Paul's 2020 Electric Blues album 'Invisible Prison' is available from all digital download sites
“...Gillings’ skill and agility on the harmonica is stellar throughout.”
Dave Drury - Blues Matters Magazine.
Paul's eclectic style, robust technique and killer phrasing make him a memorable and versatile harmonica player. Having played in Jazz bands, Orchestras, Indie Bands, Rock Bands, Folk bands, Blues bands and Harmonica bands it's no wonder Paul is becoming a mainstay of the music scene and top choice as a session musician.
A Life with the mouth organ
At the age of 11, Paul heard the harmonica for the very first time whilst sitting round a campfire at a Boy Scout cook-out. The harmonica was being played by his Scoutmaster at the time: Norman Ives. A bunch more of the scouts became interested in the harmonica and pretty soon they had enough for a full harmonica group. Norman Ives met with David Michelsen (AKA Dr Midnight) and between them started 'Harp Start' a free harmonica school for underprivileged children. The kid's harmonica group 'Random Sound' appeared at Glastonbury Festival and appeared on many national and international TV shows including 'Jool's Holland's Happening'. Paul and Random Sound were also invited to appear on Disney's 'Mickey Mouse Club' during a US tour in 1990 to accept a 'Golden Mickey' award for outstanding talent, they also appeared on TNN's 'Nashville Now' and CBS' 'Good Morning America' in New York.
In 1993 Paul won the World Harmonica Championships in the Youth Blues/Rock section. That year Paul received an endorsement from Lee Oskar and became a Lee Oskar Preferred Player, Lee also invited Paul to play 'Why Can't We Be Friends' with the band WAR at the Jazz Cafe in Camden. Paul also appeared on the UK Children's programme 'Blue Peter'. Paul, Norman and David then toured as the harmonica group 'The Midnight Specials'.
In 2016 Paul appeared on BBC's 'The One Show' playing 'House of the Rising Sun' with 'The Harpoon Blues Band'. Paul joined 'The Jamos and Sir Mathew Band' in 2018, an acoustic act that plays at festivals and venues around the east of England. Paul also turned back to Songwriting and has been releasing tracks through Soundcloud with more than 90,000 plays to date. Solo tour dates for 2019 included Jurnet's Bar in Norwich, The Fisher Theatre, Upton Blues Festival, Folk East and The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival. Paul's solo acoustic album 'You Don't Even Know' was released in 2019 and is on general release through all digital outlets. The album received a large amount of radio play and got to number 9 in the International Blues Broadcasters Association (IBBA) chart. Paul is also a regular tutor at the annual Harpin' by the Sea event in Brighton and Hove. Paul also joined the Gypsy Folk outfit Zingaro Blue and was featured on their new album 'A Handful of Songs'. Recent session work includes playing on Kev Walford's album 'Americanarama' and Paul Marfleet's album 'On The Edge' on the song 'Grey Skies'.
2020 brings the birth of another solo album: 'Invisible Prison' an ELECTRIC Blues album, to be released on 13th July to all digital outlets. This self-produced album was recorded at Paul's home in Lowestoft with the guitar, bass, vocals and harmonica all being played by him. Only the drums were left to someone else! In May 2020 Paul became a endorser for Seydel, the world's oldest harmonica company. 'Invisible Prison' was the IBBA pick of the Month for August and the track '3 Heads Are Better Than One' from the album was featured on Cerys Mathews' Blues Hour on BBC Radio 2.