Born into a non-musical household (this was later to prove invaluable in his chosen career as a drummer) in 1960, it wasn’t until the age of 14 that I became interested in all things percussive. Up until that time my energy was being channelled into becoming an actor, following my great, great grandfather, the legendary Actor/Manager Albert Hall.

Nottingham in the early 70’s was a vibrant place for the amateur player, with an abundance of orchestras (both adult and youth) and a music service that actually cared about standards and the promotion (thru excellent teaching staff and funding) of young musicians. It was this system that allowed me to study with the master percussionist of the time, the late, great James Blades, my parents making the long drive once a fortnight to his house in Cheam, Surrey.

After a 1st failed attempt I scraped a place at the Royal Academy and “enjoyed” all the benefits of such a lofty institution. Wanting to give something back to an authority that had supported me so much (and, let’s be honest, to earn some money), I took up a post as peripatetic percussion teacher and very nearly enjoyed it. However, the lure of white tie and tails and the chance to use my acting skills in playing a Bass Drum proved too much and the call of the freelance percussionist came in 1984.

1992 at last allowed me to sell my van and join the hallowed ranks of a full time band, the Orchestra of Opera North. “It’s a job from heaven” said I on hearing the news. “It allows me to still play with ViVA, live in Pinxton and because most of the playing is from a pit you can hardly hear the singers”

Various orchestras used my services, notably ViVA (the orchestra formally known as EoEO) in which I played in the inaugural concert (and 2016 I was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society/Association of British Orchestras Salomon Prize, awarded to orchestral players who have been nominated by their colleagues for their contribution to the orchestra’s work.)

In 2005 a misguided orchestral manager (Matt Lax) asked if I would be interested in orchestrating some children’s songs and then arrange various tunes. This has had lead to a big increase in the amount of money I  spent on various laptops and PCs and also in the number of times my wife, Janet, (Violinist at Viva) has yelled up the stairs “YOUR DINNER IS ON THE TABLE”

Pre November 17th 2014 I was thinking how to step down the playing and step up the music prep. and then disaster! The gas, electric, water and broadband connection in my brain stopped then a flock of "Aphi" trampled my language and rearranged my life puzzle. I was transposed into a distant key and the music sounded strange, as if Bach heard Stravinsky for the very first time with lyrics by cod Sondheim. I had a brain attack.

Everyone at Viva were, and still are, supportive and the bloody bugger, my clotty slugger is “in the ropes” by re-orchestrate and re-word my aphasic language and outsmart (with practice!) my damaged left inferior temporal lobe.