07. 1989 MUSICIAN

 Performing live music first began in 1989 and continues today.

Raffertys Bandwagon (2005-07) Farndon Fjellgar Riverboat

Raffertys Bandwagon (2005-07) Dunholme Lord Nelson

Raffertys Bandwagon (2005-07) Farndon Rose and Crown

I began performing sometime in the 1990’s singing folk songs in pubs and then later worked with other people in bands and duos.  During this period I began writing my own songs and scored two full musical productions for a theatre company I had become involved with. For a few years I became a professional singer out in India. These photos are a few of my recollections.  

2009 Entertaining the children of Kiran Niketan Primary School, Goa, India


2011 With the ‘Dinosaurs’ at Rolleston Village Hall, Newark, Notts.


2011 The Dinosaurs

2011 The Dinosaurs at Rolleston Village Hall, Newark, Notts.

2011 With the ‘Dinosaurs at Rolleston Village Hall, Newark, Notts.

Raffertys Bandwagon 2005-2007

Park Hyatt Hotel, Goa, India. 2008

Park Hyatt Goa India

Park Hyatt Goa India

Limeys Restaurant, Velsau, Goa, India. 2009

2004 Two Amigos at the beautiful Coconut Creek, Bogmalo, Goa, India.

Coconut Creek Bogmalo Goa India. Incomparable.

2006 Live for the RAF before their deployment to Afganistan in Lincoln UK

1990s Gypsy Blue at the Fest

Fitzy and Dixy at Bestwood Festival

Gypsy Blue at Caudwell Festival 1995

Gatecrashing the Folk Festival, Nottingham

Fitzy and Dixy live

Nottingham 1990s

1998 to 2005 Fitzy and Dixy

Fitzy and Dixy at The Old Kings Arms, Newark, Notts. UK

He’s my brother

The long and winding road

Live at Heritage Village, Goa, India. 2008. Wednesday evenings on the main stage.

Heritage Village Cansaulim Goa India. Every Sunday lunchtime. Real family atmosphere.

Heritage Village Cansaulim Goa India

A friends wedding, Nottingham

Solo again, Nottingham

We were there

Ozzie, Grace, Eleanor and the Duchess

I think everyone goes through phases in their lives, in my case I’ve had many. On this page I’m just reflecting back on a live music career which began in the early nineties and has just begun slowing down now really. In those 15 years I’ve been lucky to have worked with some of the most talented people in my circle,and beyond.

I began as a solo folk singer but later went out on the road singing blues with Gypsy Blue. When Gypsy Blue went their separate ways I teamed up with the only guy who ever got near to being a brother to me; Bri Fitzpatrick. As Fitzy and Dixy played we 1000 gigs all over the East Midlands from 1998 to 2005.

Later my daughter Benita came out with me and we performed as Raffertys Bandwagon in pubs and clubs around Lincoln.

Finally coming full circle I ended up solo again.

Live at Taj Exotica, Goa, India 2008

Taj Exotica Benaulim Goa India

Taj Exotica Benaulim Goa India

Taj Exotica Lobster Shack. Every Saturday evening. Lovely memories.

While living in India I had a  residency playing at the beautiful Taj Exotica Hotel in Benaulim, Goa, every Saturday night and occasional Tuesdays from 2007 to2009.

My ‘office’ was a small stage entertaining diners from all over the world at Taj’s Lobster Shack restaurant which was located literally on the shores of the Arabian Sea. The  biggest problem I had initially was coping with crickets which kept jumping inside my mouth as I was singing. What I discovered over time was that they were attracted to the white shirts I wore during performance. Needless to say I went shopping.

Now back in the UK I doubt if I will ever take up regular performing again although I have been invited to do the occasional private gig. If it supports my charity I wouldn’t refuse but otherwise I’m just happy to have the memories πŸ™‚


10 thoughts on “07. 1989 MUSICIAN

  1. Hi do you remember me Angela Parkin I was a great fan of yours back in the 90s. Its my sister Joan & Eddies golden wedding anniversary August 2014. Were celebrating at The Lumb Farm at Ripley and it would be a great honor if you and Brian Fitzgerald would entertain us. You played at there daughter Emma’s wedding. I booked you for lot’s of gigs back then. Can you contact me on 01773 856878 or 07931431509. I would love to hear from you. Love Angela.

    • Hi Angela of course I remember you. And thank you for thinking about us. I’ve passed your contact details to Fitzy and he will be in touch with you soon. Loads of love Dixy x x

  2. I recognise one those Guitars Uncle Alan, in the photo “we were there” Tanglewood” semi-acoustic – I have the same one

    • Very true my young nephew, it is one of my Tanglewoods which over the years joined me on a 1000 gigs around the East Midlands, Wales and beyond (with the incomparable Fitzy). When performing in India I took my Yamaha and Osark and had to buy heat resistant strings locally as often my concerts were in 40 degree heat.
      These days I tend to use one of my smaller Tanglewoods as I find it lighter on my shoulders over a few hours and easier on the arthritis in my wrists. Such is the demon of old age. But old buskers never die…they just fade away.
      It’s good to make your acquaintance Si, I wasn’t aware you were a reader on my website but you’re very welcome here. Take good care dude. My love to your folks. Unc x

      • Mum gave me the details earlier, i like the drawings. πŸ™‚ I miss playing, haven’t played in such a long time. Mum always used to say I reminded her of you the way I used to sit and play.

        • Probably a lot of truth in that Si, your stance may be inherited. I think depending on the venue a musician develops various methods. For many years I played rebel songs in the Irish boozers and dives; the kind of places you wouldn’t take your mother. In those situations I found myself quite an aggressive performer but then needs-must. Just getting in-and-out was an art zig-zagging between the punch-ups and the tarts (Benita has particularly fond memories of watching me in such places).

          Paradoxically India was the opposite; five star hotels with strict dress codes and corporate events. Having said that a musician in India leads a very rock star existence. I used to drive up to the hotel and a man would come out to greet me. He would take my guitar out of the boot and take me to the stage in a golf trolley through the ornate grounds. Someone else would take my car away. On arrival at the stage the sound crew would bluetooth me and I would just stand there and perform. Tips were outrageous, particularly from the Russians who had a penchant for anything Beatles. After the show I was driven back to my car which had the engine running and the air conditioning on. Benita also experienced that at Taj Exotica.

          These days it’s nice that I can choose where and when I perform rather than doing it for a living. I guess this year I may do a dozen or so gigs but they’ll be of my choosing. Being a musician/artist Si is a gift and a blessing to be shared!
          Unc x

          • Amazing!! I wish I had the confidence to play big venues. I remember you being a huge Lennon fan. Queen were me were the amazing band. Brian May’s guitar sound for me was magical. I actually have a Brian may signature copy and amp made to the same specification as Brian mays ‘deaccy’ amp which was built by John Deacon (Queen bass player) which was used in some of queens early stuff.

          • Lennon was always my inspiration and still is. It took me years to collect his solo albums on the apple label; Sam bought me the last one that I didn’t have last year. Queen were a big favourite of mine and Fitzy’s when we were out and about, we’d often bang in three or four of theirs in a gig.

            I’m very much into lyrics and the passion they’re delivered. I want to hear what people are trying to sing to me, I want them to tell me a story. (Without sounding too old and wrinkly) music has arrived at a dreadful place these days, I just about hate most of what I hear. I don’t do manufactured. There’s nothing more exciting for me than to see a guy get up with a guitar/harmonica, a good song and a great passion – I’m totally mesmerised. Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens are also serious heroes but then so is Satchmo Pops (Louis) and Dean Martin – I’m not adversed to some serious cool. Knopfler and Clapton always remain gods.

            I think when folks turn out to see you on a cold, wet night, whether in a big venue or a local pub you have a responsibility. Frankly the small intimate gatherings are far and above more enjoyable to do than the lights in your face and the racket you hear but can’t see places. I don’t think I’ve ever had a little gig when there hasn’t been a lock-in and we’re all still there at breakfast time. Great memories.

  3. Hi there, you used to play in my pub , “the woodman
    ” at Ripley , and I have very fond memories of you two….you were the best!!! rob&Kathryn.xxx. Ope you both well.xx

    • Hey Hi Rob and Kathryn x I remember the Woodman at Ripley very well; many a brilliant evening there. I hope you are both well too. Are you still β€˜Mine Hosts?’. The one that stands out in my memory most – and I was just thinking about it yesterday – was Millenium Night. Remember that? I think we were still playing at 6am in the morning ha ha )
      Thanks for calling in on my site x Hope you stay in touch x loadsa love Alan (aka Dixy) x

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