Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid ”

— Frank Zappa

Introducing Ray Pritchard

Ray Pritchard is an Australian Balladeer and the principal song-writer for West Australian country rock band Book Of Shapes (BOS). He has released two mini albums over a two year period with the most recent – 43 Years touted as one of the most original sounding albums in recent times. 

Ray’s solo performances suit a wide variety of listeners. His stories are heartfelt, inspiring and occasionally, sad. He is not to be missed! 

Ray is currently writing and gigging in his home town Perth, Western Australia. An Australian tour is planned for mid 2018. 

Ray is also the Founder of Heartland Stories – a project initiative bringing community stories into music.

 

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Introducing Ray Pritchard 

Born in Invercargill NZ 1959. 

He moved to Australia with his family in 1969 and played his first ‘gig’ in a school hall (Morley High) in 1972 with fellow students. They covered The Beatles, The Shadows, The Monkees, Cat Stevens and numerous others from that era.Other than the odd school show the band did not gig. 

Ray headed east and played in a few garage bands in Sydney - the most notable being Warlord, a rock band covering Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, Aerosmith & The Rolling Stones, to name a few. 

After doing the drive back across the Nullarbor in 1979 he joined folk singer/guitarist friend, Will Stewart and the two formed an acoustic guitar duo. "We played small wine bars like The Chelsea Tavern, Hare n Hound and some tertiary institutions like The Claremont Teachers College and The University of WA in Nedlands. Later I joined The Boogie Street Band playing gigs such as The Albion Hotel in Peppermint Grove and Steves Hotel in Nedlands. Through this period I wrote a few jingles and did a small amount of studio work." 

In 1982 Ray drove to Esperance to mix a cover band, Ethos. This experience led to a stint mixing local Perth band Tuxedo Wave. Ray stayed on that side of the mixing desk for a number of years. The experience would prove invaluable later in his career. 

Through the same period he played guitar and toured with a couple of hard rock bands - Room Service and Hunter. Neither band was particularly successful, but that didn't seem to matter a whole lot. "Point was, we were out and about gigging, albeit with little or no real direction. Playing in Hunter with the late Andrew Clayton-Smith, a great Perth singer was a fantastic experience." Most gigs were regional WA - as far north as Derby and as far south as Albany. 

In the mid eighties, Ray met Rick Veneer aka Gerry Stoll from Rick Veneer & the Vigilantes. He asked Ray to join as bass player. "I worked under the alias Mal Function which was probably quite fitting on reflection!" 
The band had reasonable local success playing blues in small bars such as the Karrinyup Tavern, Back Stage Bar, the Scarborough Hotel and the Mosman Park Hotel. Although, essentially a cover band doing ZZ Top, George Thorogood and some R & B standards there were some originals penned by Rick that were also performed. 

In the late 80's Ray became a father and that put the brakes on music for a while! 
In 1992 his young family made the move to Narrogin, a small rural town about 200 kms south east of Perth where he opened a music store with an old friend, Geoff Rowe, who was the drummer in Room Service and Hunter. It was tough going and difficult to make a living, so he started playing as a solo guitarist/singer on the rural West Australian pub circuit. 
"This period gave me the confidence to perform as a soloist and it taught me what being a musician was really all about." 

In 1996 the family relocated back to Perth, where he joined saxophonist, Jim Sturrock in a two piece computer-backed combo. 
After a few years together the inflexibility of the computer based backing tracks started to wear thin and they both lost interest. 
That triggered a break from live playing. 

In 2012, at age 53, Ray was diagnosed with cancer. 18 months later after treatment, Ray was clear of his cancer. 

Early in 2013 Ray penned his first song since the 1990's called 'White Coats in Corridors'. It was a song written in recognition of his wife Elaine's strength, courage and her unwavering belief that he would be successful in his medical fight. 

Writing that song opened a flood-gate. By the end of the year he had written over 20 songs and had ideas for many more. 

Since then, Ray has returned to live playing. Additionally and with help from some incredible local musician friends he recorded his first EP HUMAN, which was released in September 2014. Because of the collaborative nature of the project Ray was loathe to release the recording under his own name, instead creating a recording entity - Book Of Shapes. 

In June 2016, Ray with the help from childhood buddies Tony Cooper & Martin Cilia, released another mini album - 43 YEARS . Book Of Shapes now had a sound! Clean distinct production, the use of baritone guitars bathed in tremolo and Ray's penchant for story-telling gave the album a strong, fresh, Aussie ambience. 

The songwriting continues with the live gigging centred mainly on solo performance. 

For more details, contact – 

Ray Pritchard 

0422 071 225 

ray@raypritchardmusic.com 

PO Box 661 Wembley WA Australia 6913

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