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 3 years in T Shirt printing factory Doves Clothing, learning the craft.
The T Shirts on press:
|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)
On stage at Glastonbury 1989 (Paul 3rd from left)
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'.
In 2003 Paul collaborated with Roger Trobridge, the then chairman of the National Harmonica League to relaunch 'Harmonica World' the club magazine and then stayed on a designer for 5 years. The magazine still has the new look and continues to rise in circulation. Paul can also been seen giving workshops on the harmonica at various harmonica events around the country; Blues Saturday in Bucks, H2017 in Bristol and Harpin by the Sea 2018 in Brighton and Hove.
Paul plays regularly with a number of local bands including 'The Harpoon Blues Band' who appeared on BBC's 'The One Show' in 2016 playing 'House of the Rising Sun' and also plays harmonica for The Jamos and Sir Mathew Band and The Polymer Five.