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About Harv

The long and winding road...... I was born in, and grew up in East Belfast, Northern Ireland and watched thoroughout the years as political violence here threatened to destroy a beautiful Country. It always amazed me that the divided people here in our province always greeted visitors so warmly, had excellent personalities unmatched world-wide and, though appearing to the outside world so friendly, we just couldn't get on with each other! I noticed, however, that although growing up we learned, as separate religions, where it was and wasn't safe to venture, when it came to the music scene then all divisions were forgotten and, for a brief few hours during a bands performance, whether it be Thin Lizzy in the Ulster Hall or local bands in lesser venues like the Pound, Labour Club and Viking, we forgot about our differences and united in our love for rock music!

It wasn't too long before watching bands turned into a desire to be a part of one, and that decision was to guide the course of my life after that. The following is a very brief run-down of a very complicated band family tree, so here goes. My first school band was called 'Trojan', in which I was the bass player!! I carried on as such until I was asked after leaving school to join up with an act called 'Cairo Flame'. The singer, Laurence, was a bin man who got mangled in the back of a bin lorry and, obviously couldn't make rehearsal, so I decided to sing and play bass that day just to get us through the session. Whether it was flattery or a case of the guys reckoning I was a crap bassist, it was decided that it would be easier getting a new bass player and for me to keep on singing, and that, as they say, was that! Two acts followed suit during which time I developed quickly both in range and the ability to learn off more experienced musicians. 'Testament' I really enjoyed my time with, and the demo we cut was my first try at recording (do you know of any other band who would write a song totally devoted to a tin of beer (Breaker), I still have a copy and listening to it brings back memories of a band who, I think, were well ahead of their time. A major chunk of the band decided to throw their lot in and go work in America, I had just got married and couldn't join them, so we finished on a good note and, probably while we were still ahead. Just after that came 'Ashanti', a superb bunch of guys and I developed vocally during my time with them because of the amazing singing of guitarist Stevie Boyd. Seriously, this guy sounds effortlessly like Glenn Hughes. Connie Overton, keyboard player extraordinaire who features in my present band, was also a member of 'Ashanti'. We wrote and recorded a lot of quality melodic rock songs, some of which still feature in our set today. During these formative years I was also a member of a fledgling No Sweat and played with Ian Wilson and Davy Bates in a band called 'Seventh Dawn.

During the years I spent in these mentioned bands, local stars 'Sweet Savage' had been making waves all over the UK supporting the likes of Thin Lizzy and Motorhead, they featured guitarist Vivian Campbell (currently with Def Leppard) and were set, seriously at the time, for world domination. Unfortunately for them, Ronnie James Dio was also quick to see the potential in Vivian and snapped up the talented guitarist to form Dio. Ian 'Speed' Wilson was recruited to replace him and Raymie the bassist/vocalist had tired of both duties and wanted to recruit a vocalist to ease his workload. I was approached as Speed had remembered me from our 'Seventh Dawn' days together, Sweet Savage drummer Davy Bates was also a member of that band, so it was a reunion of sorts with us three Seventh Dawn guys, Raymie on Bass and the addition of Stevie Prosser on keyboards. Because of the new, more melodic, sound of the band (we sounded more like Journey and Whitesnake than Motorhead) it was decided to bury the ghost of Sweet Savage and we became 'Emerald' (it made sense with us being from the Emerald Isle and an Emerald being a 'hard rock'!) Emerald progressed very nicely for several years and we cut some decent demos with excellent material, supported acts such as WASP, Rory Gallagher etc and we were touted for big things, but then just as we were about to sign a deal with BMG records, Metallica decided it would be nice to record a Sweet Savage song, 'Killing Time' as a B Side for their 'Unforgiven' single (Lars Ulrich had always claimed Sweet Savage as an influence on their early Metallica days). Obviously interest in Sweet Savage was again ignited, and it was decided that Emerald would be put on the back-burner as it was the original version of Sweet Savage that the Neat record company wanted to sign, and there was no place for wee me! First time I ever felt my nose out of joint, but I still wished the guys all the best. Emerald were together from around 1986 - 1991.

While the Emerald guys were having a major second shot, local act 'Tyrant' approached me to do some gigs with them in the meantime. This turned out to be about 300 gigs as we stayed together as 'Den Of Thieves' from 1991 to 1997. During this time we recorded two CDs having been signed, at last, to the Zero Corporation in Japan, a subsiduary of EMI in the Far East, although both albums were sort of a combination of Emerald and Den Of Thieves as there were several Emerald songs on 'Honour Amongst Thieves' and some of the returning Sweet Savage/Emerald members appeared on the second 'Conspiracy' CD. Both albums were very popular in japan and combined sales were in excess of 40,000 units. It was during this time, of course, that I met and worked with my best mate, Dee McNeilly, having known him since 1985 and eventually teaming up with him from 1991 to the present day in Den Of Thieves and other projects.

That leaves us with what's happening at the minute and, as you'll see on the other pages of this website, I'm currently singing to packed audiences with 'SnakeBite' and 'Rock Of Ages', the former a tribute to the music of 'WhiteSnake' and the latter a combination of Eighties classic rock and original material, (both bands feature the same line-up, details of which you'll find on the home page.) I'm also, of course, fronting our own original material band 'STORMZONE' I still remain friends with all the members of all the bands I've grown up and developed with and would like to thank each and every one of them for putting up with me over the years. Your endurance has got me this far, now to see how long these guys will stick me!










 

 

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