I was most fortunate to spend a very enjoyable evening at Swansea Bay Records a few weeks ago, in the company of Ohibo Paronti (Allan Price Ian Davies Keith Evans). The band were performing a short, instore, acoustic set for the late night shoppers. (which involved the pressing of many a white button).
It was a dlightful evening filled with great music and quite a few stories about the background to the songs on the album The Ballad of Ivy Gould.
Allan Price kindly answered a few questions about the band and the origins of this striking release
PD: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
OP: Personally, as a lover of originial songs and songwriter. Self taught musician, studio builder engineer and producer. Describe Ohibo? Life long mates who love writing and playing music
PD: Can you tell us about your origins, how did you come to choose Ohibo Paronti for your band name?
OP: The band started with Ian and I being close school friends in 1972 started to learn to play bass and drums together. Kelvin came along as well and eventually Keith. Ohibo Paronti became in 1978 having previously been Rhode Island Red and a 5 piece. Denny Laine then became involved with another band of the same name. Annoyed we found Ohibo Paronti written on a wall in a local pub The White Lion. Finding the guy who had written it whilst under the influence of substances, found it was made up. Thought, that’ll do!!
PD: Who are your musical influences, what inspired you to take up music?
OP: Saw The Beatles Live at Blackpool on a little black and white TV when I was about 8 years old. Said to my Grandmother who was watching ‘I want to be on a stage and do that! Influences for me started with The Beatles, covers too many to mention, Stones, Bowie, Tom Petty, Yes CSNY, Nils Lofgren. etc.
PD: What is your favourite song to perform live?
OP: Favourite song to play live, always the latest you’ve written lol. Do You See Me and We Will All Be Together.
PD: What has been your proudest moment in music?
OP: Proudest moment in music, representing Wales 1st March 1981 at Hammersmith Odeon and BBC TV appearance thereafter. Oh yes and hearing a song you’ve written being played on Radio1
PD: What would you say is the most important thing that you have learned from your career so far, any advice for up and coming musicians out there?
OP: Music Business is 2 words. Don’t think of them as the same thing, they’re not. Success is someone liking your music, period. Anything else is a bonus.
PD: Tell us some more about The Ballad of Ivy Gould, what attracted you to the story, how did it all develop?
OP: The Ballad of Ivy Gould? My Dad passed away in 2021 and was a huge loss to me. I had earlier that year bought him an original newspaper printed on his birthday, The Empire 26th March 1933. I then read an article on the front page and was drawn into the story, feeling the horror and sorrow it conveyed to me. Here’s a link to a copy of the paper for you. https://1drv.ms/u/s!AsB2POeC81yVhkA37IYUdPXgZaRE?e=08EnKM. I mentioned to Ian and Keith in my Father’s wake that I had a basic song idea but felt that I could write a whole concept album around the story. Both nodded but looked somewhat non-plussed lol. I then as I usually do wrote a number of ideas musically and lyrically, then when constructed I would send a phone video to the boys of me playing acoustic and singing each song. When I was settled on the right ideas the boys would come to my studio where we would ‘put the meat on the bones’ so to speak.
PD: Can you shine some light on the recording process?
OP: The recording process varies for each song but generally, I would play acoustic and Ian drums and we would record together. Keith would add his guitar afterwards, I would often put a guide vocal down as well. Everything else would be layered on later.
PD: How is the rest of 2022 looking for you?
OP: The rest of 2022 for Ohibo? I would love us to do some more gigs, however, there is a hesitance to just play for the sake of it. Maybe counter productive, but hundreds and hundreds of gigs by Ohibo in the past and with the untimely suicide of Kelvin 5 years ago, it’s hard to comprehend. Although overall we were very pleased with the live album launch. I would like us to record a sort of roots EP with a buesy influence. I also want us to start on a new album. Probably back to individual songs as our 2021 Album, So They Say. We have recently discovered an original song Home Grown Blues with Kelvin playing on. We recorded this at Berwick Street Studios London around 1981, so that will probably figure once I’ve re mastered it. There are around 35 ideas that didn’t make the last 2 albums, so I may revisit them first and see. For me personally, I shall re start an Open Mic Acoustic night I had fun doing pre pandemic. Just to keep my acoustic hand in playing live
PD: Are there any bands that you are looking forward to sharing the bill with?
OP: We were looking forward to a US tour with Queen in the early 80s. Never came to fruition, so another Music Business note……believe it when it happens lol.
Artist: Ohibo Paronti Album: The Ballad of Ivy Gould
Release Date: 29.4.22
Label: SWND Records SWNDOP01
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Band/Artist location – Aberdare South Wales
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