Mic McCreadie (Bass)
John Visick (Guitar)
Sue Bushnel (Guitar)
Thank you to Mic McCreadie for the information below:
Creepin’ Jane: named after an old Irish folk song about a race horse.
Publicity shot. 1973
I’d been a regular resident singer in the various folk clubs that abounded back in the late 60s and early 70s and had met with John Visick during this time. He was a musical partner to a lad called Paul (who later and very briefly became Paula!) and we used to sort of jam together assisting each other’s set with added instruments and harmonies and such and we grew closer together when I moved to Perranwell Station where John also lived with his widowed Mother. We played at all the local folk clubs i.e. at The Church Hall in Rose near Perranporth (which eventually moved to The Swan in Truro), at Pipers Folk - held in The Great Western Hotel at Penzance (home turf of Brenda Wooton who was partnered in music by John The Fish) Bodmin Folk Club, Padstow Folk Club, Camelford Folk Club (held at a pub/restaurant in Jetwells).
Pipers Folk Club
As a semi pro solo artist I was doing shows all over Cornwall, The Summerleaze Hotel in Bude was around the outer limit of my travels, singing mostly light contemporary folk music accompanied on acoustic guitar and augmented with comedy. John Visick had met Sue Bushnell, a teacher who was also a lovely singer and they became an item both musically and socially and as I gradually saw more of them I then agreed to join them as three piece doing light folk rock and some of my own compositions. We were musically quite original and some of our equipment was highly original too. Like almost all the bands of the day we had very little money for gear so John had bought some cheap plastic microphones usually employed in domestic tape recording though they worked well enough for our purposes at that time. He also approached the engineers in what had been his Dad’s business: Visick’s Engineering Yards near Devoran to make us some microphone stands and they agreed to help. They made us three microphone stands by welding a big threaded pipe union onto a ½ inch thick, 9 inch square, steel footplate into which we screwed ½ inch diameter chrome steel conduit piping to which we then tape-fitted our cheap plastic mics and holders. (See pics above)
These, although they looked very bizarre, stood us in good stead for some time until one fateful night when we were support act to a Folk Band called ‘Magic Lantern’. The gig was held in what was the City Hall, now the refurbished ‘Hall For Cornwall’. ‘Magic Lantern’ were a touring band from the Midlands fronted by a John Connolly who wrote very fine folk songs and they had set up their stage gear behind ours as we, being the support act, were first on. Their stage set up included a big wood and canvas backdrop for their lantern/music show. It might all have gone well if not for the sudden and almost catastrophic mishap that occurred. As we were waiting in the wings ready to go on the back drop suddenly leaned out at the top and then, slowly and majestically, fell forward onto our microphone stands knocking them flat to the stage. Any professional microphone would have survived this force but we, being poor, were using the cheap plastic affairs and these were smashed into tiny pieces on the hard wooden surface of the stage. The stands were fine, they’d have survived a bombing raid, but the mics were smashed beyond redemption and we had no spares! All looked lost but Magic Lantern’s kind hearted roadies allowed us to use their high quality sound system and in that one performance I learned what we could sound like and we all resolved right then to upgrade our shabby stage gear.
We did all the usual pubs: The William The Fourth in Truro, The Chain Locker in Falmouth, The Flamingo at Illogan Highway, Tyacks Hotel in Camborne, The London Inn at Redruth, The Pen-y-bryn at St Agnes, RAF Clubs at St Mawgan, and most of the Folk Clubs though some of these were rather snooty about us using electric guitars and I had to argue at Bodmin Folk Club to be allowed to plug my bass amp into a supply, eventually being let to use a modified light socket! The atmosphere was not at all electric as we performed our sets that night in 1974.
On Stage at the Bodmin gig
We did pubs all over, The Penmare at Hayle, The Bluff - same town, the Radjel at St Just, The Trewelard somewhere nearby, the Social club at Geevor Tin Mine, some Boys Club in Truro where we were met with astonished disbelief by youngsters who wondered what the hell was going on. I think they expected Status Quo or T-Rex and got us doing Folk mixed in with Eagles and Beatles amid sundry other unknown songs of mine.
We were together for maybe two or three years but I was becoming more sought after as a Folk Soloist so, after short tour in London playing universities, I left Creeping Jane to pursue my Folk Career. There was some initial animosity I remember, probably caused by my Scots/Irish lineage and brittle artistic temperament but this soon faded away and we later met in various jams and played happily together. John and Sue found another bass guitar player in Phil Whitfeld and took on a drummer Paddy McCready (no relation) and carried on with various line ups, Chris Lobb joined at some point, blissfully content.