PM Warson grew up in an English town, in a post 9/11 world, drifting into financial crisis, against the staple suburban musical landscape of heavy rock, the ghost of the New Wave, and the fading star of the Indie Boom of the Noughties. He found his own fit in the form of Rhythm & Blues from half-a-century before, drawn in by records in the family collection, engaging at a visceral level, abstract from any subcultural connotations. While an outlier stylistically, he found camaraderie and direction among musically inclined peers, saving up two summers straight for a Rickenbacker guitar, getting the taste for playing live with an archetypal teenage power trio. After a move to London to study, he was without a band for a while. The Rickenbacker was sold for an archtop, and he delved deeper into his musical vocabulary – delta blues, Americana, early jazz and Rock’n’Roll. Meanwhile, via the capital’s blues clubs and soul nights, he discovered a new setting for the music that had enticed him the first place, existing, not in a vacuum, but alive and in the moment.
A chance audition thrust him into full-time work as a touring musician. He found himself, blissfully under-qualified, serving an apprenticeship alongside conservatoire-trained jazz musicians and session pros. Meanwhile, the inevitable downtime in new cities on the road allowed for significant crate-digging between coffee spots and sound checks, while feeding off the knowledge of the players around him. Becoming more and more interested in production, ever-drawn to the Golden Era of record-making, he befriended the proprietors of Soup Studio, then an all-analogue facility based on Cable Street. He started moonlighting on production projects and learning the inner workings of a studio environment. A network was building, and when it was time to break out on his own, everything was in place.
Shedding the construct of a ‘band’ or a ‘singer-songwriter’, and perhaps the monoculture of contemporary music-making, he started cutting sides with a band of friends and acquaintances found along the way. Without any wider ambition, it was as much about the process as the outcome, evoking the R’n’B records of the ’50s and ’60s in practice rather than emulation. His first effort, the ramshackle “You Gotta Tell Me” became a de facto single, and after being urged to press a few copies to vinyl by a friend, it began to cause a few ripples on the local DJ scene. Meanwhile, a wild, off-the-cuff cover of ‘Hit The Road Jack’ caught the attention of a London music agency, giving his lineup an outlet for playing out. This included house-band sets at London establishments such as the Blues Kitchen, Old Street Records and notably at the opening of the Mary Quant Fashion Exhibition at the V&A Museum.