1975 to 1990
I was born in London in 1975 and started playing the guitar when I was 11 years old and have not stopped playing since.
My early influences were Eric Clapton, ACDC, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, Dire Straits and Led Zeppelin which were my parents music choices.
1988 to 1990 Loving the guitar
By the age of 13, I played my first gig at a folk barn dance and at 15 I was getting regular paid work playing with a band at working men's clubs around East London and every spare moment I got I played my guitar. During this time, way before the internet, I discovered the library was a great way to find new music and was listening and practising to artists like Stevie Ray Vaughn, Gary Moore, BB King, Albert Collins, Jeff Healey, George Benson, Joe Pass and Django Reinhardt.
1991 to 1997 Becoming a rock star
When I finished school all I wanted to do was play guitar for a living, so while playing gigs at the weekend I attended a music course and studied music theory for 2 years, I met more musicians and had plenty of jams. At college I was introduced to players like Steve Vai, Joe Satriaini and Eric Johnson which was great for learning new techniques but always and still do prefer the vibe of feel groove guitar players. When I finished this course I was planning to go to Leeds university but joined an originals band and thought being a rock star would be more fun. I also played with various function bands and in a backing band supporting comedians like Mike Reid, Jim Davison, Rory Bremner and Joe Pasquale, this was a great time for getting my sight reading chops up. When I was 19 I joined a Madness tribute band and toured all over England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Germany and Greece this was great fun and gave me a couple of years experience being on the road.
During this time I was listening to artists like James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Bob Marley, Sting, Steve Lukather, Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Wes Montgomery. This was also the time of acid jazz and I heard Ronny Jordan on Jazz FM play So What by Miles Davis which took me down the road of jazz and funk like Herbie Hancock and the Crusaders. I was also listening to Oasis, Paul Weller, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden and Frank Zappa.
1997 to 2003 Session Days
This was the days of the Melody Maker magazine and every Wednesday I would get up early to get the magazine to check the adverts at the back for signed artists looking for musicians and would go to as many auditions as I could. Sometimes you would get a tape sent through, other times you would just have to turn up and jam. I also joined a couple of session musician agencies. This work was a bit more serious, if you turned up late, or made mistakes, you were out so if you got a job you did your best to keep it.
At the age of 22, I landed my first session guitarist job working for an artist called Robbie Craig who was signed to East West Records. The music was soul/pop with a funky blue's egde. We made a music video, did a photo shoot, toured the country, released a single, which was played on MTV and the Box and we also played live on GMTV. Our manager at the time was Paul Loasby (one fifteen managment) who now looks after David Gilmour, at the time he was working for Jools Holland and still does to this day. This was great for networking as I got the chance to play with Jools Holland at a jazz festival and worked with Suggs from Madness, Leo Sayer and recorded the album for Robbie Craig at Jools' private recording studio. The producer at the time was a guy called Kit who had produced an album for Thin Lizzy. I learnt a lot from Kit, he taught me how to work as a guitarist in the studio, I also borrowed his producing ideas and this led on to him using me for other sessions.
During this time I was still playing in other bands and had my own originals band on the go playing the London circuit. My band, Tarantula Pie, was doing quite well and we were getting interest from record companies and developing a following, but the Robbie Craig project demanded more of my time and Tarantula Pie kind of died. Unfortunately, East West Records dropped the whole project, I was out of a job and had no original project either (I thought I had cracked the big time) but the music industry soon put be back to square one trying to get auditions.
So there I was waiting for the Melody Maker to come out again and then I got a job as a guitarist for Mcabe working for Global Talent Records. This lasted for about a year. The project consisted of making a video, playing live and touring the country and appearing on TV. This project come to a close on the day I bought my first house (nice). Next I found myself traveling from London to Southampton on a weekly basis working for an artist called Aaron Cray who was signed to East Records. I got to work with Primal Screams producer and Peter Gabriel's producer, I worked at Rick Astley's studio, recorded a guitar chill out album, signed a small deal with Sanctuary Records (jazz department) and got into the finals of the Guitarist of the Year competition 2002 for the Guitarist magazine.
2004 to 2009 Studio Time
This is when i thought it would be a good idea to build my own studio, I had a control room and live room and wanted to use my knowledge to produce and record for and with other artists. Every week i would have different people in working on all styles of music, hiring different musicians, songwriting and recording live bands and trying to work on my own music when I had the time. I was also still gigging with different bands and teaching guitar, which I started doing at the age of 20. During this time me and my wife had two of our children so it was great to be working in the studio and be at home instead of being on the road.
2009 to 2013 A New Place
In 2009 we moved house and set up a new studio, I was also busy teaching guitar, performing solo guitar, working with my 3 piece band and kept busy with the family and the arrival of our 3rd son. During this time I also set up a jazz band to practise my jazz chops with my gibson 175, this has been a great challenge and even more of a challenge getting regular jazz gigs throughout the year. I was also acting as an agent getting other bands work while trying to work on my own material (not easy with 3 young boys).
2014 Where Do The Years Go
Been a busy year working with Soul singer KENNY THOMAS, got to play with the JACKSONS at the Hardwick Festival and will be playing at the 02 London in December with Soul Legend Jocelyn Brown.