Ted Key is the original bass player and songwriter for the 1980s iconic, ground breaking band from Kingston upon Hull, The Housemartins. He received BPI gold discs for his contributions to the albums “London 0 – Hull 4”, and “Now That’s What I Call Quite Good”, and toured with the Housemartins for almost two years before leaving to continue guitar and song writing duties for cult Hull punkabilly band, The Gargoyles, where he and drummer Hugh Whitaker were originally poached. Hugh eventually also left the Housemartins to fill the vacant seat at the drums with the Gargoyles. They released two seminal albums, “Mrs Twodinners” and “Steamflapper” on Reasonable Records and a handful of memorable singles.
In 1990 he diverted into a 25 year career as a Maths teacher, during which time he still managed to spend 10 years as guitarist with internationally acclaimed Johnny Cash tribute band, Keep it Cash. He formed this act with childhood school friend and Cash fanatic Dave Burnham, as the Man in Black.
Continuing to write and record throughout this period he released a critically acclaimed debut album, Madolescent Street in 2011 and in 2016 wrote a Hull musical based in a local history class called “The All New Kingston Ramblers’ Audio Guide”.
While supporting legendary Mighty Wah! front man Pete Wylie in Hull, Ted was spotted by promoter Paul Greendale who brought him to London for a handful of solo spots. From this was born the current project, Ted Key and The Kingstons. With Paul on bass and renowned Golborne Road drummer Nick Harrison, they formed a folky, funked up reggae protest trio, with memorable tunes and thought provoking, story driven lyrics, powered on with blazing harmonica.
1975 Buys first guitar and learns finger picking folkstyles.
1978 Buys electric guitar after seeing The Clash at Leeds University.
Forms punk rock band, The Heartless Thieves and records lost LP “Sucking Sugar from the Belly Button of Life”.
1981 Leaves Leeds University to pursue a career in music.
1982 Forms comedy rockabilly band The Gargoyles, with Eddie Smith and Paul Warhurst. Joined on drums by Hugh Whitaker they were notorious in Hull and surrounding areas.
1984 Ted meets Paul Heaton in The Tower venue in Hull. Feigns ability to play bass and sequesters Hugh into joining The Housemartins. Writes songs for first LP
“London 0 Hull 4” with Heaton and Stan Cullimore.
1985 Tours extensively and signs to Go Disc! Records “Flag Day” EP.
Records sessions for John Peel, but leaves the band at the end of 1985.
1986 Reforms The Gargoyles with Chris Elliot on guitar and Martin Owens on drums, and records “Mrs.Twodinners” and ”The Steamflapper” LPs. Establishes independent label, Reasonable Records with John Rowley of Hull band The Red Guitars. Releases single “Mad Men from the Planet Sex” which breaks into the top 40
1987 Awarded BMI gold disc for “London 0 Hull 4”.
1988 Produces singles for local bands including Pink Noise.
Forms country covers group The Appalachian Dance Band.
1989 Awarded gold disc for “Now That’s What I Call Quite Good!”
1990 Decides it’s time for a proper job and re-trains as a Maths teacher!
1993 Gets job at Hull College. Starts a new version of The Heartless Thieves and plays local gigs.
1998 Forms jazz pop band Creased with Lisa Fenton, Andrew Swift and Dave Keach. London gigs and recordings. Folds in 2000.
2001 Starts Johnny Cash tribute band KeepitCash with school friend Dave Burnham.
2002 Adds Andy Swift on bass and Simon Higley/Steve Clarke on drums. Tours extensively, over a ten year period, in Britain and Europe.
2008 Begins recording solo LP.
2010 Releases debut album “Madolescent Street”!
2011 Premier of the multi-media one man show at Hull’s world famous Adelphi Club.
2012 Begins writing songs for colleagues at work. Performs at celebration events for Hull College. Records music for Maths and uploads video to college website.Continues writing songs with a local flavour and compiles them in the form of a musical about a local history class in Hull, called The All New Kingston Ramblers Audio Guide.
2013 Performs solo version of the musical with photos and story, mainly in and around Hull. Records songs at Rhema studios in Hull with local producer, Nick Langley. Songs released on Soundcloud.
2016 Leaves teaching after a successful 25 year career.
2017 Forms Ted Key and the Kingstons with Paul Greendale and Nick Harrison.
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