At ten years old Damian Walsh, a Director at Martin Walsh Architectural, discovered a Hammond Organ to the despair of his parents and older brother! Little did they know that learning to master this instrument would inspire decades of making music and see Damian integrate his passion for music into supporting the growth of businesses from across the Yorkshire region.
Immersed in music from an early age Damian recalls: “I remember seeing Run DMC featuring Aerosmith performing Walk This Way on Top Of The Pops and Steven Tyler’s screams ignited something in me that has lasted all the way through my life. John Bon Jovi once said that if he could be ten percent as cool as Steven Tyler he would die a happy man, I’ll take 0.1% then!!
Whilst I enjoyed the buzz of listening to music, it wasn’t enough and I quickly turned to performing, letting my alter ego run riot singing for various bands before forming my band Gravel in 1999. In February of that year my dream came true when ‘Bringing Me Down’ by GRAVEL appeared on a Radio One Rock Show, which I had grown up listening to! There is nothing weirder than listening to yourself on the radio!!
We had a lucky break thanks to Tim Abbott who was an influential member of Creation Records, the brain child of Oasis. He got us a deal with Mark Cheung of Sony Europe and we recorded an EP called Statement Of Intent at UB40’s studios in Birmingham, whilst playing with some cracking bands all around the country for a few years.
I remember my showcase gig for Sony being nerve wrecking but it was what I’d been working towards since the band’s inception, so that is very memorable. Another memorable gig was supporting Roy Wood in Bath on New Year’s Eve and I was dressed as a wizard!
Music never leaves me! I think if you’re into the arts then however ‘straight’ your job is you are inevitably going to bring creativity into it in some capacity. I work for a family business so the experience of being in a band, a little family unit if you like, holds you in good stead for negotiating your point of view or winning an argument as it is better known!
“My passion for music has literally been brought into my work too. I help to run Suits and Vinyl, it’s networking with a difference. It sees those in business combine their love of music with their love of growing their organisations. Make sure to check out the Suits and Vinyl LinkedIn group. You won’t leave disappointed.”
Batley Grammar School - 6th Form Block