Coming soon Laurie’s debut novel ‘Postcards From The Seaside’.
I became a professional musician in 1968, playing rock n roll music around the pubs and clubs in my hometown – Birmingham. Encouraged by the legendary music entrepreneur, Tony Hall, I began to write country rock flavoured songs and a fair few were published by Tony’s company, Brampton Music, now a part of Sony Music.
Come the early 1980’s and I was performing my own ‘Brummie’ material on BBC Radio WM. Those shows, with the support of the Birmingham Evening Mail, led to two CD albums ‘The Brummagem Air’ and ‘Any Road Up’. Both sold well; so much so that the powers that be, urged me to write a book about the origins of the Birmingham rock music scene, ‘Brum Rocked’, which dealt with the period 1956 – 1963, (Elvis to the Beatles) ensued and then ‘Brum Rocked On’, focusing on the period 1963-1970.
While all this was taking place a community musical I had devised back in 1975 was picked up by the Birmingham Rep. Set in Birmingham’s Bull Ring market, ‘Wallop Mrs Cox’, featuring my 17 song musical score, played two sell out seasons at the Birmingham Rep and in June of 2010 went on to play a week at the Birmingham Hippodrome. Trading on that success the Rep commissioned another community musical, ‘Ridin’ the Number 8’, a 17 song bus ride taking in the sights of Birmingham’s inner city and celebrating the city’s manufacturing achievements. Again I wrote all lyrics and music for the show.
I’d always found Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’ a truly wondrous story and consequently I adapted this classic tale into another musical which featured as part of the Broadstairs 2018 Literary Festival, Bleak House at Broadstairs being the one time home of Dickens.
Just down the road from Broadstairs is the seaside town of Ramsgate and from its harbour in June of 1940 a flotilla of small boats set sail bound for the beaches of Dunkirk rescue stranded British troops. Honing in on my childhood memories of Birmingham’s Handsworth Park being thoroughly entertained by visiting concert party variety shows, I combined the WW2 events at Ramsgate with my childhood experiences to come up with a four handed musical drama and that became ‘Postcards From The Seaside’ which premiered at the Swan Theatre in Worcester to be followed with a run of small studio theatres performances. ‘Postcards…’ was however a story that seemed to have a broader life than the stage and it has now evolved into my first attempt at writing a novel. Fingers crossed that it works!