Tez Skachill is an original songwriter, musician and guitar tutor born & raised in Salford, England.
To date he has released a solo album + 3 EP’s and is the founder of Salford Guitar Lessons.
Tez began learning guitar at the age of 14 taking lessons at school from local guitarist Nick Waddecar & Mark Day (guitarist from the Happy Mondays).
Being captivated & inspired by this new learning he began to show a great passion for writing music and notably at this age wrote his angelic instrumental acoustic piece ‘Air Above’ + a number of original songs.
Tez Skachill performed his first live gig at Jabez Clegg in Manchester as the lead guitarist of the school band The Hooligans aged 15.
A year later he co-founded a new school band – The Illusion of the Banana Minds playing a number of local city venues such as Islington Mill, Manchester Academy 3 & returning to Jabez Clegg whilst recording a selection of new songs.
Both bands developed & featured a number of Tez’s original ideas.
In 2010, after his last band disbanded & leaving school, Tez decided to record a début solo EP entitled ‘The Road’ at the tender age of 17. This was recorded at the renowned Blueprint Studios in Salford working with mixer & engineer Ian Stewart (who has worked with famed artists such as Justin Timberlake, Elbow & The Streets).
The EP comprised his instrumental piece Air Above and of songs ‘The Delineation Of Life’ and the ever popular title track ‘The Road’, which captured the attention of local DJ Joe Barnwell from Salford City Radio.
The Road EP was a great success enabling air time, radio interviews and plenty of gig opportunities to a very young songwriter concurrently introducing local audiences to Tez Skachill.
After months of events leading up to autumn of the same year Tez teamed up again with Ian to start recording Tez’s first solo album. In December Tez released a double A-side CD titled ‘Don’t Fall, It’s Over’ as a taster of the new material making its way onto the album.
In March 2011 the full album was finished and released. ‘Believe Half Of What You See…’ was featured as album of the month on Salford City Radio, and Tez quoted “It’s a very strange feeling to know you can turn on a radio channel and hear your own music!”
In addition to the re-recorded tracks from ‘The Road’ EP and the final versions of the double A-side tracks, the album featured songs New Beginnings: A song inspired by Syd Barrett & Nick Drake, and the emotional ending track ‘Believe’.
Lyrically the song ‘Believe’ reflects the feel of determination & belief to carry on even in adversity the album portrays, and expressed the musical passion Tez’s music can achieve through the ending solo which rounded off this melodious acoustic progressive rock album.
Tez created the band ‘Believe In Years’ to perform the album’s music throughout 2011, enlisting the help of Grant Tildsley on drums (who performed the drums on the album) & Martyn Ellis on bass guitar.
In 2011, Tez collaborated with songwriter Lee Daniel Owen of the band Drive There Now to co-write a song together. This release entitled ‘Memo‘, an acoustic pop/rock track was mixed & engineered by Oliver McDaid (also, drummer of Driver There Now).
Tez met Drive There Now during his EP recordings of The Road at Blueprint studios back in 2010 whilst the band was recording their own EP ‘Waiting For The Summer’.
The bass featured on The Road EP was kindly borrowed to Tez from Ben Hardman the bassist of the band.
Tez & Drive There Now shared many gigs bills together, with an highlight event being held at The Met, Bury. The night also featured an early formation of Manchester’s pre-eminent band The Rainband.
In 2012, Tez entered a new chapter of his writing, this was the birth of ‘Grim Architect‘. A 3 piece Melodic/Heavy Rock band. After only a handful of local warm up events Grim Architect headlined the world famous Cavern Club in Liverpool in July and joint headlined the Club Academy, Manchester with the band ‘Falling Red’ (Who toured with Steel Panther in late 2012).
Grim Architect released their début EP (eponymous title) in October 2012 and celebrated the released at the Roadhouse Manchester Supporting the Big American band ‘The EX Senators’ (who featured John Robb on the night).
The EP featured 5 tracks, including ‘Cromwell – They Rode In’ (a song that developed from lyrics inspired by the historical figure Thomas Cromwell) the fan favourite ‘The Devils Wing’, ‘On Your Way’, the melodious ‘Make Me Believe Again’ and the epic heavy metal track ‘Don’t Play The Fool’ which closed out each of the bands live shows.
Throughout 2012 Tez exalted his experience, playing on bills with very established bands, giving the up-most energetic performances and writing in a further and different style of rock in a full band setting.
After a year and a half since Tez last performed he made a return to the stage in 2014.
In the absence from performing Tez discovered a great passion for folk music and in particularly songwriters like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake & James Taylor. In parallel to developing and adapting the fingerpicking acoustic guitar style, Tez started working with respected vocal coach ‘Jonny Black’ to progress his vocal abilities and to study the vocal styles of soul singers.
Tez made his first solo appearance since late 2010! at the ‘Night N Day Cafe’ in Northern Quarter, Manchester on 08.07.14. After only a handful of live performances Tez headlined the WE4POETS showcase event at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester on 7th December 2014.
Tez performed a cover of the classic Otis Redding song ‘Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay’, fan favourite ‘The Road’ and he revealed 3 brand new tracks for the event, which the audience really enjoyed. Tez also accompanied ‘Laura Sinclair’ on the night, a stunning poet and singer from Manchester.
On Saturday 22nd November 2014 Tez released his first solo single since The Road available to download from Spotify.
This was the delightful acoustic track ‘If I Question‘ which was celebrated at the We4Poets live event @ the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. The single was engineered & mixed by Sara De Clara and was featured on Tez’s upcoming 2015 EP. The track features 3 different time signatures 5/4, 4/4 & ending with 3/4.
The track cover was photographed by Jeff Hurst whilst Tez was recording the track at SSR studios in Manchester. The photo was taken through 2 plains of think glass which cast a reflection of the mixing desk in the main room.
On 21st April 2015 Tez Skachill’s much anticipated 2nd solo EP ‘Fragments’ was released on Spotify, Google Play (now YouTube Music) & Apple Music as well as being available as a CD.
The EP was recorded & mixed/mastered by Sara De Clara at SSR studios in Manchester.
Fragments was heavily inspired by folk artists such as Nick Drake, John Martyn & Neil Young with each of the 4 tracks having a similar tone and fingerpicked acoustic guitar. The vocals were taken influence from Tez’s love of soul music, particularly Smokey Robinson, Seal & Marvin Gaye. Indeed the front cover taken by photographer Jeff Hurst was inspired by Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ record.
The EP is purposely stripped off any other instrument accompaniment, presenting just one solo acoustic guitar with Tez’s vocals overlaid & a sparse sprinkle of vocal harmonies.
The 4 songs which feature are the single ‘If I Question’, ‘Somewhere Called Nowhere’ – an intricate piece describing an alluring & beguiling local folktale creature. ‘I Left My Heart Out in the Rain’ & the delicate ending piece wrote in a 15/16 time signature called ‘Remedy’.
‘I Left My Heart Out in the Rain’ is inspired by Bob Dylan, similar in tone (minus the harmonica) and features a last verse storytelling some events in Tez Skachill’s life:
“So I went to the jobcenter,
And they ask me which job I would like best,
But no jobs for a musician,
came up in the Northwest.
So I went to a music store,
And asked to play a Mexican Roadhouse,
But the worker just looked at me,
And said why don’t you just f_ck off to Johnny Roadhouse.”
The first half describes when Tez was a late teen trying to find work as a musician but coming up short through the formal job system in England.
The second half describes a true event when Tez & his friend James asked to play a guitar (Mexican Roadhouse is a model of a Fender Stratocaster Tez owns) at a music store called Dawsons, and the manager unkindly told them to f-off to another local music store down the road. Which they did and was better received at Johnny Roadhouse on Oxford Rd in Manchester.
“THE MIND AT LARGE” 2014-2018
In early 2014 Tez Skachill started working and performing with the prolific songwriter Alex Tadros, supplying accompaniment to Alex’s material with lead guitar and backing vocals.
Their first gig together was at The Bay Horse open mic night in Manchester’s Northern Quarter run by the talented musician/songwriter Edwin Miles.
The duo was joined by the talented drummer Amir Rahimzadeh in early September 2014 and the band ‘The Mind At Large’ was born. In mid 2015, this multicultural band was complete with the addition of inspiring bassist Marco Ferrari.
The Mind At Large made their first live performance headlining The Eagle Inn, Salford on 16th October, 2014.
The band’s name ‘The Mind At Large’ is taken from Aldous Huxley’s ‘The Doors Of Perception’. Taking inspiration from this work & of late 60’s bands such as The Doors, early Pink Floyd, The Beatles to modern psychedelic rock bands like Tame Impala & King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, the band set out to create a psychedelic blues sound accompanied with kaleidoscopic sensory visuals rooted in blues structures & progressive rock intensity.
The band gigged extensively throughout 2014-2018 reaching audiences around the North West of England at city venues/festivals and a further audience online.
In early 2016, the band was featured on Shift Radio in Burnley for a Monday Night live radio interview plus a live filmed performance.
Check out the video here.
2016, also saw The Mind At Large record & release 2 music videos: one for their track Spook (watch here) in a live stage setting & 2nd the Devil’s Shoes.
The Devils Shoes was filmed late evening at the location Alexandra park in South Manchester. The video featured a candle lit betting table amongst the trees as the band sat around playing cards. A devilish & dark feel was the main theme. The track was engineered & mixed by André Pires at SSR studios in Manchester.
Watch the Devil’s Shoes video here:
In late 2016, the band announced the departure of original drummer Amir who emigrated to the other side of the globe to Australia. You may recognise Amir as the character Hamid in the current Australian TV drama The Heights.
In 2018, Tez Skachill amicably left the band for personal reasons and bid farewell to an amazing experience being part of The Mind At Large.
All band members are still great lifelong friends.
In 2015, Tez Skachill founded the independent guitar tuition service – Salford Guitar Lessons. After taking the leap to branch into teaching Tez discovered an immense passion to pass on his knowledge and help the community of Salford pick up & master the guitar.
Since 2015, Tez has acquired a wealth of experience teaching & the business has grown from strength to strength. Salford Guitar Lessons studio is based within Sentinel House, Eccles, offering a premium service to inspire learning & boasting a breathtaking view of Greater Manchester.
In 2016, novelist, poet & playwright Stanley Ayodeji kindly asked Tez whether he could include and feature his instrumental piece Air Above in his upcoming play entitled ‘Same Stre’t…Diff’rent Day’ to be performed at Manchester’s Three Minute Theatre. Tez jumped at the chance to re-record & embellish the original piece. Adding accompaniment and a complete new section Tez extended the piece and finalised a definitive version. This 2016 version was mixed and brought to life masterfully by André Pires (who also worked on The Devil’s Shoes) which was recorded between Tez’s Salford Guitar Lessons studio & SSR studios in Manchester.
Stanley’s play was a resounding success and bestowed Tez an immense honour by the inclusion of Air Above.
The track artwork featured a landscape photograph of Seoraksan National Park, South Korea with kind permission by Stockport based photographer Jeff Hurst. This photograph fit the theme perfectly for the track cover.
DEBUT ALBUM 10TH ANNIVERSARY 2021
2021 marks a decade since the arrival of Tez Skachill’s début album ‘Believe Half Of What You See…’ To celebrate this occasion a 10th Anniversary edition CD has now been released featuring the entire original album + a live version of The Delineation Of Life, the 2016 remastered version of Air Above and The Road and Introduction from Tez’s 2010 The Road EP.
The album also includes an accompanying 8 page booklet containing lyrics & photographs from the 2011 recording sessions at Blueprint Studios.
This 10th anniversary edition CD was released on Saturday 17th April, 2021.
You can purchase this Anniversary Album CD + other merchandise from Tez Skachill’s official website store here.