Steve Parsons the singer of the sharks reflects on his four year period in Hull 1968-1973
“I actually came to Hull from Bridlington for the culture – music culture. Cultures are things that grow best in the darkness and Hull was a dark place in those days – violent, noisy and rough.
Music was the bright light – the first band I joined was Flesh which contained Trevor Boulder and John Bentley. John followed me into my own band Nothineverappens along with Roy Neave. We were managed by the Brick Company and played on the same circuit as Mick Ronson’s mighty Rats, Robert Palmer’s Mandrakes, and Rod Temperton’s Hammer. Nothineverappens were also lucky enough to play support gigs around the North for some of the big bands of the day such as Wishbone Ash and Mott the Hoople.
It was at one of these shows that I was talent spotted by Island Records and got an offer to join a supergroup. It was Sharks. Andy Fraser from Free, who wrote the rock classic All Right Now, had decided to compete with Led Zeppelin. He was a wonderful musician but didn’t have a clue about leading a band. All I knew was they had a car with a fin on the roof and teeth on the grill and were paying me to sing. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
I don’t think any of us on the Hull scene realised how good we were. It wasn’t just about talent but about making things happen in dim and dingy venues that were never intended for uninhibited stage performances. When some of us got the ‘big call’ to go to London and play at a higher level we had solid gigging experience and a high level of professionalism.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though after Sharks disastrous first appearance on TV Mick Ronson buttonholed me in a London nightclub. He complimented the band on their music but said I had ‘spoiled myself’ by fiddling with my hair. There was no video then so I never saw the clip until 40 years later and I finally realised what he meant. In my nervousness, I had kept rubbing the side of my head with the hand that wasn’t gripping the mike stand. Mick was keeping a weather eye on a local boy!
I retired from performance in 1982 and spent the next 25 years as a composer/producer for film and TV. Nice work if you can get it. And I did. It wasn’t until I met Jimmy Page in 2010 that I remembered how much I loved singing.
After the meeting, I called another legendary guitarist, Chris Spedding, and have spent the last 7 years writing and singing rock and soul music. Now we are back where we started in Sharks.
And when people ask: how come I still do a full on high-energy stage performance with Sharks at the age of 65?
I tell em’: it’s because I trained in Hull.”
To see the Sharks play live visit FRUIT 21, September 2017.
Tickets are £15.00 and available from https://www.hullboxoffice.com/events/sharks.
The event starts at 19.30. Book now to get your tickets.