Music allows us to meet others, network and form friendships that can transcend the norm. We find that this love of playing music is a strong bond that can last a lifetime. The members of Free Again, in the main, fall into this category.
Rewind to the late 70's Mark Anderson met Jim Bowie and found that they had a love of music and also similar tastes. Although both were listening to the same bands, there was also was a sharing of music that the other had not heard. Together they attended many record fairs looking for vinyl that was not readily available in the UK. Remember Vinyl? It's making a comeback! Jim was playing keyboards and guitar and the two would jam when they could rent rehearsal space and play for hours.
Around this time Mark met Alan King whilst auditioning for Alan's band and became the drummer playing music such as ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Free and all things bluesy and rocky. Jim joined the band for a spell on keyboards before joining another blues outfit. A couple of years later they were joined by Des Whitlie on bass whilst writing original demos with a new venture with the hope of taking things further.
Mark continued to work with Des in a jazz funk band as well as jamming with Jim. Time passed and Alan and Des became involved in their own musical ventures. Mark and Jim also played separately with other bands but still remained in touch.
Jim became involved in the highly popular Hotel California Scotland salute to the Eagles and has toured with this show since 1999. He became Musical Director in 2008, taking the band to a wider audience in the Scottish Theatres and also touring Australia, Italy and India. Mark was playing in a few bands and dep work but joined the band on drums in 2008 and headed to Australia for a few gigs. Once again Mark and Jim were back playing in the same band.
When the band needed a new lead vocalist in 2014, Mark approached Alan who was singing with a local band and asked if he would be interested in joining. Mark had not spoken to Alan for many years but it was just like old times and there was no ice to break. Alan with his unique rock but versatile voice was a great addition to the band and a perfect fit
When the band needed a new bass player Alan suggested Des who was mainly busy playing and depping with local bands. Again Des fitted the bill and was a fantastic addition to the existing members.
Being an avid fan of Paul Rodgers, Alan recently suggested that he would relish the chance to play and pay tribute to Paul and his music from the bands Free and Bad Company. The wheels were set in motion with Mark, Alan, Jim and Des all agreeing to sign up to this project. They needed another guitarist and asked Calvin Laidlaw if he would be interested. Calvin plays with a few local bands and has a regular Saturday slot at Bannerman's with Rab Howatt. He is a skilled player and has a wealth of experience. Calvin jumped at the opportunity.
Fast forward from the late 70's to present date and we have Mark, Alan, Des and Jim all reunited in Hotel California and with the addition of Calvin, we are all looking forward to 'Moving On' with this new and exciting show.
To complete to jigsaw, Gary Oliver kindly agreed to carry out sound engineering duties just as he does with Hotel California. Free Again are really a six piece outfit as none of this can happen without the considerable skills of Gary on the mixing desk.
2017 saw the launch of the project with four very successful theatre shows in October. Then came another ten in 2018 , 2019 and 2020. We look forward to building on that success with nine scheduled for 2022.
We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming shows.