A Bit About Me
(I'm not the American Actor)
There are a lot of projects I've occupied myself with over the years, here's the main ones:
BURBs - Britsh Underground Rock Bands
BURBs was a website I created back in 1996 dedicated to the unsigned bands of the UK. It ran to 2006 and was quite a success, in a small way. Originally it was called the British Unsigned Rock Band Site and was a place to find information on bands who had formed naturally and who dreamed of a record deal. As time progressed so did the site. In 1999 I ditched the concept of being signed or unsigned and wanted the site to become a portal to the UK's bands with a total of around 2,500 bands joined up. Site features included BURBsRadio, BURBsAudio (CD releases), the CD store (from which bands sold and shipped their CDs) and some live gigs, the highlight being the BURBs tent at the 2003 Willow Festival in Peterborough. Perhaps the biggest achievement was creating a band for a football song in 2004. 4-4-2 - Come On England went straight into the UK charts at #2 in June (or was it July) 2004 with the band performing live on the CD:UK television show and also Top of the Pops. During this ten years I met many many bands and made many friends. It was a wonderful 10 years but very very hard work, every single day (even when I moved to Australia in 1999 I continued daily work). I moved back to England in 2000 (don't ask) and continued BURBs until 2006. Why did I stop? Banging my head against a brick wall trying to get people (not bands) on board to buy the music or take an interest in general. The bands loved it, not many other people took any interest though.
Whoremoan are a band I met during my BURBs time and fell in love with (not the blokes, the band/music!). Oooh, yes, there's a swear word in the title (apparently), it's all about the music though, not a word in print. Desert/Stoner Rock is their genre, riffin' guitars, pounding drums and bass, angry vocals and good songs. I became close to the band as I wanted to help as much as I could. We had some success too, radio play around the world, a partnership with Red Bull supplying music for some of their extreme sport videos and earning quite a bit of money for sales of their music. I would of loved to of become their band manager and in an unofficial capacity, I guess, for a while, I was. In 2004 I funded and organised a recording session and CD manufacture of their album "Youth Must Dare". To this day Whoremoan are my favourite band and are still an active band since 1995. Here's a couple of their homemade videos in which I make brief cameos:
2012 Saw me re-ignite my passion and love for The Who, a band I loved since I was 15 and had amassed a record collection of over 500 albums. I am also a massive Pink Floyd/Roger Waters fan and became good friends with "The Doc" host of Brain Damage - the definitive Pink Floyd radio show. Inspired by the great work of The Doc I decided to start my very own "The Who" podcast, using Mixcloud as a base I called it a Cloudcast as the technology behind the delivery was different to a podcast. I really, REALLY, enjoyed making these episodes and tried to make them suitable to novice and long standing Who fans alike. I met some of the main people from the band including having a meal with Roger Daltrey, becoming a close contact with Richard Barnes, meeting Peter 'Dougal' Butler, interviewed and had a cup of tea with Simon Townshend not to mention becoming a very good friend with Doug Sandom - The Who's FIRST drummer and founding member. Things got nasty with Doug's immediate family who were convinced I was out for my own gains. I was not. This, along with the hatred my wife holds for the band lead to the demise of this period. It was good and I met some great people, you know who you are, who who, who who. There's a lot more to say about this period, but let's not, a. The shows are available to hear, here - https://www.mixcloud.com/barry-ratcliffe/uploads/
Which brings us to now ... Since 2014 I started selling vinyl records buying up stock from sheds & garages/attics that were unloved & unwanted. I came up with the name as I felt a similarity with say, a dog shelter, taking in sorry looking records, cleaning, looking after and finding new owners for. Shortly afterwards I decided to make my own vinyl cleaning fluid to use and was amazed at how good it was compared to others I was buying. This lead to me selling this too which is where I am today, selling records and cleaning fluid as a full time, registered, self employed concern. It's not making me a rich man by any means, it's more like a hobby which pays for itself but I am master of my own universe and am very proud of how well it is going (the feedback I get for records and fluid is amazing, great customers).
Cheers for now, Barry.