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Ian Ormiston Stables

Acoustic & Electric Guitars

Ian fell in love with music whilst listening to his Mum’s Oscar Peterson “Plays Jerome Kern” album on the family radiogram in the early 70s. After hours of air drumming to this, aged 9, Ian declared that he would like to play the drums. Being eminently sensible, his parents of course bought him an acoustic guitar, instead! He still ended up playing the drums; albeit later on as a teen, secreting himself in the room-sized Music Dept cupboard at Epsom High, instead of going to Maths lessons…

10 year old Ian’s first dalliance with guitar playing came when his beloved Scottish bagpipe playing Godfather, Bert wrote out the notes for Kumbaya and taught Ian, whilst pointing out that the notes were basically the same as those in the theme to the then popular police TV drama, “Z Cars”. So, two for the price of one!

Soon after this, Ian started what would turn out to be 6 years of classical guitar tuition at the local Leatherhead School of Music. Much is owed to the patient tutelage of Mr Peter Lang. One week, after Ian studiously played through his homework piece, Peter gently pointed out that Ian might like to try it with the music the right way up, next time - Not because it sounded upside down, but because Peter had cottoned on to Ian’s asking him to play the homework piece each week, so that Ian would memorise it and practice reproducing it in the ensuing days… Ian did subsequently learn to read music, but his ability to learn and play by ear stood him in good stead for writing music in future years. Various school music concerts followed along with a silver medal award at Sutton Music Festival.

Ian’s Mum had always wanted to play the piano, so after much searching, she bought a beautiful 1930s Rogers upright from a shop in Burgess Hill, Sussex. Along with Ian’s younger sister, Jane, Nina had many lessons. Progress was slow. Then one day Ian decided to have a go, playing by ear. After hearing Ian “Just breeze in and start playing the thing”, it was game over for Nina and Jane, who, somewhat miffed, gave up. Ian loved this piano and spent at least an hour each day playing and pushing himself to improve; using more complex chords and right hand melodies.

Aged 15, Ian’s parents bought him his first electric guitar, a beautiful cherry sunburst Columbus Les Paul copy, plus a truly awful little practice amp… His parents were horrified by the alien sounds produced by the electric guitar; Ian not having appreciated that in many ways, the transition from classical to electric was like starting afresh. Things did improve, though and along with close friends Adam and Richard; a band was formed and the first gig followed.

Through the early 1980s, Ian continued to focus on electric lead guitar. Also, unhappy with his boring day job, Ian would often hop on the Intercity 125 up to Edinburgh to spend time with Bert, living in an apartment just off Grassmarket; overlooked by the castle. Ian adored his Godfather and their adventures exploring Scotland in his 1964 Morris Minor Traveller. Ian also acquired a bagpipe chanter and learned to play a few bagpipe tunes. Along with Celtic whistles, these would feature in a couple of Ian’s solo recordings at the time.

The next and probably most significant musical thing was in 1986; meeting Martin Collins and Steve Hubbard. The first incarnation of the band was Rough Justice, playing pub gigs around South London, including the once famous Tunnel Club beside Rotherhithe Tunnel, London - Long since burned down. The Tunnel Club opened in 1984, and helped begin the careers of Harry Enfield, Vic Reeves, Jeremy Hardy, Jo Brand and many, many more. It was a notoriously intimidating place to perform.

TemperTemper at JB Recording Studios, Bromley - 1987
TemperTemper at JB Recording Studios, Bromley - 1987

By 1988 the band had a decent catalogue of more rock/progressive rock and had renamed itself to TemperTemper - The forerunner to TemperToo. Despite a near big recording deal with opportunity to work with some big names in the prog scene, the band went their separate ways, pursuing marriage and families in late 1988.

Throughout the 1990s, Ian worked behind the scenes, using 4 track tape and an Atari ST running early recording software, recording local Surrey based artists and co-writing numerous songs and even musicals. There was also a smattering of solo material, some of which survives in a huge and confusing inventory of cassette tapes!


Ian also immersed himself in live sound engineering throughout the 1990s, mixing live front of house and monitor mixes at various large events around Surrey. He even mixed live sound for Sir Cliff Richard on one occasion!

Into the 2000s, with children growing older, Ian found more time for writing and started to record more solo material, as well as contributing lead electric and classical guitar on several live and studio albums. He even spent some time at Abbey Road Studios in London, observing the album mastering process.

By the mid 2010s, following a move to Wiltshire, Ian was playing drums live regularly, but wanting to play in a band again. Seizing upon an opportunity to join a rock ceilidh band – "Jellied Reels" as bass guitarist, Ian continues to enjoy regular gigs in this slightly unusual, but popular ceilidh band.

Ian's home studio
Ian's current home studio

One day in 2018, browsing through social media, Ian stumbled upon his old TemperTemper compatriot, Steve Hubbard who had it transpired, moved to within a 45 minute drive. Following an initial meeting and tentative jam sessions, the pair realised that the old chemistry was very much present. The jams morphed into recording sessions and the album, Telegraph Road was released across streaming platforms in 2021, under the name TemperToo - A grammatical device to indicate this being the second incarnation of the 1980s TemperTemper.

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