie Triangle. I don't know what it is about the triangle, I just love it, the rhythms I could make with it. I ended up playing with many bands that season, just playing the triangle.
After touring Spain with the Scallywags, I discovered a lovely place we passed through. We got to know the locals and it was idillic. I vowed to go back there.
The next year after losing everything, I hitch hiked with just my bag, a pop-up tent and my guitar all the way from Scotch Corner Services, all the way to Barcelona. I was picked up by my friend Rosa and I was welcomed into the village where she lived in the mountains.
I began playing in the streets of Barcelona, but busking in the city came with hefty penalties. The police threatened to take my guitar away if they saw me again. In need of money and something to do, kindly, a man in the village let me use a piece of his land for growing fruit and veg. So I began growing all the things you could ever imagine, organically of course. To much the grattitude of my friends, I'd give away boxes to them to enjoy as I had a huge surplus I'd never eat. To my suprise, I also had much luck with my lettuce. I somehow managed to grow the most delicious looking varieties of lettuce you'd ever seen and a local veg company that bought and sold only locally grown produce would buy my lettuce weekly, which helped the pocket a little.
Whilst gardening, I fell in love with a lovely Catalan lady from the village and she let me move in with her. She got me on the path of making some better money. I got a job an hour away down the coast playing every night in Irish bars all summer, which was great experience for me and also made me money. I met two very awesome Irish friends out there, Jason and James.
Me and Silvia planned a 6 month trip to India, to help people and to get some culture. 15 days was spent helping the most wonderful children and families. But on the 16th day we went to a beach to relax. I was climbing on some rocks to try and find a way to the next beach.
Unfortunately I fell 30 feet onto jagged rocks. Smashing my wrist and spine in 5 places. I was paralysed from the waist down. I had no travel insurance!... I thought I might die. I was in an ambulance 10 hours before they got me to a hospital that could deal with the severity of my injuries and even administer me with pain relief. I was terrified and broken. I didn't know how long I'd be like this for. The doctors and surgeons were great. Sadly during my recovery back home, the strain on me and Silvia was too much and we separated.
I needed to now focus on getting better. Learning to walk again, play guitar again.
Thankfully after much determination and most of 2015 in a wheelchair I managed to rehabilitate myself to be able to stand and walk again. I started paying my parents back for the money they fronted for my medical bills. I couldn't sit around. I had to get back in the music.
So I had £900 I'd saved. I bought an old Transit van for £500 which I aptly named Rusty. She was ready for the scrapyard, but with a good bit of effort I worked hard and wisely spent the remaining £400 on turning her into a camper to live in. I then headed off again in search for my place. Busking around the country, I was making good money travelling around. I spent some more money investing in my van, and some new equipment, to where I installed a small studio in the van. After getting asked many times for a CD by people when I'm busking I thought it was about time to have something to sell, something people could keep. So I recorded my first EP in my van and began selling it at the bargain price of £5. This helped as a stop gap to writing a full Debut album. Funding the process and my life also.
Made From Broken Pieces, partly describes and sympathies with us all and our situations. How despite being broken and beaten and battered, We're still here, alive and strong to tell the tale.
Please enjoy the music and thank you all kindly for supporting me.