For the moment he’s known to hundreds as their postman in Tangmere. Who knows, before long Mark Deakin could be known to thousands as the supremely accomplished jazz guitarist he is in his own time.
Mark, aged 34, leads a curious double life. For eight hours from 6.45am he is sorting mail and delivering it across his six-mile round. When he gets home, there’s no slumping in front of the TV on a sofa, though. In fact, he owns neither TV nor sofa. Instead he picks up his guitar for at least five hours’ practice. And at the weekend, it will be considerably more. “I have been a postman for five years, four of those in Tangmere and I'm really lucky to have Tangmere. There are lots of rounds in Chichester that aren’t anywhere near as nice and it's great to get to know people. I've got 500 houses every day and there are hundreds of people that I know and that I can talk to, and it's the interaction with people that stops the job from sucking the life out of you. There are a couple of roads where you need to know that number five does not get on with number six and that number six doesn't get on with number eight or whatever! But most people will know that I'm not your average postman, the salt of the earth type guy who loves his football and loves his beer. They know that there is a bit more to me than that. Mark’s real passion is the music: “I've been learning guitar since I was 14 and I have got a first-class degree in music from Middlesex. I graduated in 2012 and I was lucky that I didn't get into too much debt with all the increasing prices but really I've learned twice as much about music through my own study since then than I ever did at university. I play jazz and I'm very, very self-motivated. When you say jazz, people think about 100 years of music and actually jazz includes some of the worst music ever written, some of the free jazz in the late 60s which is almost like an anti-music. For me the sweet spot is in the middle of the 40s through to the end of the 50s, that bebop period Mark Deakin“So really it's like working two jobs. I finish my shift and then I do as much music as I possibly can, five hours a day at least and more at the weekends. I don't have a sofa or a TV, and I don't like having the computer on. For me it's just about getting away from the screen.” Mark, who lives in Chichester, keeps detailed records of his practice, his thoughts and his notes on master classes etc and he's filled up a number of journals so far, but the point is that it is now time to start gigging rather more. He's got a few spots at the Crown & Anchor at Dell Quay, and he is also launching out with his friend Leo as the Mark Deakin Duo. “I did music for ten years after university. I was a guitar teacher and I worked in a guitar shop and did those sorts of things but I saw that the writing was on the wall and I just found that it was not the most reliable work. When times get hard often that's the first thing that goes. “So I still have a normal job, a hard work physical job and it's good to show that you can do that but still be dedicated and still put in a lot of hours with the thing that really is your passion. I think of the other postmen who will finish work and then slump in front of the TV for the next five or six hours. I'm the exact opposite. This is just something that I have to do.” Anyone wanting to book Mark should get in touch at email@example.com.
Text courtesy of Sussex Express. Full interview here: https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/whats-on/arts-and-entertainment/postman-by-day-superb-jazz-guitarist-by-night-4200897
Mark's trio of Fibonacci's!