Because I can’t sit still for five minutes and always have to have too many plates spinning, I’ve delved into many creative projects over the years. Below are the most prominent.
I’d had a great time playing in two bluesy rock bands and was almost ready to knock music on the head when my friend Kieran Majury, my brother and I accidentally formed Mental Deficiency. What started out as a way to make a mockery of everything that bothered us about local bands somehow gained a bit of traction and led to some fantastic gigging experiences and an album.
We recruited two friends to play bass and lead guitar who kept their identities a secret by wearing masks. We even substituted them a few times with some other players on the scene. As a five piece we set out to write catchy tunes, wind up the musos, take the mick wherever possible and perform an unforgettable live show.
Highlights included supporting international touring bands like Electric Six, Arnocorps, Alestorm and The Rubberbandits. We also played some great gigs of our own and at local festivals and the Edinburgh Fringe.
Like the majority of bands, we started to run out of steam as real life got in the way of the fun and games. I’d never say never to a reunion though…
Almost as soon as we left university Kieran and I knew we had to make a film. We seized an opportunity when some talented actors we knew suddenly became free for a two week period. We jumped in with both feet and the end result was Deadville, a horror film shot on MiniDV with a budget just short of £1000. Kieran wrote and directed the film and I produced under an equally ridiculous pseudonym as Alex Kazam.
It has the drawbacks you’d probably expect from a no-budget film made by a bunch of enthusiasts learning as they go. At the same time, I think it has some great moments and a a certain charm that can’t be replicated by anyone doing it for the money. SFX magazine co-founder MJ Simpson got it, and gave us a great review. Making the movie was a gruelling process but immense fun. We had a tremendous cast and crew who gave us their absolute best with no complaints and for no money.
We premiered the movie at the Queens Film Theatre to a sold out crowd which included Oscar nominated actor Stephen Rea. After a short run at the QFT a few months later we put in YouTube where it has racked up over a million views and counting.
Watch the full film below.