OPINION: North Devon's amazing music scene - Andy McAuley

North Devon Gazette

Hello all, I’m Andy and I’ve been given the opportunity to write down a few words about the amazing music scene in North Devon.Â

My earliest memory of music is sitting in the back of an old 2CV Citroen with my dad playing The Mamas and Papas, Neil Young, John Lennon and many others on the tape cassette player in the car.Â

I remember the excitement of sharing my amazement over a band or artist to friends, my first gig with my dad to see Def Leppard, learning to play the guitar (badly) and starting my first and only band with a few mates from school (we never went further than the practice room!).Â

Let’s forward wind to having a wife and three kids who are all passionate about music and all talented in playing music. I think in total they, between them play the piano, saxophone, bass, guitar, drums, ukulele and sitar (they’ve got the playing music gene from their mum).Â

I’ve had some fantastic opportunities to meet some of my music heroes and embarrassing myself with my fanboy enthusiasm.Â

One of those heroes was Devon’s own Amy Newton. She with her husband Simon would run open mic sessions in Braunton on a Sunday.Â

We would go regularly and I would be a proud parent watching my kids play some tunes in front of a friendly crowd and being blown away by the amount of home-grown talent turning up each Sunday to play music.Â

My wife and I became good friends with Amy and Simon and really enjoyed getting involved in any way we could to help with their music nights. I continued to watch the growth in confidence in young musicians whilst serving drinks from the bar with Simon.Â

We eventually set up a small music festival, On The Road, that runs every year and now my kids are studying music, playing gigs and all developing their own music memories and passions about what they do.Â

I want to see if I can bring some music knowledge and information to you, and go on a passionate journey writing and talking about music and how important it is and discover and uncover all this local talent.Â

Till next time, keep rocking, rockers.