A Birmingham musician has paid tribute to Ocean Colour Scene's Steve Cradock for helping to launch his solo career.

(By the way, I'm still eagerly lookin for 4 tickets to OCS Birmingham's gig, in February...yviseur@free.fr)
Ocean Colour Scene's Steve Cradock and Little Liam
Ocean Colour Scene's Steve Cradock and Little Liam

Liam Garland first met lead guitarist Steve some 16 years ago when he wandered into a Moseley recording studio.

He formed a close friendship with the whole band who began to teach him the ins and outs of the music business.

Now 23-year-old Liam has dreams of making it big and recently supported Ocean Colour Scene at The Rainbow.

"I'm forever grateful to Steve," said Liam live on BBC WM Introducing.

"(He's taught me) guitar, bass, piano, drums, singing as well. He taught me everything, literally everything. He's just a top bloke. He knows everything, he's a genius."

A chance meeting

It was in the mid-90s when Liam first met Ocean Colour Scene, stumbling across the band's Moseley Shoals recording studios.

"It's a funny story," he said. "I was with a few of my mates - I was seven years old. I was looking for firewood for a bonfire and I wandered into their studio.

"First time I met (Steve) he gave me a guitar to go home with. It kind of carried on from there; finishing school then going into the studio.

"It was brilliant. He was a really nice man. He must have seen something in me, I don't know, because he gave me a guitar straight away. I didn't want to play the guitar, I wanted to be a footballer and play for Villa. That all changed as soon as I met him."

Ocean Colour Scene's Steve Cradock and Little Liam
A very little Liam dancing in front of a young Steve Cradock

'Little' Liam

Over the years, Steve took Liam (nicknamed 'Little Liam by the band) under his wing, teaching him how to play a range of instruments and introducing him to the world of studio recording.

"There's a load of people who would love to be in my shoes but I was just lucky," said Liam. "I never forget that though, I take nothing for granted. It wasn't just Steve though - the whole of the band, the management, their crew. They were always very welcoming.

"My mum worked there in the studio too - she got a job later on. The bond just grew between us all. Steve's more like family than a friend, even his wife Sally is. She's amazing - she's helped me so much as well."

A dream come true

In 2009, Liam began to gig around the West Midlands, using the name Ocean Colour Scene had affectionately bestowed upon him - Little Liam.

Mixing with the stars - Liam with Paul Weller
Mixing with the stars - Liam with Paul Weller

On 25 January 2010, Little Liam supported the legendary Britpop band in a gig at The Rainbow in Birmingham.

"It was absolutely amazing," he said. "A dream come true. Unbelievable. Steve Cradock and Simon (Fowler) were in the crowd with my mum. I remember looking out and seeing them watching me. It was amazing. I wanna do as many gigs as I can. Next stop Wembley (laughs)!"

Little Liam has plans to release his debut album this year and currently performs live with Birmingham rock band Copious .

For more information, visit Little Liam's website

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