Mic (Michael) McCreadie:
Musician, Guitarist, Singer/Songwriter, Music Composer, Cabaret Comedic Entertainer, Record Producer, Film Maker, Writer, Archivist and Folk Music/Social Historian.
A Short History.
Mic was born in Glasgow and attended various schools finally finishing his education at St. Thomas Aquinas Senior Secondary School which he left in July of 1962 for his first job as a butcher’s apprentice and delivery boy. Riding a huge old fashioned bike with a large basket on the front and loving every minute of the euphoric, liberating feeling it gave him sailing along with the wind in his hair, cycling the city streets in the fresh air after being confined for the past few years in dull and dreary school rooms. Now he felt he was a man and a worthwhile member of society contributing as he was to the family purse with his paid employment. One particular incident in this part of his life is worth mentioning here and that was when young Mic, returning to the shop on his bike after making a home delivery, turned onto the main road from a side street and was amazed to find the pavements lined with people waving small Union Jack flags many of whom began laughing and cheering him as he rode past them in bewilderment and wonder. Suddenly he was roughly seized by a huge policeman and the bike and himself were bundled in to one side just as a huge black limousine sailed past with a smartly dressed couple inside who were gaily waving and smiling at the assembled throng! It was only The Queen and Prince Philip on their way to their next function after opening the new Clyde Tunnel! Mic will still swear to this day that The Queen herself caught his eye and smiled just at him which is why he remains unabashed when he claims his delivery service had Royal Approval! Happy, carefree, youthful days!
In 1963, encouraged and sponsored by his Master Tradesman father, Mic began an apprenticeship in the building trade as a Tile-Fixer employed with a Glasgow firm, working alongside his father on occasions. However he found no real satisfaction in this line of work and left after a few years to pursue his dreams of becoming an engineer and working with aircraft.
He followed his elder brother Tony into the R.A.F. in 1965 and after Trade Training at R.A.F. St. Athens in South Wales he qualified as an Aircraft Mechanic (Airframes) with the rank of L.A.C. (Leading Aircraftsman) and was posted to R.A.F. Leuchars in Fife, Scotland rising through the ranks by his own abilities and studying to become, first S.A.C. (Senior Aircraftsman) Aircraft Mechanic (Airframes) then, after even more intensive studying, sitting the required exams to qualify as an Aircraft Fitter (Airframes) with the rank of J.T. (Junior Technician). This astonishing feat was achieved in just 18 months from enlistment, making him the first ever mechanic to gain this achievement at Station level without resorting to the six month long training course held at R.A.F. St. Athens. He was at that time employed in the Station Hydraulic Bay servicing aircraft wheels, brakes and tyres. When he was seconded to 74 Squadron and detached with them to R.A.F. Akrotiri in Cyprus for a three month tour of duty and was then physically involved in servicing, changing the wheels, tyres and brakes on the squadron’s fabled Lightning Mk6 Jet Fighters it awakened a longing in him to be permanently involved in this much more satisfying work. The lure of working on the aircraft handling areas, the so-called aprons, and working hands-on with the aircraft became more and more irresistible.
So, as he gained advancement he sought a position which would bring him into much closer contact with jet fighter aeroplanes and applied for a posting as a mechanic on a Squadron, any Squadron!. He was duly accepted by the Adjutant of 228 O.C.U. Squadron (Operational Conversion Unit).
When he became an Aircraft Fitter (Airframes) he applied to join the illustrious 74 (Tiger) Squadron and
was delighted to be accepted. He served with this historical squadron under Wing Commander Ken Goodwin, first at Leuchars in Scotland then in Singapore at R.A.F. Tengah. Now he was working in the so-called Second Line Servicing which involved much more major engineering in the repairing and servicing of the highly exciting and amazing English Electric Lightning MK6 jet fighters. Mic was commended by B.A.C., English Electric’s successors for an ‘in-the-field’ repair on the spine of a jet which had been damaged after being arrested by the runway crash barrier following a brake parachute failure.
When he was repatriated to England in 1969 Mic was then posted to, and served all over England with, 32 M.U. (Maintenance Unit), based at R.A.F. Biscester, near Oxford. This was a major repair and salvage speciality team who worked independently out from their base onto various Camps and Station tackling the larger, more difficult, repairs that were outside the range, scope and skills of the home Station’s engineers.
During his time with the R.A.F. Mic got more and more interested and involved in Folk Music and learned to accompany himself on guitar, visiting folk clubs to contribute and learn wherever and whenever an opportunity presented itself and through this exposure and those experiences his skills and repertoire grew exponentially.
On demob in 1970 Mic moved to Cornwall and was employed as an aircraft engineer with Airworks who sub-contracted services to the R.A.F. He was living on the base at R.A.F. St. Mawgan, near Newquay, working with Canberra bomber airplanes and associated equipment and, from here, he began to visit the fabled Folk Cottage which had recently moved from Mitchell to Rose, near Perranporth.
His fascination and passion for Folk Music in all its many forms developed and grew as did his musical abilities and he soon became Resident Singer at many of the West Country Folk Clubs further developing his skills thanks in no small part to the lessons, influences and advice imparted with patient generosity by the enormous wealth and talents of the nationally known and respected ‘names’ who came to perform and often stay over for a few days in the Summer months. These were the Professional Folk Musicians and Artists such as Martin Carthy, Ralph McTell, Wizz Jones, Clive Palmer, Noel Murphy, Alex Atterson, Tony Capstick, Derek Brimstone, Allan Taylor, Mike Silver, Barry Dransfield and many, many more, who toured folk clubs around the country performing their many varied and eclectic arts. Mic formed deep and lasting friendships with many of these generous and gifted folk.
When he left Airworks somewhat abruptly after an altercation with senior management, Mic spent some months living in a tent on a Caravan Club site in St. Columb Major in extremely desperate financial straits until he finally found employment and crucially, accommodation, with John & Jill Battensby at Perranwell Station near Truro. He worked sporadically with John as a landscape gardener and also at a variety of jobs including, TV aerial erector, van driver, general labourer etc., until finally he entered Treliske School of Nursing in 1975 to take up training as a nurse.
His love of Folk Music continued though he also now branched out into experimenting with Folk Rock influenced by bands such as Steeleye Span, Five Hand Reel and Fairport Convention. Several collaborations ensued and he joined and fronted a few local RnB bands: Creepin’ Jane, Sensible Shoes and lastly Big Dick and The Deviants, all of whom became hugely popular on the pub and club circuits.
Sound Logic Studios.
When he married and settled down to begin a family he left nursing to open, operate and manage an Audio Recording Studio with the help of a Government Incentive Scheme and a loan from The Royal British Legion! He acquired and began renting premises on a local mushroom farm near his home in Camborne. This was a complex project; making the rooms ready with, wiring, sound proofing etc., and buying the specialised equipment required for such work. Once the building was ready and fully equipped Sound Logic Studios was brought into existence and he began accepting commissions from clients and the business grew slowly but steadily. He augmented his income from these endeavours with entertaining in pubs and clubs as a comedic musician/entertainer. A downturn in the economy eventually and sadly put paid to this venture though, undaunted, Mic has continued to provide this recording resource from his smaller, home based, and now fully digital 16 track Studio, to local musicians and from here he has also produced more than a few records, including Niall Timmins, ‘Dark Moon Rising’ – Larry Law & Fiddler Jennings, ‘To Air Is Humane’ – Hunter’s Moon – ‘Ripe & Bearded’ – Thorn & Roses, ‘Across The Bridge’ -and, perhaps the most notable of these, Noel Murphy’s retrospective double CD ‘The Quality Of Murphy’ in 2006/7. There are also some live recordings of his performances with other artists which can be found listed elsewhere on this site.
Mic is now a very successful cabaret comedian/entertainer in hotels & clubs all over the South West and beyond and is also happily and productively involved in an acoustic trio: “Hand Picked” with Adrian O’Reilly and John Martin, two highly talented musicians, and this trio are available at very reasonable fees to perform in social clubs, hotels, pubs, folk clubs and festivals.
Mic has also recently begun to develop a film production facility: Whole-In-One Productions as part of his Sound Logic Studios and to date has produced several Music Videos of himself and others which can be viewed on his YouTube page and has also made two full length films. The first of these was produced by Mic in 1980/1 for P.H.A.B. using real 16mm film stock and on this Mic learned the skills required for the physical process of literally cutting and pasting film, recording and dubbing audio for soundtracks and was kindly given, free of charge, use of The Video Editing Suite facilities at Cornwall College, Camborne for this project.
The second and most recent film was produced in the digital domain. This is the professional full length DVD product: ‘Niall Timmins, A Celebration Of His Life And His Arts’ filmed by Mic and Marty Fitzpatrick and which can be still be obtained through this website. More professionally produced full length DVDs will follow as the future projects develop.