Harmonica-tees is run by Paul Gillings from his home in Lowestoft, Suffolk UK, Britain's most easterly town. Harmonica-tees was started in 2017 after Paul spent 2 years in T Shirt printing factory Doves Clothing, learning the craft.
|Why the Harmonica?|
|At the age of 11, Paul heard the harmonica for the very first time whilst sitting round a campfire at a Boy Scout cook-out. The harmonica was being played by his Scoutmaster at the time: Norman Ives. At that time Norman Ives ran a mail order harmonica business as well as being a part-time Scoutmaster. A bunch more of the scouts became interested in the harmonica and pretty soon they had enough for a full harmonica group. Around this time Norman Ives met with David Michelsen (AKA Dr Midnight) and between them started 'Harp Start' a free harmonica school for underprivileged children.||
Random Sound during a radio interview in 1989 (Paul second left)
Random Sound being filmed for Disney's Mick Mouse Club TV show in 1990 (Paul in centre of pic).
|The kid's harmonica group was called 'Random Sound' and toured the world appearing at Glastonbury festival and on many national and international TV shows. The highlight of Random Sound's career was being invited on Disney's 'Mickey Mouse Club' during a US tour in 1990 to accept a 'Golden Mickey' award for outstanding talent.|
Random Sound Harmonica Group meeting Larry Adler in 1989 (Paul far right)
Onstage at Glastonbury 1989 (Paul 3rd from left)
Then Paul discovered the Blues...
In 1993 Paul won the World Harmonica Championships in the Youth Blues/Rock and Youth Diatonic Melodic section which was held in the Hohner stronghold of Trossingen, Germany. After winning the World Harmonica Championships Paul received an endorsement from Lee Oskar himself and became a Lee Oskar Preferred Player. As a consequence of the win Paul also appeared on the very popular UK Children's programme 'Blue Peter'. Paul, Norman and David then toured as harmonica group 'The Midnight Specials'.
These days Paul plays regularly with 'The Harpoon Blues Band' and appeared on BBC's 'The One Show' in 2016 playing 'House of the Rising Sun'. More recently the Harpoons can be seen rising up the UK Blues scene.