I learned to play the snare drum when I was 14 because my school’s Combined Cadet Force marching band was short of drummers. I’d previously tried to play the piano and the guitar and had limited success but, for some reason, I seemed to pick up drumming a lot easier. So that summer I held down 2 jobs and saved the enormous sum of £85 to buy my first drum kit. I then formed my first band – Sword – with two school friends. We only played one gig, which we didn’t finish because we were too loud for the bar manager, and I spent most of the evening sulking because I dropped a drumstick in the middle of my drum solo. Since then I’ve been in and out of dozens of bands and have performed with a wide variety of musicians in most musical styles. Early bands were mainly rock outfits playing the usual Led Zep, Deep Purple, Rolling Stones songs but I have also played in swing bands, brass bands, heavy metal bands and even worked for a few months as a session drummer in a recording studio in Stoke-On-Trent. One of the swing bands – One Under The Eight – included a young Chris Lowe on trombone who later became one half of The Pet Shop Boys.

I moved to Harlow in 2005 and enrolled in the “Weekend Warriors” programme run by Tones Music, which helps musicians of a certain age get together and form new bands. I’m still playing in the current version of the group that was formed then - Dirty Little Secret - but have also worked with other bands in the area and the bass guitarist in one of them introduced me to Marrakesh. The rest, as they say, is history……..

Musical influences: Camel, John Mayer, Black Sabbath, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Al Stewart, Delays, Thin Lizzy, Genesis, Pat Metheny, Rush



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