I started playing in public when I was about 13 years old playing Hammond organ in local pubs and clubs. I was really nervous at the time, just a kid playing in the grownups world, and my foot used to shake - luckily it wasn't my hands.
My first band Dark Saloon was a typical 70s schoolboy band, named after a solo album by John 'Rabbit' Bundrick who occasionally played keyboards with Free (do you remember 'Alright Now'?). It was a 5 piece and while it never gigged it did keep my neighbours awake on Saturday afternoons.
After that came Cassiopeia a jazz rock outfit in which I played bass guitar and flute. We entered the Melody Maker competition in Leeds. The judges said we would have gone through had it not been the year that punk arrived. I never really suited safety pins!
Next was Windenwires. We played contemporary music. Some was self-penned and some covers. We did quite a bit of vocal harmonies and could do a mean version of Steeleye Span's 'Gaudete' at Christmas. I just can't remember who sang Maddy Prior's bit. Strange - we were all blokes but somebody did.
Then the move to the Manchester club scene which I worked for about 25 years.
Live performances have included work with Karl 'Wimoweh' Denver, Jeff Layton (of 'Les Miserables' fame), Jane McDonald and Ruby Murray (who still shares the record with Elvis and Madonna, for the greatest number of singles in the British Top 20 at the same time - she said she had had a good week that week) - plus literally hundreds of others.
I have no idea how many of Manchester's clubs I have played but it is probably most of them. As well as the 'bread and butter' jobs I have also played at the Tameside Hippodrome to a full house and a few enormous bingo halls - seating between 1500 and 2000 people.
My recording credits include work for Keith Harris & Orville, Little & Large, Jaqui Scott and the Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Nowadays I devote more of my time to playing church organs, something I love. I play regularly at St. Patrick's in Oldham. In 2000 I was asked to play for the Mayor of Oldham's Inaugural Mass which was scary. I didn't know that that much pomp and ceremony existed in Oldham. In September 2007 the BBC recorded their Sunday Worship programme at St Patricks' so I got to play on the radio to 5 million listeners. At least that's what they told me.
While most of my time is spent teaching I'm happy to say that I did play for the Soul Inspiration Gospel Choir for a couple of years. As well as performing at charity events, we have sang at weddings, concerts, including a sellout gig at Shaw Playhouse 2, and at the Centenary Celebrations of Dunwood Park. All good fun.
In May 2014 I got to play with my old school friend, Maartin Allcock. We played at the Middleton Arena as part of the Pete Cowap Music Festival. Maartin played with Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull for many years. On drums we had 10cc's Paul Burgess and on bass, an excellent young bass player called Mike Power. He started at the RNCM in September. Thoroughly enjoyed it!
My latest project was to reintroduce a traditional choir to St Patrick's. They have had African and Filipino Community choirs for a number of years but no traditional 4 part harmony choir. I figured it was about time. The choir is called Nostro Coro which means Our Choir and the first performance was at the end of November 2014 as part of an International Music Event to start Advent. We started with a dozen members but now the choir has grown and has almost 20 members. If anyone is interested please get in touch. You can either just turn up or email me through the contact page.