“The first few years of my childhood were itinerant and tumultuous. Having travelled all the way round the globe before my seventh birthday, my family eventually settled in Kent, where I have lived most of my life since. I can remember being into music and songwriting nearly all my life, but it wasn’t until my teenage years that the carousel of hobbies finally came to rest, with a guitar round my neck, a pair of drum sticks in my hand, and a head full of effervescing dreams of rock and roll symphonies.
At school I played in various bands, mostly strongly influenced by 70s rock, such as Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy and Rush. As a philosophically inclined, lyric-writing drummer, Neil Peart was a natural idol for me. While at university, my playing tended more towards jazz, and I also discovered many of the great singer-songwriters who have come to be my role models for great pop music. Billy Joel, David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder all entered my record collection and received heavy rotation. I had the good fortune to study in greater depth classical approaches to composition and orchestration, and this in turn had particular influence on my use of harmony, opening up many of the creative avenues I’d been seeking since I first began writing songs.
My first full-time job was playing drums in a circus, and this was an ideal antidote to the years of rigid perfection that had characterised school and university. I acquired new perspectives on why people play music and perform, relearning the sheer joy of entertaining. The lessons were invaluable and I cherish the memories and friendships I made. My song “Drops of Happiness” was written while on the circus tour, and it also inspired the title of my album, Seven Long Years, as this was how long it took to write enough material to finally begin recording the album in full.
Seven Long Years was written alongside my day jobs as a music teacher and wedding singer, both unglamorous but in themselves rewarding ways to make a living. I already consider myself extremely lucky to be able to do these things, but I also hope to keep writing, recording and performing my own material and looking for bigger audiences to share it with.”