Stu Hanna: “I wanted to be a professional musician so that I could get into nightclubs without being asked for ID. It’s the only thing playing an instrument is any good for when you’re 15. Start a band, book some gigs and then you can get into the venue for the soundcheck. They can’t kick you out once you’re on the stage.
“There used to be a nightclub-cum-venue in Stockton-on-Tees, on the river-bank. It was called The Waterfront – a very imaginative name. It was pretty grimy I suppose, beery wooden floors, carpeted in cigarette butts, full of Moshers. A fresh-faced teenage Stu wouldn’t get past the door staff. But when I got a gig there with a band we’d be inside before the staff arrived.
“It was a scheme that worked well. I played electric guitar, it was a rock band, we played Motley Crue covers but dressed like a geeky Pearl Jam. We rehearsed most evenings in the school music room and sometimes during wet PE lessons if we could escape unnoticed.
“We kept playing even when we were legitimately old enough to get into the nightclubs anyway. It became about the rush of the performance, the pre-show anticipation, the taste of the nervously sipped Newcastle Brown, whether that girl would be in the audience, whether there would be an audience.
“And now I’m in my thirties I’m still doing it. Although I’ve gone off Newcastle Brown and no longer dress like Eddie Vedder. Thankfully there is mostly an audience now, and that girl is usually next to me on the stage.
“And we’ve got a daughter. When she’s 15 she will not join a band.”
Thanks to Stu Hanna of Megson for the latest in our series of artist blogs. Stu & Debbie will be performing material from their acclaimed album The Longshot (EDJ Records) when they head out on tour in a couple of weeks time, kicking off at the Wilmington Arms in London on 15th Feb 2012 – catch them live at the venues below.
No shows booked at the moment.