Monday, 9 May 2016

Graham Marshall

Ralph's Life is pleased and proud to be able to exclusively bring you the premiere of the Graham Marshall video for his single 'Making It On My Own'...

The Graham Marshall story is reflected in his catalogue of songs: survival, adventure, love and tragedy are more than mere subjects of whim to strum his guitar to.

At 20, his band, Screaming Silence, was a hit in his hometown of Glasgow, Scotland. But on the brink of the showcase gig that would “seal the deal” with a label, the lead member “disappeared” after running into some unsavoury entanglements. A couple of years later, Graham entered into a rehabilitation program for clinical depression and put on a cocktail of drugs at the hands of questionable care workers. 

Unconvinced by the prospect, Graham discharged himself, disposed of all his medication and began to song write himself to recovery night after sleepless night.

Anxious to leave a turbulent past behind, Graham packed his guitar, a few personal belongings and exiled to Australia where he lived on the move. But it was on his way back home to Glasgow that his adventures truly began; making unplanned pit stops in Singapore, Borneo and Malaysia. He climbed Southeast Asia’s highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, and was hosted by the indigenous Iban tribe who for the most part had never laid eyes upon a white man, let alone a Scottish local rock’n’roll hero.

After returning home with 20p (or 13¢), Graham later met his future wife, Helen, and in an effort to leave his troubled past behind, relocated to Sunderland, England. When the recession hit, Graham was out of work and music was his only saviour. Despite being broke and on occasions selling his possessions to make ends meet, Graham gathered enough money to record a 5 track acoustic demo. In early 2010 his five-song collection would find its way to iconic music manager Bill Aucoin (Kiss, Billy Idol, Billy Squier). 

Bill and his team insisted on pressing the songs just as Marshall had laid them down. This collection of songs was to become his first solo EP, Ten Years Stuck in Traffic (a metaphor - being stuck on the wrong road of life when you know your destiny lies elsewhere).

In an enthusiastic effort to self-promote his first release and to impress Bill Aucoin, Marshall, now a well-seasoned traveller, embarked on a cross-country UK tour, busking an impressive 18 gigs in a jaw dropping seven days from John O‘Groats to Land‘s End. Filmed by his wife Helen, they made just enough money for fuel to take them to the next town. Sadly, Bill Aucoin would succumb to cancer in June of 2010, four short weeks after completing the tour. However, this did not slow down this prolific songwriter. 

Once again, Marshall coped the best way he knew how... by writing music. As a last ditch attempt, now with limited options available, Graham edited the footage from the tour which was to become his self made film “Out in the Cold”, and entered as many film festivals as he could afford. Due to the amateur nature of the film, Marshall was the clear and irrefutable underdog. Many months later, after giving up hope on the film festivals, Marshall made contact with Los Angeles based producer, Fernando Perdomo, who jumped at the chance to produce “Makin’ It On My Own”, a track from Graham’s 2010 acoustic EP. 

This venture was doubly blessed as the track’s completion coincided with news the following day that Marshall’s makeshift film, “Out in the Cold”, had earned a 2013 Castell Award at the Barcelona International Film Festival.
Now back driving trucks, Graham immediately reported the news via text me
ssage to BBC Radio 2’s Janice Long, who not only read his message to the entire UK listening audience, but interviewed him live on air amidst his late night drive shift. Marshall’s story sparked an outpouring of support and his fresh-out-of-the-oven single, “Makin’ It On My Own”, made its national radio debut two nights later.

Marshall is now in the process of recording his debut album “Demos & Dreams”, although he is carrying on with his DIY attitude and recording a uniquely home made album along with fellow musician Jensen Brite. Using instruments ranging from a tub of lentils to a dining room chair, Marshall & Brite have struck up a strong musical connection which is already bearing fruit. “Freedom Call”, the first track released from the forthcoming album got to number 1 on the Scottish New Music Chart.

The future looks bright for this prolific songwriter. In Marshall's own words, "Nothing's really over until the moment you stop trying".

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