Web site: http://www.myspace.com/blindmcpanik
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On my birthday on the 6th December 1998 I decided to put a Rock n Boogie band together. It was eight years since I had played in a band, but during that time, like many others, I had been jamming with the legendary Paisley guitarist, Denis McBride; a man who was a brother to me.I came to Paisley in 1984 and one of the first people I talked to was Denis. I used to go and see him play guitar in different bands, usually on a Saturday afternoon either in one of the pubs in Shuttle Street or later on in the Hole in the Wa. Throughout the late 80s Denis and I became pals and agreed that at some point we should play in a band together. However this did not happen until much later on.
It took over a year (1999 – mid 2000) to get Blind Panik started. The first line up consisted of big Graham on drums, a jazz guitarist called Allan along with myself on bass and vocals. Denis was not available at the time as he was playing in another band, however Allan played in another band as well and it was actually Denis who stepped in to help out on the very first gig in late 2000, in The Stanely Firs in Paisley.
The initial line up lasted for a year and a half and roundabout March 2002 Denis joined the band along with Drew on drums. From 2002 - 2005 Blind Panik was playing at least once a week, building up our own circuit of pubs and also a small following in each of the venues. As a band we decided to do “almost unplugged” gigs as well, which increased the number of pubs we could play in. This was interesting as one night we would be playing full thundering boogie with the entire back line and the following night it was low volume, almost acoustic in feel, with congas as percussion but still with the same energy.
The band was going well and Denis and I decided to take the band further afield playing up in Oban and Dundee and planning our first trip to Ireland (Donegal), where Denis’s family came from.
In May 2005 due to domestic reasons Drew had to leave the band which left us in a quandary. The solution was to play with a pool of drummers so we always had cover. To that end Sammy, Gordon, Pat, Matt, John and percussionist Andy were all brought in to a greater or lesser degree. This was a logical safeguard as the strength of the band was our friendship; so now we did not have to depend on one drummer.
In September 2005 we went over to Donegal for the first time, playing in Buncrana Letterkenny and Carndonagh. We went down a storm and have been over twice a year ever since. The plan was to play more in Ireland moving onto different counties and to play in the north of England and beyond. Contacts had been made in France and Germany and don’t get me wrong there was no delusions of grandeur, we are a successful pub band but with our ability to plan and the knowledge of the Rock n Boogie we would have achieved this.
Tragically Denis died of cancer on 15th May 2008.
I seriously thought about chucking it. However, Denis himself and his family did not want me to do that and with their encouragement and that of the friends of Blind Panik the band continues.
Fraser Lindsay, a smashing guitarist, joined us and our current line up is Fraser, Sammy and myself. I would like to thank both Fraser and Sammy for their friendship and enthusiasm which keeps Blind Panik rocking. I would also like to thank Pat, the drummer with the Scumbag boogie band, for the amount of times he helps us out and also our roadie Andy Boyd, percussionist Andy Lindsay, our driver Jardine, and our technical consultant Mr Craig Mackie.
The band is now playing as much as ever with another visit to Ireland on the horizon. Next year, all being well our first trip to Germany is on the agenda.
Denis McBride the wonderful guitar player and person would be happy with the way the boogie continues….