The Break were formed in 2003/04 by Paul 'Peo' Pearson, Al Francis, Kev Jones and Neal Thomas, as a release from frustration. The group are now starting to enjoy a reasonable amount of success, playing covers and occasionally interjecting some original self penned material.
Click on the links below for :
On Drums - Paul 'Peo' Pearson
Peo started playing drums properly from the age of about 11 years when he got a beat up second hand Premier kit from local music shop "Hamiltons". He still remembers it well, it was a black "mother of pearl" covering and whenever you stomped on the hi-hat, the thing collapsed. He joined a local club band Young Company at the age of about 13 and did the workingmens club circuit with them and later a band called Pepper until he was about 18. When Pepper broke up he played a residency at Rushpool Hall (which in those days was a banqueting hall and nowhere near as posh as it is today). He flirted with the Workingmens Clubs again briefly between 1984-86 with Blindfold but got really pissed off with the pie & pea and bingo brigade so sold his kit and bought a washing machine (don't we all at some point ...?)
On Lead Guitar & Vocals - Alan Francis
Alan started playing the guitar at the age of eight playing his brothers Hofner President (he’s still got that guitar) even though it was miles too big for him. Having decided he was crap at football Alan retreated to his bedroom to concentrate on playing the guitar. He was taught to play guitar by his brother Paul and was heavily influenced by his brothers musical taste, learning licks by Wishbone Ash ,Santana ,Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, and Free. He played his first gig as a ten year old at Berwick Hills junior school parents evening, playing the Lindisfarne numbers, Fog on the Tyne and Meet me on the Corner. The gig going down well (especially with his mam).
In 1970 Alan met Paul Pearson and soon regular Saturday morning practice sessions saw Alan playing guitar and Peo playing drums. In 1984 Alan and Peo formed Blindfold for a stint on the workingmen’s clubs. Peo quit having decided he had had enough of concert chairmen and playing crap to please the crowd (fair point). Peo sold his Kit, Alan, who had just invested in an American Strat (still the best guitar he owns) started a band playing original music called "Igors funky Jumper". Tired with the lack of progress the strat went under the bed and he retired for a few years.
A founder member of The Break, Al plays lead guitar and is the groups lead vocalist.
On Lead Guitar - Neal Thomas
Neal started playing guitar at the tender age of 16. He played lead guitar in local bands - Torque and Bad Reputation, before joining Marty and the Moondogs initially on the mixing desk looking after the sounds before moving onto Bass guitar. After the demise of Marty and the Moondogs Neal went back to playing lead guitar and is a founder member of The Break.
On Bass Guitar - Kevin Jones
Kev took up playing bass at the age of 13 years old - as his two mates already played guitar and they'd only let him in the band if he bought a bass guitar!!!! Kev was one of the original members of Marty & the Moon Dogs who had a fair amount of success playing local pubs and clubs with two successful stints at the Cork Jazz Festival (2000 and 2001). The band split in 2002 after a series of "musical differences" - actually they just got sick of each other and needed a break.
A founder member of The Break Kev plays bass and tries a bit of backing vocals, but he usually shy's away from the mic and no one can hear his nightingale like voice.
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬The Birth of a band
Around 1990 Alan was asked to play a Children in Need charity event at Acklam Rugby Club. Alan and his brother Paul Played backing band for resident superstar Slick Service and the Serviettes ( Four burley rugby players three in drag). Alan and Peo decided that for the Children in Need night the following year they would get together and play a full gig. On a weekend away at Primrose Valley holiday camp Alan and Peo bumped into Kev Jones. Kev was a bass player they had practiced with years before.
The practices started with a meeting in a pub to decide the set list. The pub had a music quiz so they never actually practiced. They were a crap band but a cracking quiz team). Kev had joined the army and according to him had been playing on a regular basis with the Army band (The lying sod). A practice was arranged at the Teesbeat studios and Keith Lilley the singer from Blindfold was asked to join in. Keith unfortunately could not commit to the gig. The first practice session went well apart from the bouts of sneezing from inhaling the dust of Kevs' guitar case ( Playing regular my arse). Chris Morrison a singer who also played keyboards and wrote his own material stepped in. The Children in Need gig went well and Chris actually ended up playing one of his own songs live on Radio Tees that very night. The band enjoyed it so much they decided to put a set together playing songs they had always wanted to play.
Marty and the Moondogs
Marty Plews a Karaoke singer was invited along to sing. Alan interjected "Marty you sing very much like Joe Cocker", Marty "who’s the F**** he" (well there was ten years difference in age). Marty was on board and gaining a musical education to boot. The Monday jam night at the Black Swan in Guisbrough was chosen as the venue to try out the new set, which was well received. Ralph and Kath the organisers gave the band information on the pub circuit, which resulted in a gig at the Tap and Spile and a guest band spot at the next jam night.
Marty and the Moondogs were off and running. Playing songs by Joe Cocker, Dr Feelgood, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Ray Vaughan and George Thoroughgood & Destroyers. Alan was playing rhythm and lead guitar so it was decided another guitar should be added, enter Ian Bromby. Ian was auditioned on the Sunday night and played his first gig (bricking it) the following Friday. Ian was installed in the line up and soon settled into the Moondog band philosophy " If it sounds right it’s right.". The band were rapidly developing a name for themselves on the pub circuit.
The next change in the line up was the addition of sax player, The Moondogs unlike a lot of bands were based around getting the right people into place; "it’s a hobby not a job so there is no place for musical egos". Enter big Dave Wright. (and his mate Jack Daniels) "What a bloke". Dave, like Ian was thrown in at the deep end and played a couple of numbers at the Tap and Spile after only a few rehearsals. The line up was now complete and the reputation getting bigger.
Gary Sullivan had been involved with the band for some time supplying lighting systems, PA equipment and T Shirts amongst other things. He organised the bands tour of Ireland at the Cork Jazz festival. Kev was unable to go as he was working in London so a friend of Ian Bromby, Neal Thomas from the band Bad Reputation stepped in on bass for the duration of thetour. When Kev returned Neal went on to become sound engineer to control the vast amount of kit the band were now lugging around with them. The band also recorded what was to be its only CD "Whats the Time" with three backing singers to boot. At this point the band was gigging as a nine piece band.
Marty left the band after the Irish tour and was replaced by Keith Lilley giving the band a bluesier feel. Another successful trip to the Cork Jazz festival the following year was made. In 2002 Marty and the Moondogs had run its course and disbanded.
Back to basics
After a lengthy break Kev had returned from London and was in a band with Marty; and Neil had decided he had had enough of playing Bass and wanted to play guitar again so decided to start a band with Ian and a female singer. Alan and Peo were doing nothing musically but went out watching bands they had heard of but never got the chance to see while gigging themselves.
Alan, Peo, Kev and Neal eventually got together and decided to set up again just as a four piece with Neal on guitar and Kev on bass and as Keith was unavailable for the vocals Alan took over and The Break were up and running.
The band are now playing a more blues and rock orientated set and are building up the gig list again. Old band members Keith, Ian and Marty occasionally turn up at gigs and usually end up playing a few numbers. The band only plays selected venues for people who like good music.
"Why not catch us at one and enjoy"
Set List I
TUSH - ZZ Top
PRIDE & JOY - Stevie Ray Vaughn
TOO HOT TO HANDLE - Heatwave
COCAINE - Eric Clapton
THE WALL - Pink Floyd
IN A BROKEN DREAM - Python Lee Jackson
COME TOGETHER - The Beatles
STRAY CAT STRUT – The Stray Cats
50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER - Paul Simon
THIS LOVE - Maroon 5
ROMEO & JULIET - Dire Straits
HOTEL CALIFORNIA - Eagles
BLOWIN' FREE - Wishbone Ash
SULTANS OF SWING - Dire Straits
SET LIST II
YOU REALLY GOT ME - The Kinks
BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO - Beatles
ALL OR NOTHING - Small Faces
COME UP AND SEE ME (MAKE ME SMILE) - Steve Harley
MUSTANG SALLY - Wilson Pickett
SIT DOWN/LA BAMBA - James\Ritchie Valens
DELILAH - Sensational Alex Harvey Band
I SHOT THE SHERIFF - Eric Clapton
TUBE STATION - Jam
I PREDICT A RIOT - Kaiser Chiefs
BAD CASE OF LOVIN' YOU - Robert Palmer
HONKY TONK WOMEN - Rolling Stones
WISHING WELL - Free
CHASING CARS - Snow Patrol
ROSALIE – Thin Lizzy
BROWN SUGAR – Rolling Stones
I SHOT THE SHERIFF – Eric Clapton
500 MILES - Proclaimers
NO WOMAN NO CRY – Bob Marley