Hello, and welcome to my website.
Some of you probably know me from The Bolshoi, a band that continues to find new generations of fans.
Just last week one of our songs, A Way, was played on BBC Radio 6 to over 1 million listeners.
The first time I heard A Way on the radio was late one winters night listening to Radio Caroline while home for christmas shortly after recording the album. The second time was after landing in Los Angeles before our first US tour. We all piled into the promoters car, turned on KROQ and there it was. Magic.
I'm still making music and continue to work on projects that interest me. My current solo project is Verdant Set and a new album is in the works, Merciana, with contributions from some special guests.
I'll keep you posted on my progress and thanks for stopping by!
Here it is, in all its glory, the Synthi AKS by Electronic Music Studios (London) Ltd. (EMS).
This was the first synthesizer I ever saw in real life. It was in the music room at Lofthouse Grange Secondary School but the teacher didn't let me play it, or even touch it, even though I really really wanted to. I was with a small group of other kids doing a tour of the school after graduating from the local primary school, so I'd be around twelve years old. It was the same age I heard Walter Carlos play Bach on Switched On Bach so my head was already in a controlled explosion state. I remember asking if I could get into the music class but my first year syllabus consisted of Math, French, Sports and Ballroom Dancing.
Luckily my parents moved to Horsforth, Leeds, during my first year there so I was able to get into Benton Park Grammar by the beginning of the second year and into a decent Music class, but I didn't see another synthesizer until I started working at Alpha Music down by Leeds Bridge part time. The keyboard department was on the second floor and I was put in charge of it at when I turned eighteen.
Spending all day Saturday and Sunday and some weekday evenings playing all the new instruments was an invaluable opportunity. I even sold quite a few. At one time or another we had in stock a Roland SH101, Roland Jupiter 8, Korg MS10, Prophet 5 and a Sequential Circuits Six-Trak which was my favourite. I remember when a few keyboards from Yamaha came in called DX-7's which I hated.
Unfortunately we never got any high end synths in, in fact most of the keyboards were the type that had drum machines built in so you can could play along using auto chords or whatever. Casio made most of those, and Hammond and Yamaha the rest.
After graduating art college I got a job as a designer in a sign company for a couple of years until a friend on the shop floor handed me a clipping from Melody Maker looking for a keyboard salesman at Unisound on Kilburn High Road in London. Four weeks later I moved to London and got a chance to play higher end synths. Unisound had a Yamaha CS-980 which was amazing, they also had gear from Oberheim and used Minimoogs would come through quite frequently.
I got my real fix down at Argents in the West End where I'd visit often. They had the super high end incredibly expensive stuff.
After about six months I got fired from Unisound for showing up for work too late, and even when I was there I'd just play the keyboards with headphones on. By then I had a Roland Juno-106 and was playing with a band. A year after that I joined The Bolshoi and used the Juno 106, a Roland JX-8P, Akai S-900 and an Ensoniq Mirage which I really liked.
In 1990 I sold them all, bought a couple of plane tickets and moved to Los Angeles. I now live just up the road in Seattle.
Find out more about my new album Merciana here.