The Band Too Great to Make it
Ooooh Sticky & the Greasy Pigs
How did I get together with  "Ooooh Sticky & the Greasy Pigs"? The story goes like this... I was playing on the street in Rome one day about 13 years ago. I ran into a friend who told me that there was going to be a party that night at a "squatted" social center called "Alice nella Cita'" for the street artists of Rome. I had never been to a street musician gathering before, and it sounded like a great time. So off I went and started playing right away. Singing Chuck Berry songs standing on a table (like an idiot) and having a good ol' time. A few others played, but nothing really special. Then four English guys who lived there in the social center came up and said that they liked my performance and were a full-time busking group themselves. I asked them when they were gonna play, and they said that they weren't. What kind'a street band comes to a party full of street artists and won't even strut their stuff a little for the others? Not a very good one I thought. I don't remember exactly how I responded, but I'm sure that I rudely brushed them off at the first passing beer tray About a week after the party. I walked into Piazza Pantheon with Mark Sweeney from the Gerard's. I could feel an energy radiating off of the cobblestones and the ancient walls. This was what I'd dreamed of my whole life. There they were with the pillars of the pantheon as a backdrop, rocking out such energy you'd swear they had Marshall stacks, but they were completely acoustic. I had never heard of a "tea-box bass" before,(now that I've seen many others, I know that nobody can beat a box like Chris Potts). The rhythm was so jazzy and rock at the same time. I happened to have a little dictaphone with me and I still have the tape from when we met. When they were finished, I went right up and said I was sorry for treating them like a bunch of posers, and that they had blown my socks off.
The members have changed many times, while I still do one every couple of years with them, the only full-time original left is guitarist/singer/songwriter Tam Lawrence of Birmingham, England. The songs are a little angry, sometimes silly, mostly funny, a good beat and impossibly memorable. Before we had a tape, people knew all the words right on the street. We were always so sure of a big success, but in reality we were loved, but we weren't commercial enough (I personally have never been very commercial). Tam still rock's out with "Ooh Sticky", and I hear they?re doing quite well (they've dropped the pigs and a few "O's"), playing regularly all over Denmark, Europe and Russia. He's written allot of new excellent songs with wild musicians and has just recorded a new CD in St. Petersburg with some crazy Russians.
Chris Potts is one of the best musicians I've ever played with. He used to be a roadie for the Gutter Brothers, a well known English "skiffle" band. Here, he picked up playing the tea-box bass (click to find out more about this incredible instrument). People call him a wild-man when he plays. His harmonies are as sweet as Mc Cartney's (he is from Liverpool, in fact his humor made me feel sometimes that I was trapped in "A Hard Days Night"). We lovingly called him "caveman" for his wild hair and ripped up T-shirts. But, when the set was over he was so mild mannered you'd swear it was someone else. A true artist, and loved by many, Chris is now on hiatus in Christiania, Copenhagen.
Other "piglets" include drummer Frisco Landini and accordionist Luca Venitucci. Frisco, a veteran of many films by Fellini and with Roberto Begnini, plays nightly with many of Rome's rock & roll regulars. Luca is extremely active in the experimental sound scene. He organizes and plays concerts all over the world. He's one of those people that are so good at traditional they go totally experimental. Englishmen Nat Sylvester and Will Burrows were both with the group for a while when I joined up, but left within a year. Danish drummer Grev Lyhne (Grou luna) lives in his birthplace, Christiania and believes he is a prince.
Ooooh Sticky & the Greasy Pigs ARE available for shows still today! We get together every few years for a festival or gig somewhere and it just gets better and better!
Contact me for info!
You can see really nice “Ooooh Sticky & the Greasy Pigs” video on my YouTube page.

Old buskers never die, they just go through your garbage more often!

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Since 1989