One life took him through the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, and to the Mauna Kea Observatories in Hawai’i. In this life he was an astrophysicist and got to play with giant telescopes and orbiting observatories.
Another life had him teaching programming and desktop publishing in an ITeC in Dumfries before training as a maths teacher and teaching maths and physics in Dumfries and Galloway College of Technology.
Work life has tended to settle on the artistic side which has seen Mark hijack his school newsletter and make it into a comic, join in the 80s independent comic revolution with the ‘Humphrey’ cartoons, and now making electronic comics.
But this musical life is being chronicled by bandmate Noel Chidwick and saw the extradimensional creation of prog band Painted Ocean currently touring a universe near you. Mark plays mostly the electrified guitar bits and sings in a strange high voice. He is also to be found around southwest Scotland variously passing himself off as a folk singer and as a jazz bassist.
Noel Chidwick too is living parallel lives, starting with the universities of Newcastle and Edinburgh and at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, where he played at Astronomy. Another life had him teaching in Scottish Further Education. A further incarnation has him with The New Curiosity Shop, working with the modern magics of online learning and epublishing.
All the time Noel has been writing – stories and songs. His stories you can discover on his personal website, and his songs have come to life with Painted Ocean. He has also been known to do the occasional singy-songwritey thing at odd places around Edinburgh. And recording and mixing in his home studio full of flashing lights.
But which one is the real Noel Chidwick?
Jenny was brought up in a home where classical music was played all day long. With a musician father and musical siblings, she developed her interests in piano and oboe, playing oboe with the Northern Junior Philharmonic.
After travelling and working abroad for a few years, followed by raising a family, she spent the next two decades singing in groups and choirs – and keeping the piano going in the corner of the living room before meeting Noel and Mark in 2009 and being persuaded to take up the keyboard and singing with Painted Ocean – something she’s never regretted!.
Weaned on 60s & 70s rock and psychedelia, the pair of ears that are Dougie Mathieson have journeyed through the decades since, absorbing and being influenced by folk, jazz, world, rock, funk and many other genres, and being expressed via bass, keyboards (and occasionally guitar) in a variety of musical collaborations and solo instrumental compositions. The adventure continues..
Has in recent years hung around the folk scene in Dumfries and Galloway banging assorted things as rhythmically as possible. In a previous time he spent 10 years on Bondi Beach swimming with sharks by day and playing in a all-girls Take That Ukelele Tribute band by night.
With Painted Ocean he hits things and keeps our feet on the ground while our heads soar amongst the heavens.
John has played music in the armed forces: he has been behind enemy lines with his saxophones, flutes, violin, oboe and who knows what. He would tell you where he played but then he would have to kill you.
Recruited to the band as official photographer. These are his pictures.