Music Thame

October’s On The Mic: Paul Hankey, a fantastic local singer and guitarist.

Paul Hankey

Every month we will be focussing on particular music groups or events in the area and finding out more about our local musicians. In this issue we are going to focus This month we are going to focus on Paul Hankey, a fantastic local singer and guitarist.

Q: How did your interest in music start?

A: There were always plenty of records in the home when I was a kid. I remember being bought 45s of This Old House by Shakin Stevens and The Best Years of Our Lives by Modern Romance.  My Dad was a big influence on me – I found a stack of his old Beatles LPs in the bottom of a cupboard.  I was hooked from that point on.  Paul McCartney Pipes Of Peace was a favourite track I remember from my youth too.  I remember listening to it on a Walkman – sharing a headphone each with a mate on Scout camp.

Q: Who influences you musically?

A:  Tricky.  I have pretty broad music tastes. Norwegian Black Metal to Ennio Morricone, and everything in between.  Anyone who has seen a Memphis Rattlesnakes show will grasp pretty quickly that I love rock n roll.  So I guess Elvis, Eddie Cochrane, Chuck Berry etc. The Rattlesnakes most popular original “Bad Boys” is a Carl Perkins/Chuck Berry rip off.  I also have a song, Americana Dream that kind of reminds me of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Q: Tell us about the first band you joined!

A: ‘Tarot Woman’. I was 15 years old and we did a gig at school.  Started the set with Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak.  I was lead guitarist, had long hair, flared jeans and an open shirt.  I played a great Charvel guitar too.  It was the most exhilarating experience of my life and a dream come true.  I’ve been in bands ever since.  Whiskey Train, Pork Chop Express, Safari, The Curves and now the Rattlesnakes.

Q: How did the Memphis Rattlesnakes come about?

A: I reconnected with Ben, an old friend from Blackpool about 12 years ago.  He’d returned from travelling round Oz and Thailand and was crashing on his brother’s sofa in High Wycombe.  We met up for a drinking session in Thame and finished the night jamming 12 bar rock n roll in my loft on old guitars with rusty strings and a 15W practice amp (sorry neighbours!).  The Memphis Rattlesnakes were born…

Q: Where have you been performing recently?

A:  We did the main stage at Thame’s Music In The Park (they’ve asked us back for next year’s event too!), played in the bar at the Beacon Festival, and finished the summer hols with a great set at the Towersey Festival.  That was an important gig for us.  Really felt we’d come of age.  Next up is Chinnor RFC’s Oktoberfest and a PTA rock n roll night at Oakley School (8th and 15th October).  We also like to do the local open mic nights: Friday At The Fish, Sunday afternoon in the Swan and the First Thursday Music Club.

Q: Where have you been performing recently?

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Brought to you by – Thame Music Academy


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