Ken Stubbs became involved with music after being ‘reborn’, after a near death experience. He was 14. It involved a Football ‘Special’ Train, hundreds of inebriated Glasgow Rangers fans, a fire hammer and axe, 2 near fatalities, him jumping from a train travelling at 70 mph, and several broken limbs.
It was then that he decided that this was the wrong game for him, and instead followed his other passion, which was the ‘Northern Soul’ music scene. Before long he was enquiring about the strangely alluring horn sounds that were prevalent within that music, the result being the start of a hot and passionate relationship with the saxophone.
Having been fortunate to experience an excellent music education, at what is now Salford University, Ken’s first professional music experience involved being fired from Pontins holiday camp for performing a loud, spontaneous, Albert Ayler impression, during a Lionel Blair-type dance troupe’s version of Barry Manilow hits – experienced by a large, confused crowd of Pontins-Punters, baying for his blood.
His second experience was equally as bizarre, involving him playing fast improvised lines over the Batman riff, for ‘Mary Chipperfield’s Skating Chimps’ (sic), …this lasted for 24 long weeks.
He knew that this was also not his path and soon followed the trail to London, where he formed his first jazz group – ‘First House’, with fellow ex music biz sufferers, Tube driver and Demon of the double bass, Mick Hutton, the marvellous, number-crunching drum genius, Martin France and the formidable composer and magician-keyboardist, Django Bates.