I started studying drums seriously at the age of 14 after dabbling
with trumpet and piano whilst developing a perverse obsession with
jazz and latin music (which led me to start also studying congas
and afro-cuban percussion). Before I'd left school I was out gigging;
doing a few jazz gigs and playing in Phoenix Nights-style cabaret
clubs. At the time I was also hanging out at a lot of clubs and
parties, mainly checking out hip hop and soul nights as well as
a few house nights and raves.
Through jazz connections I started to get some touring gigs, mainly
with Manchester indie bands and subsequently I got a gig with Chapter
and the Verse - a jazzy hip-hop/soul act who were signed to Virgin.
I had also started to play percussion in a few clubs with djs whilst
continuing to do as much jazz playing and studying as possible.
I started to get work through various dance/pop producers such as
Love to Infinity, Urban Cookie Collective (my initial connection
with Diane Charlemagne) and Awesome 3/Dance United. Whilst
still principally a jazz musician,I started to play more club nights
with my friend and percussion teacher Chris Cruicks. We started
to play regularly at Back to Basics in Leeds as well as at various
other nights all over the country. In Manchester, where I am still
based, I was doing some playing at the Hacienda and occasionally
at One Tree Island, The Planet and Eardrum with, amongst others,
Mr Scruff (at the time still working at Kwik Save); I was also busy
doing funk and reggae gigs (hence my connection with Dubdadda).
It was around this time that I decided to try to make
a statement about what was going on in club music as a studied jazz
drummer. So, I started to record live breaks for release with another
friend, Danny Evans - undisputed genius engineer/producer who, amongst
others now works with Scruff, Fingathing, Only Child, Elbow, and
Homelife. We released some loops on vinyl and cd which caught the
attention of Fila Brasilia and led to a session during which Steve
Cobby convinced me that I should be writing and producing my own
tracks. It also led to my involvement with Rae & Christian after
they used my beats on Veba's track Fool on their first album. Ralph
Lawson and Carl Finlow (Random Factor) also used those beats on
their Urban Farmers project. Danny Evans and I went on to painstakingly
produce a sample cd of played and programmed loops, Slam on the
Breaks on AMG, the proceeds from which I used to buy my first music
computer and started putting together tunes.
I started to tour with Rae & Christian - an awesome live show
that included me playing drums with Veba, Q 'n' C, The Pharcyde,
Kriminul, TCC, Roots Manuva, Fingathing, Supernatural and others.
This led to my recording with Only Child and recording and touring
with Aim, where I got to back Niko, Kate Rogers and Kwasi. It also
led to my collaborating Dual Control on whose album, Left of Right,
I co-wrote and produced Spring Again. I had released the Drummernauts
ep on 2020 D Vision and Tea/Curtains on Grand Central during this
I decided that, whilst I was enjoying touring and was starting
to get some great jazz gigs with artists including Jim Mullen, Gilad
Atzmon, Dave o' Higgins, Byron Wallen and others, I was uncomfortable
with being a 'career' musician and, although continuing to tour
with the Rain Band (Universal Records) and gig most nights of the
week at home, I started to work more seriously on writing and producing.
Whilst finishing Reachin' Out I set up the 2020Soundsystem with
Ralph Lawson and Silver City with whom I am touring, writing producing
and re-mixing, alongside being Dubble D.