Eggibred is Chris Lea and Stephen Skey.
We first met in a classroom in SE1 at the London Nautical School, which was formed in 1915 after the official report on the sinking of the Titanic. It was in the music room there that we put together several bands in the folk/rock vein. A couple of years after leaving school we went our separate ways, coming into contact every once and a while. One fateful evening we happened to be sitting around a table at a meeting at Blackheath Halls and started talking about the old days, so after toying with various musical styles came back to our roots.
The name, Chris says:
Being married to an ever persuasive Brownie Leader I have often been called upon to do my ‘Artist In Residence’ bit on pack holidays: making kites, Disney characters, space ships etc with about thousand scary brownies. (Well it seemed like a thousand). However in doing so I would be getting away from a bustling work place to the freedom of the great outdoors, lured by pack holiday cooking including eggy bread. Hence the name EGGIBRED
I was born on the top of Shooters Hill in South East London. Luckily there was a maternity hospital there at the time. It is an area steeped in history: The original Roman Road of Watling Street, Henry VIII riding up to take part in May Day Robin Hood pageants, highwaymen like Dick Turpin, and near to where Chaucer got mugged twice – sorry Chaucer. With all this great traditional songwriting material to hand, it was only natural that I would go on to write songs about Loch Ness Monsters and Elves.
I caught the guitar bug at 14 and it was all down hill from then on. My first gig in a band was with Stephen whilst at the LNS, at the age of 16. I have fond memories of us putting together our first band and learning the noble art of transporting 100 watt amps on British Rail.
At the same time I met the fair Tina, who hasn’t been able to shake me off since.
I then went on to play in a function band, rock bands, bluegrass band, ‘on me tod’, and succession of duos, before giving up regular gigging to be a local authority Arts Officer in the mid 1990s. More recent musical exploits have included a few medieval banquets as Sir Chris the Balladeer; The DOABOS Band (Dog On A Bit Of String Band) formed with fellow guitarist Peter Bundell, along with Mr Skey on bass, and some fabulous students and teachers from Blackfen School; writing and performing an electronic music piece, ‘Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Drop To Drink’, at Goldsmiths College; and playing banjo in ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ with Dartford Symphony Orchestra.
Being born early May does lend itself to the folk idiom and there is a Bob Dylan song that mentions the specific date. So you could say I was born, literally, to be a folkie. Another quirk is that I was born in SE1, a stone’s throw from the Thames and County Hall, across the river from House of Parliament, and about 15 min walk from the LNS (Tamesis Suos Ubique Feret)
The reason for the LNS - my father was in the Royal Navy and on leaving the LNS, I intended to go to Dartmouth College, those were the days. An album from 1970 changed my perception on life and music, it’s first track is based on a particularly favorite period of mine of maritime history 789AD to 1066AD, an amazing blues track half way through that side and a second side that opens and closes with two trad tracks, the first a variant on The Prickly Bush. It’s been a rollercoaster of listening to many musical styles since then, and after hearing Sandy Denny on that bands follow up album to use a well known line ‘it cost me deep in the purse’. So memories of the LNS are not necessarily for the academia, but it’s history, my own psyche, and the friendship of about a dozen fellow pupils from that era. I still plan to own a boat, what a way to tour.
On leaving school I started work at Dolby Labs whilst it was still in Clapham SW London. Whilst there I dealt with some well known studios and the odd musician. Being involved in the hardware aspect of the music/film industry, the need to play dwindled and even after leaving Dolby it was not until that chance meeting at Blackheath that I found a path to play again, this is where the local government aspect fits in . How strange it seemed when the Quaggy was included on the sound track of Tea Time, both sides of the mixing desk.
Founder member of shanty group Swinging The Lead with fellow ex Hog Eye Men..
And the Mandolin Orchestra of Dartford Twon that I set up for a one off for my birthday in 2008 is still going strong.