Saturday, 9 December 2017

Steve 'Smiley' Barnard Features in Two Chapters of Bowel Cancer Charity Book

I am pretty sure that Steve 'Smiley' Barnard is the only person to feature in two chapters of Lives & Times, and he achieves this without actually having a chapter dedicated to himself. This has been been rectified for the next book, The Record, hopefully due out in 2018, as I went to meet him earlier this year at his Sunshine Recording Studios in Fleet. We chatted for over an hour, and he couldn't have been nicer, so I left with plenty of good stuff to write about.

When we met Smiley was in the early stages of recording his 5th solo album, Smiley's Friends In The Afterglow, which is scheduled for released early in 2018. His previous four albums have all be fantastic, and I am sure this will not disappoint. Why can't other artists take a leaf out of Smiley's book, and release an album every year, just like bands did in the good old days...

Smiley plays drums for The Alarm, and back in 2014 I went to Abbey Road to take part in The Scriptures project, which was the recording of the world's longest song. The full band took part in this session and apart from getting my photo of Mike Peters for the book I was able to get a few great photos including the above shot of the band doing a publicity shot with Andy Labrow. It was a fantastic day, and made for a fascinating chapter in the book.

I also got to take some photos of Smiley in action when he was drumming with From The Jam, when I was given a photo pass to photograph them at their gig at SUB89 in Reading in November 2014. I was able to spend the whole set in the pit, so I got the best seat in the house as well as blowing my ear drums!

The Lives & Times fundraising book along with the screen prints and mugs has now raised over £3400 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The book can be bought from my own website. My Mum passed away in August 2016 after a four year brave and dignified battle fought with bowel cancer. As well as raising funds for the charity the book is helping to raise awareness about this awful disease. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early it is one of the most treatable ones in over 90% of cases.

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