1970 left school and went straight into the world of music. Early gigs in the north of England, were playing in working menís clubs for comedians, strippers, would be pop stars, opera singers & any band that did not carry a drummer with them! I was at this time gaining big band experience, small group work, many sight reading gigs, & the many varieties of music that are not available for the younger musician of today, (old time music hall, tea dances etc). Some of my favourite drummers at this time were, Ralph Humphrey, John Guerin, John Von Ohlen, Billy Cobham, Mel Lewis & Tony Oxley.
1972 moved to London. Here, I started having some of my early experiences in the recording studio, where I did at this time mainly pop sessions, meeting some of the ďfamous namesĒ I had been listening to while still at school only a few years earlier.
1974 I joined the pop group The Brotherhood Of Man, as their M.D. I had not done the arrangements, these had been done by Colin Frechter, a well known arranger on the scene at that time, but good experience for a young drummer, traveling the country, & being in control, (sometimes) of the resident bands in the various clubs we played.
1976 was a good year for progression! I moved firmly into the Jazz world. I was asked to join a new band called Turning Point. This band was led by Jeff Clyne, one of Britainís leading bass players, & singer Pepi Lemer. Jazz gigs & sessions continued, Zoot Money, The Buggles, Cleo Laine, Billy Ocean, Billy Conelly, Jesse Green, Colin Hodgkinson, (Back Door), & countless other sessions, (TV. radio etc) Too many to remember!!!. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977 With Paul Buckmaster is one I can remember!) I also did an album for Shusha with Paul Buckmaster
1979 took me on my 1st major U.S. tour with Sniff ďNĒ The Tears. 3 months on the road in the states with a rock/pop group changed my outlook on life forever!!!!
The Early 80s included gigs & sessions for Paul Mcartney, Tracy Ullman, Jan Hammer, Swans Way & various other pop & jazz groups of the day, Pete Lemer Quartet, Pete Saberton / Pete Hurt Quartet, (& any other group where the leader was called Pete!). Countless TV. Commercials, film & t.v. Soundtracks continued. I had a recording contract as a drummer with my friends Tony & Gaynor Sadler in a band called Sleeping Lions, & a contract with A&M records as a writer with my friend Pepi Lemer. Also a short tour with blues legend Alexis Korner & Colin Hodgkinson.
1984 I received a call from Martin Drew (Jazz drummer) Martin was the house drummer at Ronnie Scotts Club in London. He had started a 2-week engagement with Nina Simone when he received a call from Oscar Peterson, (one of Martins other gigs) so off he went, booking me to complete the following 8 or 9 days. When the gig was over I thought that was it! How wrong can one be!! That was actually the start of a gig & relationship that would dominate the next 19 years of my life!
1986 Nina was still there, + many more programming sessions were now happening. The computer & audio & sequencing packages were beginning to make their presence felt. I of course had gone full tilt into the new way of working. That summer was a short 6-week tour, (U.S. & Japan+ U.K.) with The Art Of Noise. That year also saw an album with The Proclaimers &The Kane Gang. Into the Late 80s more albums, more commercials, & still Nina & the TV. Shows such as Come Dancing & Natalie Cole Special. with Pete Wingfield (friend, producer & piano player).
1990 is the year I first met Van Morrison, A couple of albums with him & various live gigs followed. All this time ducking & diving between Van & Nina & various session commitments.
The Early 90s were busy traveling the world with Nina, a couple of sessions for Rod Stewart (for Trevor Horn) part of an album in L.A. with Nina and still all the other stuff, sessions & gigs in the U.K. continued, Circle Of Friends theme tune (for Trevor Horn) amongst them, also a couple of film sessions with writer and arranger, Mike Gibbs. One I do remember is Close My Eyes. Also some recording for Labi Siffre, & a U.K. tour with Duanne Eddy.
1995 Nina stopped working for 2 years; I continued all the regular stuff, While at this time writing quite a lot of library music for a couple of different companies. Also that year I performed for 3 nights at the Royal Albert Hall, London, with Judith Durham and the Seekers for their 25th Anniversary Tour.
1997 Back to work around the world with Nina, The Ben Elton Show for the B.B.C. and also a 2 part series for Sky Television, co-composing with Brian May. T.V. work such as, French & Saunders, Londons Burning, Absolutely Fabulous, Monarch Of The Glen, & other themes & incidental music sessions.
2000 While keeping up the regular sessions & Nina, also a return to a few jazz gigs around London with Sarah Moule & Nicki Leighton-Thomas, and Simon Wallace with the songs of Fran Landesman.
Early In The New Millennium gigs with Mose Allison, Clare Teal, Val Doonican, Mick Hutton, Lea DeLaria (Janette Mason) & others. Although I was not to know it, I was in the last phase of my career with Nina. In April 2003 she died, leaving a large space in my life & career. So, to fill this gap, I went into Londonís West End, (Theatre World). Andy Newmark rang me, & gave me a chance to dep in his show, The Lion King. Then on to Chicago + a couple of deps in other shows, Privates On Parade, Anything Goes & Fame.
2004 I did a gig at Carnegie Hall as a tribute to Nina Simone. Later that year a gig at Wembley for The Princes Trust Concert, which was really a tribute to Trevor Horn. I played acoustic & electronic kit for The Buggles, Dollar, Grace Jones, The Art Of Noise, Lisa Stansfield & Seal, + Yes, Frankie Goes To Hollywood & ABC, on percussion with my friends Luis Jardim, Gary Kettel & Frank Riccoti.
2005 All the above (except Nina & Fame, (thanks Ollie!!!!) but now I am also doing a few sessions from home. This is where you come in! Just look through the site until you come to the studio bit, that is what this is all about. Check out the Sound & Styles audio clips, it will give you an idea of what you might expect from a certain genre.