Left to right: Errol, Jonnie, Craig, Nicky, Dusty and Dougie
Rodeo was my first semi-pro band. During a two year period on the Isle of Arran (off the coast of Ayr in Scotland) I met up with a few Scottish musicians but there was very little outlet for what we wanted to do on such a small island.
So when I moved back to Northern Ireland to hook up with some musical pals in Coleraine we eventually invited the guys from Arran to come and join us... and so Rodeo was born.
The original band consisted of myself, Paddy McNicholl (drums) Dougie Gough (vocals & guitar), Dusty McSheffrey (bass), Nicky Ash (keyboards) and Craig Mathieson (vocals). Paddy left before we started gigging in earnest and Jonnie Miles from Kilmarnock in Scotland replaced Paddy on drums.
The musical tastes we shared were shaped by Paddy's fabulous record collection, mostly imported from the USA which put us way ahead of the game and we became the first 'Country Rock' band in Ireland.. our repertoire consisted of our own material mixed with influences like Little Feat, The Eagles and others of that genre.
We gigged throughout Ireland gaining a considerable fan base (and several managers!) before spending a month working in London at the invitation of Dave Robinson (Stiff Records) with a view to recording an album. The album didn't materialise for various reasons and I moved on to other things...