Friday, 15 October 2010

James Parsons: Guitar and Vocals

James Agnew has kindly written this piece, so that I don't feel left out:

Tired of playing the drums on my own, I decided to form a band. This was at the start of my final year at Priory school.

I already knew Andy Phillips, who played keyboards, wore only black and listened to mainly Depeche Mode. He suggested we hold an audition for guitarist and bass players, so we did, in the 'social area' of the school. Andy had already said that James Parsons wanted to audition.

I didn't like James, he just looked like the sort of person I wouldn't like, and he'd made that comment about my name. I was hoping he would be a terrible guitarist, and he was.

So I thought that was it, he was too rubbish to join, I wouldn't have to put up with him any longer. But for some reason, everyone at the audition turned up at the next rehearsal, so the band was formed by basically hoping the worst people would just stop turning up.

James always turned up, and we formed a resilient friendship based initially on the shared view that being in a band was the most interesting thing we could possibly do, at least in weston-super-mare, and fortunately james's guitar skills went from none to Johnny Marr in what seemed like a couple of weeks, he even began to look like a pop star (apart from the regrettable ponytail era).

So that was that sorted, after many line-up changes, we eventually had other band members that matched our vision and enthusiasm, and called ourselves Roger's Trout Farm, for some reason.

We would quickly make rock and roll history, even if it was the sort of history you have to dig deep for in places where no-one is looking.

James also started to write songs, which were much better than he thinks they were. These included the groundbreaking 'My favourite Tree', a green issues protest song way ahead of it's time, although when shooting the video for it we drove a fuel-guzzling Volkswagon round and round a tree for a whole afternoon.

I think the real reason James and I developed such a strong friendship back then is that we both took our musical mission entirely seriously, even at it's most ludicrous, which is fortunate, as it got pretty silly.

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