1969 - Having saved up all his money, he bought a Gibson EB3 bass and formed his first band with some close friends. The band featured Dave Lamb on guitar, Martin Lamb on drums, Richard Frett on trumpet and Dave Saunders on clarinet and saxophone. The band played classic jazz numbers such as Sweet Georgia Brown, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Dave Brubeck’s influential Take Five.
1970/72 - At the age of 17 he first met up with Martin Plumb and they managed to get, amongst others, a support gig at the Marquee. They played a number of Ian’s songs acoustically and a few covers. Together with Martin, Richard Frett on trumpet and Dave Saunders on sax and Ian still playing bass, there was a brief sojourn with Jazz Rock and a minor review in Melody Maker.
1973 – Having sold the EB3 bass he bought a Fender Telecaster and perfected two styles of guitar playing; one using a ringing finger style technique and the other a rhythmic strumming method.
1975/76 A forerunner to French Lessons was the band (Supercruiser) that rehearsed weekly in West Drayton but never played a gig, featuring Paul Fennel on vocals, Cliff Homewood on guitar, Mick Baker on bass, Paul Seabourne on drums, Ian on guitar and Martin on keyboard.
1975 and 1977 were prolific years when he wrote all the songs that appear on ‘A Stop in Time’. He is keen that a second CD will be produced to include his best song ‘Sunday Morning Drivers’, the first song that became a regular French Lessons number ‘Xmas Days and Frozen Fields’ and the classic punk parody ‘Dirty Old Man’.
1977 – 80 He met up with Richard Gleave and Dave Gillbe and together with Martin Plumb formed French Lessons with former Calum Bryce drummer Geoff Coxon.