Born in 1968, Andy started playing drums at the age of 12 inspired by contemporary bands like The Police, Motorhead and drummers in his father’s jazz record collection.
In 1988, at the age of 20 Andy landed his first paid gig playing in a local cabaret band touring round various holiday camps and working men’s clubs.
As Andy’s playing developed he became interested odd times, polyrhythms and advanced co-ordination and he formed a band with Paul Wetton (guitar) and Tony Thomas (bass) called Sinister Footwear which explored these areas.
Setting up his own four-track studio in his bedroom he began experimenting with various styles producing literally thousands of recordings during this period.
During this period he played in a variety of bands and styles including folk with the Polly Bolton Band and bhangra with Geet.
By the late nineties he formed the electronic/jazz ensemble Juggernaut which also featured Paul Timothy, Mark Hartley, Will Holland and Adam Walder. Whilst Adam has gone to become the successful House DJ Funkagenda (recently up for a Grammy for his production of The Black Eyed Peas) and Will has found fame as Quantic, Andy carried on working with Paul in The Priory of Brion and recorded the album ‘Anomalies’ with guitar virtuoso Phi Yaan Zek which featured Mark on bass.
In 1993 Andy started teaching music at Kidderminster College alongside the guitarist Kevyn Gammond. Kevyn had once played guitar The Band of Joy which also featured a pre-Led Zeppelin Robert Plant and John Bonham.
In late 1997 Robert Plant asked Kevyn to play at his tennis club for a charity do. Kevyn drafted in Andy on drums as well as Mark Hartley on bass. After the gig there was talk of doing some more but nothing came of it and Andy went on to work in a Police tribute band.
Robert Plant / The Priory of Brion
In 1999 Robert Plant decided to remove himself from The Page and Plant project to form a band that would explore his formative influences away from all the rock n roll hoopla associated with his old band.
For this he again drafted in Kevyn (guitar) and Andy who in turn brought in his old friends Paul Wetton (bass) and Paul Timothy (guitar and keys)
At this time Paul Timothy and Andy were working as dance music producers remixing various artists for Warner Bros and Island Records (Paul has since found chart success as Timmy Vegas/Soul Central)
The Priory did their first gig 23rd July 1999 at The Three Tuns pub in Bishop’s Castle in front of about one hundred people. They played cover versions of songs by Love, Moby Grape and Buffalo Springfield amongst others.
2000 saw the band playing their first gigs outside the UK when they played at Ole Blues Festival in Bergen, Norway. As the year progressed the gigs got bigger and more high profile and the summer saw them appearing at The Glastonbury Festival and headlining at Cropredy and The Cambridge Folk Festival. July 15th saw the band play their biggest gig at the Festival Vilar de Mouros in Portugal in front of about 40,000 fans.
After about 100 gigs and (unreleased) recording session at Rockfield Robert decided to call it a day and The Priory of Brion played their last gig at The Wulfran Hall in Wolverhampton on December 21st.
With the dissolution of The Priory Andy found himself unemployed and for a time found himself again playing in various cover and tribute bands. This and bits of production work kept him going until in 2002 he got a call from the virtuoso blues guitarist Ian Parker.
Ian had found local fame in the band Parker’s Alibi but with the breakup of that band and the promise of a recording contract with Ruf Records Ian wanted to form a new band to tour and record with and wanted Andy on drums.
The Ian Parker Band went onto record two albums and tour extensively, including dates with Walter Trout and Thin Lizzy.
By this time Andy’s virtuoso drum style had been noticed by the drum companies and Andy signed endorsement deals with Tama Drums and Meinl cymbals and started doing various drum clinics across the UK. After playing on the Simon Phillips UK tour in 2000 Andy went on to headline his own UK clinic tour in 2001 which was won him a place in The Rhythm magazine clinic poll in 2002.
Andy has gone onto perform with many of the world’s greatest drummers and played at the prestigious Drumfest in 2005. He has played with Thomas Lang, Kenny Aronoff, Terry Bozzio, Jimmy Chamberlain, Terry Bozzio, Billy Cobham, Greg Bisonette, Marco Minneman, Karl Brazil, Mark Schulman, Bobby Arechiga and Craig Blundell amongst many others.
IQ and Frost: The Prog Years
By 2005 Andy felt like he needed a musical challenge. After hearing UK prog legends IQ were looking for a drummer Andy landed the gig replacing original drummer Paul Cook.
Within days of passing the audition Andy found himself in Canada and the US (and later Germany) filming and recording what would become the DVD ‘Stage’.
This lead onto Andy recording and writing for the award winning CD and DVD ‘Frequency’.
Through his connection with IQ Andy was asked to join the short-lived prog supergroup Neo which recorded the live CD/DVD ‘Broadcast’ in 2006.
Around this time Jem Godfrey, the Ivor Novello winning pop songwriter decided to take a break from writing number ones and indulge his interest in odd times and songs about time travel.
For this Jem drafted in Andy on drums alongside John Jowett on bass and John Mitchell guitar. Frost was born.
In 2006 they recorded the prog classic ‘Milliontown’ and embarked on European tour with Spocks Beard.
The band then added Dec Burke on vocals and guitar and recorded the genre busting ‘Experiments in Mass Appeal’
With the addition of Nathan King on bass (from Level 42) the band found themselves special guests of Dream Theater on their UK tour in 2009. Andy then decided to call it a day just although he got to record one more track before he left (‘The Dividing Line’ from Philadelphia Experiment)
Andy stopped drumming in 2009 to concentrate on his family and on his new position as head of music at Kidderminster College.
But a chance meeting with drummer Mal Garrett and ensuing lessons got Andy playing again and a burgeoning interest in electronic drumming lead to endorsement deals with Jobeky e-drums and Zildjian e-cymbals.
Recently Andy has recorded a series of promo videos for Jobeky drums and the 2box drum module.
In 2012 he played alongside Craig Blundell and Pete Ray Biggin at The Jobeky Drum Festival.
He has also signed up with Dream Cymbals and has performed with them around the UK including an appearance at the London Drum Show.
After session drumming with Magenta on the album 'The Twenty Seven Club' Andy formed Kiama with Rob Reed from Magenta as well as bringing in Luke Machin from Maschine and Dylan Thompson from The Reasoning. They released their debut album in 2016 called 'Sign of IV'
‘Lost and Found’ Ian Parker Band (self release 2003)
Andy has recorded and/or performed with the following bands and artists:
Aynsley Lister * Tim Rose * Clive Nolan (Pendragon, Arena) * Allan Reed (Pallas) * John Young * Dave Meros (Spock’s Beard) * Phi Yaan Zek * Lalle Larson (Karmakanic) * Quantic * Funkagenda * BD Lenz * Tom Hill * Nathan King (Level 42) * Nick Barratt (Pendragon) * Magenta * Bryan Corbett * Lee Jones * Timmy Vegas (Soul Central) * Nigel Hawthorne (Yes Minister, Madness of King George) * Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention) * Joanne Shaw-Taylor * John Mitchell * Magenta * Steve Lawson * Julie Slick * Tim Bowness
Andy has performed live drum duets with following drummers:
Mark Schulman * Kenny Aronoff * Karl Brazil * Thomas Lang * Marco Minneman * Alex Thomas * Leo Crabtree * Simon Phillips * Craig Blundell * Bobby Arechiga * Bev Bevan * Clive Bunker