Musician reignites rock music passion in Haywards Heath

Hereward Kaye performing at Making Waves festival on The Broadway

Hereward Kaye performing at Making Waves festival on The Broadway

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A musician from Haywards Heath has reignited his love for music at a street festival.

Hereward Kaye, 61, from Eastern Road, performed the album The Golden Mile, which he recorded in the 80s, at Making Waves festival on The Broadway.

Hereward Kaye

Hereward Kaye

He said: “It was only the second time I have ever performed it live. I thought ‘go on, go for it!’

“When I recorded the record, I had the likes of Chas and Dave and Tom Robinson playing with me on it. This time my band consisted of my three sons and two of my best friends, what could be more joyful?”

Hereward explained his rise 30 years ago.

“The multinational music empire cuddled me to its corporate body with a five year, worldwide deal. I was on E.M.I, the Beatles label!” he said.

Hereward Kaye's first album cover, The Golden Mile

Hereward Kaye's first album cover, The Golden Mile

“Suddenly I had an annual retainer to clear all my debts and £500 from artist development to blow on clothes. A suit was being fashioned for me from yellow shot silk. Vidal Sassoon dyed my hair blond. I was given a suite at the Hilton and a twenty-four hour stretch limo. It felt a bit big, I must say, after our Ford Escort.”

He described this as ‘the most mental experience’ and ‘being like an old school rock star’.

Hereward continued: “What an imposter I felt, feet up on the mixing desk in Studio One with Thin Lizzy in the far smaller Studio Two. Howie Casey was in the booth, slaving over a hot saxophone. Howie Casey, only The Beatles’ horn player! On the sofa behind me waiting their turn were drummer Dave Mattacks from Fairport Convention and the awesome Pete Wingfield.”

But as EMI’s funding reduced some less popular artists got the chop.

Hereward Kaye. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140209-105639001

Hereward Kaye. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140209-105639001

Hereward survived, and after six weeks ‘The Golden Mile’ was finished.

He was told the album was great, but didn’t have an obvious single so couldn’t be marketed.

“The more I had to write a single, the less I could. After a month of Mondays I thought I’d never write a decent song again,” Hereward said.

“The only tune I could hear in my head was the toll of doom. I had two more mouths to feed then, Leon and Jody, my sons.”

Hereward asked the record label to spend as much on marketing as they’d spent on the production of the album.

“Sadly, in the current climate, they could not commit to a marketing budget of such enormity on an unknown artist,” Hereward explained.

“I’d seriously blown it.”

Hayeward went on to join The Flying Pickets, playing 100 shows a year from 1986-99.

He is now the founder of Rok Skool, which teaches people in Haywards Heath how to be in a rock band.

After his performance at Making Waves, Hereward said: “With so many Rok Skool friends out front as well as a happy, street partying home-town crowd, it was a life-affirming experience.

“It was meant to be a one-off, but I’ve had such amazing feedback, I might just have to do it again!”

Rok Skool, which has been running for nine years, teaches lessons in guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, vocal coaching, song writing and recording, whilst it helps put bands together and sets up regular gigs.

Rok Skool won Small Business of the Year at the Business Matters Awards 2014.

It prefers a more accessible approach of ‘playing by ear’ rather than teach notation or grades.

The business has made an application to the Charities Commission. Its plan states: “The unemployed, those with learning disabilities, or Down’s syndrome, or autism, those on the Asperger’s spectrum, adults with mental health issues, generally anyone who is socially excluded would all benefit from the stellar therapy that is music, as applied, nurtured and developed within the caring, family environment of Rok Skool.”

Hereward’s album The Golden Mile, can be heard at herewardkaye.bandcamp.com

Rok Skool is open to all ages and abilities and is based on 12 Bridge Road, Haywards Heath. To sign up visit sussex.rockschool.net/contact-us or email herewardmusic@gmail.com