Television journalist Mark Gough is creating a new chapter to his award-winning career – this time as a rhythm guitar-playing co-founder of a surf band. And later this year, instead of facing the cameras that beam him into millions of viewer’s homes, he will be performing at a music festival before an audience of 65,000 cheering fans!
Playing alongside Mark as “Los Calamares” - the surfing squids - take to the stage will be his ITV colleague Frazer Sheppard.
Press Club member Mark, a former young scribe on the Birmingham Evening Mail, is now a rather more mature business correspondent for ITV Central – our very own “Robert Peston” of the Midlands! Last year, he scooped the accolade of Television Journalist of the Year at the Midlands Media Awards.
Frazer, who is the talented lead guitarist with the group, is a TV producer/director whose credits include ITV’s Countrywise and Countrywise Kitchen series.
Surf music was born in the 1960s and was the type of music that the surfers of Southern California danced to and listened to. Still none the wiser? You will be when you hear such tunes as Hawaii Five O, Wipe Out and themes from Pulp Fiction and James Bond movies. Especially if you are anywhere near the band’s studio in Kings Heath, Birmingham – where Duran Duran recorded their early material.
Mark explained: "Frazer's been in bands for years and is a fantastic guitarist. After teaching himself flamenco guitar he wanted to play popular music which was as challenging - and that is surf music.
"People look a bit quizzical when we tell them it's surf music, but think Pulp Fiction, James Bond with a bit of Batman and Munsters thrown in for good measure and I swear - you'll know every track we play. And you won't stop dancing.
"Frazer said to me: 'Goffy, we're forming a band. Here's a list of 40 songs. Get 'em learnt.'
"So I got my Fender Telecaster out of the loft and started driving the neighbours mad learning 40 new tracks. We're now gigging regularly and hopefully will soon start wowing the corporate events in the Midlands with Los Calamares - aided by Pablo on Sax, Rafael on bass and Sergio on the skins.
"Frazer and I could have formed any old covers band, but frankly, you can go into any pub on any Saturday night up and down the land and someone's playing Mustang Sally or The Commitments. We wanted to do something no one else was doing. We are Birmingham's best surf band. In fact, we're Birmingham's only blinkin' surf band!” added Mark.
In July, Los Calamares will be playing at the Americana International Festival in Nottinghamshire. Mark said: "It’s a mega event – with dozens of bands lined up to play over three days. We’re booked on the main stage – and can’t wait to get there! Over 65,000 people went there last year.”
If you want to sample the band’s music, visit www.los-calamares.com