Musicians in lockdown: ‘My piano kept me going’

Bolton-based photographer Marge Bradshaw requested musicians to share their private tales of life in lockdown, after the pandemic left 1000’s of jobs in danger and a whole bunch of UK music venues underneath menace of closure.

picture copyrightMarge Bradshaw

Lindsay Garvin – piano tuner, piano trainer, solo pianist

“When Covid-19 restrictions had been first introduced, I used to be in denial in regards to the severity of the state of affairs.

“Happily, my piano educating and tuning enterprise has grown all through the pandemic.

“I believe it is as a result of with extra free time, folks flip to their creativity.

“I really feel very grateful to have had fantastic, loyal college students all decided to adapt to Zoom classes, when crucial.

“It has been heart-warming to witness college students’ continued dedication to studying the piano, regardless of the numerous obstacles they confronted.

“In anticipation of a bottleneck demand for future weddings, I am at the moment rehearsing set lists as a solo pianist.

“I’m most positively trying ahead to returning to performing stay.”

picture copyrightMarge Bradshaw

Simon Kojo Sackey – guitarist for Kojo

“It is exhausting to maintain motivated to play, figuring out that you have no gig on the weekends.

“Funds have additionally been tight.

“My household has stored me going and I’ve spent a variety of time taking care of our youngest one.

“On a optimistic aspect, I’ve began to file songs once more, which I have not achieved for some time.”

picture copyrightMarge Bradshaw

Jo Byrne – guitarist, pianist, vocalist for Phantom Voices

“My entire life-style has modified because of Covid-19.

“I have been gigging a number of instances every week for the final 15 years and I’ve oriented my life round that.

“To go from being so busy to having nothing in any respect has been an enormous shock.

“Whereas I like writing and recording, I am primarily a stay performer and that is what I like to do.

“My piano has stored me going.

“Each time I am feeling pissed off or fed up, I can sit and play for a couple of hours and it is like meditation for me.”

picture copyrightMarge Bradshaw

Rick Hughes – drum trainer

“As an expert musician, the hardest factor is that it is your livelihood and you haven’t any concept whether or not it’s going to ever return.

“An entire trade in a state of suspended animation ad infinitum.

“I positively will not take something without any consideration once more, that is for positive.

“My implausible household have been superior and stored me from dropping my thoughts on a couple of events.

“Thoughts you, me and my spouse got here near insanity home-schooling our eight-year-old!”

picture copyrightMarge Bradshaw

Geraldine Inexperienced – clarinet, penny whistle, bodhran, piano and cello

“Earlier than Covid-19 struck, I performed with the Bolton Symphony Orchestra, Bolton Chamber Orchestra and for my native church music group.

“I additionally performed people gigs, exhibits and lots of, many live shows, each professionally and with beginner teams.

“I am additionally a trainer. Pre-coronavirus, I had 22 college students – now I’ve 10!

“The hardest factor is unquestionably the lack of enjoying collectively in my orchestras. It was each my work and my social life – all now gone.

“I miss the religious feeling of music, our pricey audiences, live shows, rehearsals, friendships and the camaraderie.

“I’m grieving the lack of it, horribly.”

picture copyrightMarge Bradshaw

Tommy Govan – guitarist for The Govans

“The closure of hospitality has led to all my bookings being cancelled.

“I arrange Tommy’s Road Events, the place I might take a gazebo and all of my tools to a avenue and other people would sit on their drives and hear and dance to my performances.

“It was a variety of enjoyable and it was good to see folks pleased with smiles on their faces once more.”

picture copyrightMarge Bradshaw

Rob Younger – guitarist, banjoist for The Two Hats Blues Band and Rambling Rob Younger

“I am actually lacking [gigs].

“The Two Hats Blues Band had been semi-professional and knocked in about 150 stay gigs in 2019, each single weekend out on the street, up and down motorways with a van full of drugs.

“Swiftly it was taken away.

“It is a actually robust time for musicians proper now and certainly anybody working within the performing arts.

“A world with out stay music appears like dwelling in a home with no home windows.

“Dwell music is uplifting, it is nourishing, it is social glue.

“It is properly and really missed by me.”

picture copyrightMarge Bradshaw

Josh Jenkinson – lead guitarist for The Deadbeats

“Like all musicians, I actually miss the joys of being on stage.

“I have been retaining as busy as doable, together with recording and composing, in addition to constructing a guitar over the lockdown interval.

“You find yourself missing a way of function and actually miss doing what you are presupposed to do.

“I can not wait to get again gigging.”

picture copyrightMarge Bradshaw

Gaz Jenkins – vocalist, Billy Joel Tribute UK

“I have been in a position to play a couple of gigs right here and there, with my final one being in October.

“Persons are normally swinging from the rafters, however because of the ban on audiences dancing and singing it was fairly a subdued affair.

“I fairly loved the break in the course of the first lockdown, if I am being completely trustworthy.

“I have been gigging professionally for over 20 years. I’ve missed out on so many issues – holidays, household occasions, social gatherings – and a variety of my friendships and relationships have suffered due to it, so it was good to cease and take inventory.

“That being stated, it is made me realise that I do not actually know how you can do the rest, and that got here as a little bit of a fear.

“I’ve utilized for varied jobs over the previous few months, however have not had any luck.

“I would like the scene to come back again as quickly as doable, so I can reinstate my sense of self-worth.”

Images and interviews by Marge Bradshaw.

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