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A singer and songwriter who grew up in Lincolnshire and played in the formative bands, ‘Mother McGinty’s Children’ ‘The Magic Smarties’ and ‘Alice McGuire’, Mark has been influenced by a wide variety of musicians.
Favourites include the more folky side such as Christy Moore, Dougie McClean, Alan Hull, Joni Mitchell and Nick drake, to big rock sounds, such as David Gilmour, The Waterboys and Big Country.
After writing a lot about his home town, he moved on to live in various parts of the country, from County Antrim to Oxfordshire, and a bit of Wales in between. Gigging in and around Faringdon recently he performs a wide variety of folk and rock covers in solo performances as well as singing and playing rhythm in ‘White Ridge’.
As well as this he is a Bard for a variety of LARP systems across the country where the mead and whiskey flow, and the hero’s names live on in song…
Mark’s original music is a blend of folk, blues and jazz that speaks of voyages and a need to travel and move on. Sung with passion and heart he will carry you on a journey from the wild roads of Ireland, to the cities of the midlands and all places in between.
Originally interested in Cello whilst at school, drifted towards violin as pushed into Reading Youth Orchestra, that didn’t last long as I was only ever really into the Cello and Bass parts.
In ’62 he joined in with a ‘group’ called “Group ‘62” at St Peters Youth Club in Church road Reading playing a Tea Chest Bass with Snare drum fixed to its side. Invited to join “The Red Squares” whilst in his final year at school by a Guy called John Froude, one of Reading’s up and coming guitarists. The Red Squares became just “The Squares” late in ’63 after some personnel changes and taking on Gus Russell (rhythm guitar) and Dave Lee (drums) . By ’64 we were working regularly around west London and the South, playing Blues in the style of the Stones, Pretty Things, Animals and Yardbirds, backed many ‘names’ of the time (Arthur Brown – the ‘Fire’ guy) and supported a few well known acts, told to F*** off by Lulu at the Olympia ballroom, Reading – all good fun! The band carried on with minor changes until ’66 when Dave and Gus went off to join the Merchant Navy, playing in ship’s bands as a ploy to see the world. “Going away and being a student for 4 years stopped my musical career in its tracks – exactly why I was sent !!”
Total recording history one ‘Reading Rag’ acetate and a session job for a band who’s Bass player was entertaining her majesty for a while. Biggest thrill was playing with Davy Graham and Bert Jansch in ‘The Shades’ – a well known ‘beat café’
Married in ’70 and later started a band playing ‘Electric Folk’ (as we called it) in the style of Bread, The Eagles, a smattering of ‘pop hits’ chucked in – called the band “Oakridge” after his favourite laboratory (!) Oakridge trundled along for a few years but John was playing with better (and better paid) bands so that died a death. Got into a ‘Doctor Feelgood ‘cover band and then Rock n’ Roll covers bands.
Ended up as an Engineering Consultant to the UKAEA in 1986 and packed off to Dounreay. Whilst up in Caithness he played with the “Caithness Blues Band” and did a couple of Celidh’s with a band called “Grey by the Gun”. Also spent some time with an old mate (John Saxon ) in his Studios in the old EMI building in West London.
As soon as he had enough years in the Final salary scheme at the day job, he was off and joined a ‘Pub band’ (Slink) for a couple of years. Then Joined “Union Revival” one of the best Country bands in the UK, spent a few happy years travelling around. They had a number 4 in the ‘Country chart’, CD with Joe Brown on ‘Hotdisk’ and had regular airplay in Europe, The USA , and Malta (very popular there for some odd reason!)
Playing with various people who I have a lot of time for musically, down around the South coast and Surrey areas.
Back in the Pubs now – the wheel turns round….
Tony started his fascination with drums at a very early age in the mid to late sixties, largely due to the fact that his mother was a Beatles fan and would constantly play their records. After years of emulating his idol, Ringo, using biscuit tins and pieces of furniture, he finally persuaded his parents to buy him a second-
At sixteen, Tony auditioned for a well-
During the eighties, Tony’s love of playing also found him helping out other bands short of drummers, and this was not merely because he was cheap, but due to a serious ammount of talent and the extreme ease with which he works with other musicians. It was during recording at one of these helping out sessions that he met Brian Milthorp, a local studio owner. Brian invited Tony to become the in-
It was Brian, who first introduced Tony to the Max Hunt, who several years later was to give him the call with an invitation to join TANTALUS after the departure of Damien Slowey. Tony recorded a new version of J.S.Bach's Toccatta & Fugue in Dm for the CD release of Short Stories and drummed on all tracks on the Lumen Et Caligo recording project, including some tracks that he had never even heard until the day he turned up for the sessions. This project took the band to an altogether higher profile. Tony temporarily left Tantalus, at least as a full time meber member in April 2004 after performing a reliable, steady and solid roll in the band throughout the most stable period in the band's existence but rejoined agan less than a year later.
Bands and musicians that has inspired/influenced Tony include The Beatles, Deep Purple – Ian Paice, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Sting and the many musicians that have played for him, Jeff Porcaro, John Bonham and Bill Bruford.
Originally from London, David was fortunate to go to the same school, at pretty much the same time, as Andy Fraser (Free), Glenn Matlock (Sex Pistols), Mikey Craig (Culture Club) and Alan Wilder (Depeche Mode). Also, one of the teachers was Bill Ashton who founded the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Music was an important part of the school’s culture and with these influences it was almost inevitable that David would be instilled with a lifetime passion for music.
David first started playing guitar at the age of eleven and over the next few years became enthralled and influenced by the pop music of the day notably T.Rex and Slade as well as the more esoteric musicians who appeared on the Old Grey Whistle Test. Living just down the road from the Hammersmith Odeon meant that David’s appetite for music could be fulfilled with lots of live music. The first concert was (ahem!) Gilbert O’Sullivan but soon progressed to Lynyrd Skynyrd and, still one of the best live bands ever, Kiss. David left school in 1976 the year that punk exploded and which he embraced wholeheartedly even if he didn’t adopt the punk dress sense.
David soon started gigging in pubs and social clubs around London and the South East which were a great training ground to learn to play all types of music; country, rock and roll, jazz, musicals, pop even some opera!
David has been fortunate enough to play and record with some very good musicians over the years including: John Edwards (Status Quo, Rhino’s Revenge), Justin Hildreth (Joan Armatrading, Nina Hagen, Thomas Dolby), David Oberle (Gryphon), Steve Rodford (Argent, Asia), Papa George (Papa George Band), Nick Payne (Gary Moore).
Over the years, David has recorded for music libraries and still has his work used for TV and film internationally. He has produced two guitar instrumental albums Slammer and The View and written many songs.
A musical and magical highlight for David was on a visit to the late TV chef Keith Floyd’s house in France. David spent an evening playing guitar while Keith recited the lyrics to Bob Dylan songs (he was a huge Dylan fan). At one point Keith says to David “That guitar you’re playing is used by Ronnie Wood every time he comes over….You’re a bloody sight better guitarist than he is…!” Thanks Keith.
David has a London College of Music Grade 8 Electric Guitar qualification.