My first agent was called Errol.
When I was 18 I was recruited along with my friend Pete to play in a band with a lorry driver who went by the name of Brush, who had allegedly played on the number one single “Concrete and Clay” back on 1965. That’s right! I was in a band with someone who had once been almost famous! This was heady stuff! A couple of rehearsals later and we were ready to go. The newly christened “Brush the Group” played a fairly random selection of covers from the 60s, 70s and 80s in what could be flatteringly described as a raw post-punk style. I sang, played bass and occasional the harmonica, Pete played a mean lead guitar in a range of exciting trousers and Brush beat out the rhythm with his sticks, fists and, on one memorable occasion, a pair of pool cues.
As well as going back on the road, Brush, who may or may not have been having a mid-life crisis, had recently reunited with his childhood sweetheart. Errol was her brother and so ideally placed to appoint himself agent/manager. The winter of 1986 saw us embark on a series of gigs, almost exclusively in pubs where Errol drank. Rundown pubs in rundown northern towns were not exactly the route to stardom but we were 18 and getting paid to play every week so what did we care. In the end we managed to achieve a certain notoriety which in Gainsborough in the 80s was as close as you got.
So that was my first experience of an agent, someone whose job it is to sell your talent to someone else, but it wasn’t my last.