He came from the Chilterns. But was soon snatched away. Upon venturing back- what a beautiful area. The woodlands and the hills. But it seems he was destined to pursue, a lifetime spent wandering up through the counties.
It took Tom Crowley a long time to finally pick up the guitar, not until his late teens. But after years spent writing poetry and story-telling songwriting came easy. He teamed up with another guitarist, going by the name of Luke Morgan and they set about their quest for three minutes of perfection.
They began busking and playing small gigs in the Lincoln area, although it wasn’t until they had acquired themselves a well-rusted Bedford campervan that things really got going. They spent three months playing in Yorkshire: Sheffield, York, Whitby, Scarborough, Hull, until the road snaked round and brought them back down to a place wrongly accused of being home. They continued south but after another few months the van was done. It wouldn’t move no more. In order to get the engine running Luke had to, from underneath, attack the starter motor with a crowbar, covering himself in a shower of sparks whilst Tom twisted at the ignition. They tried to put it through an M.O.T and it failed, miserably. Ten citations stating it as un-roadworthy and deeming it as extremely dangerous to even attempt to drive. The era came to a sad end.
Tom found a way to continue. On a bicycle he found in a ditch. He managed to strap all manner of camping equipment to it, along with his guitar. By the time summer came around he was back on the road.
There was only one way to head north and that was through Yorkshire again. He’d always stop off in Whitby to see old friends. He went even further. By the mere power of leg-pedalling he cycled his way through Tee-side, Tyne-side, upper Northumberland and into the borders. Scotland! It struck him as something to achieve. A massive three hundred miles from the fenland village of Frampton from whence he had came, and then began the gruelling journey back down.
There were other trips, such as ventures into Nottinghamshire, but I guess that one was heralded as most poignant. He’d accumulated a small fortune with the freedom from rent payments and travel costs. Busking always did him well.
He attempted a move to London which went horribly wrong. Within two weeks he found himself skint and back sulking in the midlands. It was hard when the winter months kicked in- having nowhere to live, but by the time spring had reared it’s fresh scent Tom was about to start another venture.
He’d bought himself another van. This one was of a more sturdy variety. It took him all over the island: Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Lancashire, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, and even that ghastly London which he began to get to grips with. I guess it was always a consolation, not exactly what he had had in mind; he’d been fiending for the city, the bright lights, the glitz and the barstools. He just wasn’t ready yet.
After eighteen months travelling the country in this van, busking and playing odd gigs by himself he finally did it, he finally made the move. He’d scraped together enough money for a tiny room on the east side of London in Manor Park where he began his residence. The gigs came in more abundance than ever. With help from members of London band “The Eloquents” he was playing one, two, or even three a week in various venues around the river.
Luke also made the move down after a few months and they both, him and Tom, began sharing a room in Leyton. The banter which had formed between them over the years served well and amused crowds as they “the rum deals” began now on the gigging scene. They teamed up with drummer Yorgos Chatziandreou and bassist Tad Springer and began playing with a more forceful sound.
Things were going well. But as does most, it soon came to an end after a few loud months. Tom was living in Hackney by now, he’d found the closest abode he would live in to the city’s centre. Yorgos left the band. Luke didn’t have anywhere to live. Tom was in love. They decided to call it quits. The excitement of the London era had finally come to an end. After fourteen months for Tom, he’d had his fill and satisfied the urge, not to mention the knowledge and friends he had gained. At the beginning of October 2010 he and his girlfriend, Adriana, set off from London on foot and headed north once again.
It took three weeks to get to Edinburgh. Three weeks of walking, camping, busking and hitch-hiking. When they finally did arrive they had no money or food. A hostel kindly took them in for a couple of weeks in Leith until they had got back on their feet, until they had sorted themselves enough for some proper digs which they soon acquired and began saving for the next venture…………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..