Bob’s background as a top-drawer session drummer has given him an incredibly meticulous yet deeply musical approach to both his playing and his sound. A master of restraint and a complete hooligan when required, he imbues everything he plays with taste, groove and passion.
Bob has recorded and/or toured with:
Labi Siffre, The Three Degrees, Sandie Shaw, Kiki Dee, Elton John, Sheena Easton, Eve Graham, Barbara Dickson, Sally Oldfield, Basia, Johnny Logan, Gerard Kenny, Catherine Howe, Sara Jory, Chris Norman, Andy Williams, Gordon Haskell, Freddy Cole, Pete Brown, Phil Ryan, Dick Hextall-Smith, Ian Lynn, Van Morrison.
Roger Chapman, Leo Sayer, John Wetton, Dave Kelly, Paul Jones, Richard O’Brien, Marshall Hain, Bucks Fizz, Blonde on Blonde, Linx, Junior Giscombe, Jackie Graham, Alphaville, Jimmy Witherspoon, Jay Owens, Jack Bruce, Keith Emerson, Richard Thompson, Johnny Nash, Andy Fairwearther-Low.
Paul Nicholas, John Parr, Lionheart, The Grants, Paul Anka, Helen Shapiro, Tim Hain, Jet Harris, Michael Ball, Sherman Robertson, Heinz Affolter, Jan Akkerman, David Carradine, Clyde McPhatter, Bob Huff, Up with People, Jean-Patrick Cap de Vielle, Elaine Page, Rebecca Storm, Edwin Starr.
Also very recently an exciting project for Frankie Miller (amazing voice, brilliant songwriter) in conjunction with, Willie Nelson, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Huey Lewis, Kim Carnes, Bonnie Tyler, Paul Carrack, Chris Rea, Joe Walsh, Steve Cropper, Tomoyasu Hotei.
Music for Drama Series:
‘Life and Loves of a She Devil’, ‘Jumping the Queue’, ‘Between the Lines’, ‘King of the Ghetto’ and ‘The Marksmen’, ‘Boon Christmas Special’.
Michael Palin’s ‘Great Railway Journeys of the World’.
‘Sheena Easton Live at The Palace L.A.’, ‘The Southbank Show Barbara Dickson’,
‘Gerard Kenny Live at Drury Lane’, ‘Barbara Dickson in the Scilly Isles, Lincolnshire and South Wales’ ‘Top of the Pops’ with numerous artists, ‘The Two Ronnies’ numerous with Barbara Dickson and Kiki Dee, ‘Ladybirds’ with Barbara Dickson and ‘The Johnny Carson Show’ twice with Sheena Easton and Gerard Kenny.
“My interest and passion for music started at a very early age as I was born into a very musical household. Both my parents were extremely active musicians. My father was a celebrated sax player and my mother a gifted singer. From an early age, I was surrounded by the best music around, early memories of waking up on Sunday mornings hearing my mother singing her heart out along to the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Tony Bennett, The Hi-Lo s and the Four Freshman etc. Also hearing great jazz from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman through to Cannonball Adderly and more modern forms of this great music, coupled with being taken along to a few concerts I was besotted, there was no choice !! I was definitely following a career in music.
The first time I ever saw a drum kit in the flesh, I knew that was what I was meant to be doing. After seeing Buddy Rich in concert the first time he bought his own band to Britain, and being a complete Beatles and the truly wonderful Ringo Starr nut, I could think of very little else. It didn’t take too much nudging of my folks to get me some kind of drum kit. From there, I started to play in little groups at Youth Clubs, guitar bands mainly, and then gradually progressed through to young semi-pro and then pro-bands in the pop/soul area. From there I was pulled into mainstream dance band stuff by dad and mum and once I was introduced to the older players around the Bournemouth area the phone didn’t stop ringing. This was due to the fact that I had learned all the older styles of music by being bombarded with it through my childhood, but I also had the newer styles of pop, rock, soul and blues within my grasp. So I became an attractive proposition to various band leaders around the area. I also remember being amazed that some of the older drummers were calling me for lessons in how to play the more modern styles of music, as they required a lot more adventurous bass drum parts, and that was understandably, a bit of a terrifying prospect at first for some of the guys. My folks by then were actively involved with Jazz evenings twice a week and I started to play with them in The Southern Jazz Quintet and got to play with a lot of local and visiting jazz players, much fun, experience and education.
A move to London with my good friend and fellow drummer Tony Brock (The Babys, Rod Stewart etc.) so that we could get more serious about our craft followed. My dream originally was to join Jimi Hendrix and replace the amazing Mitch Mitchell (ho ho the arrogance of youth !!) sadly curtailed by Jimi’s untimely death. He still remains my biggest inspiration and Mitch one of my favourite drummers ever. Back in the real world I joined Gullivers People at Tiffanys on Shaftesbury Ave, Piccadilly for eighteen months playing four sets a night. This built my stamina and exposed me to all forms of popular music and was a fantastic learning experience that has helped me constantly. From there, I started to pursue the demo session work that was available then (before drum machines were invented) and learnt about the disciplines required for making records. As my experience grew, I got to work for more and more people and gradually got recommended for higher profile artists and sessions, and this led to recording and touring work with Labi Siffre, The Three Degrees and on to Marshall Hain. After meeting and working with producer Pip Williams I now realise that I basically stopped gigging for a living (apart from still getting down to Bournemouth as much as I could to do the Jazz gigs with my folks) and made my living for about 15 years out of sessions only. Good musical relations with artists inevitably led to touring again, plus TV and Radio shows and got me out and around the planet for a good while.
Whilst I was out touring we all of us noticed the changes that were going on in the record industry. Technology such as computers and drum machines were replacing human beings very quickly as record companies had always wanted to get rid of “expensive and troublesome” musicians. Then recording equipment became much more affordable and we the musicians didn’t need the record companies any more to record our music. This was followed by Thatchers recession that basically wiped out more than fifty percent of the record biz. A lot of the great producers that I had worked for were now scratching about for work and recording budgets became almost non-existent. Everything had changed.
Whilst on the road touring in Barbara Dickson’s Band I met guitarist Jerry Stevenson. We noticed that we two were lurking around after sound checks finished so that we could “play” and we’d jam for an hour or so before they opened the doors to the public. We discovered that we had a lot in common musically, a mutual love and respect of “Jimi” and a desire to have a regular playing situation outside of touring. So, we decided to form our own band that we could run in a smaller way, but try to achieve the concert sound standard that we had become used to. By then the digital technology existed to allow this to happen. This combined with Jerry’s boffin-like knowledge of all things electronic plus a great pair of musical ears and my determination that we could do this ourselves in smaller venues without an out-front sound man, led to the idea of Be Sharp.
We constantly strive to refine what we do and how it sounds in the pursuit of musical satisfaction and enjoyment for our audience and ourselves. We are very fortunate to have a Studio/Rehearsal space, something I’ve always dreamed of, and I’m able to practice whenever I can, so I am practicing like a demon these days whenever possible in the hope that one day I’ll play like the “big boys”. I do consider myself very fortunate to have made my living out of my passion and hope I can continue (despite the odds) to do so, and I thank all of you, our audience, for the priviledge. See you at the next gig !! ”
FOR YOUR INFORMATION:
These days a lot of real music recordings are made and musicians work in project/home studios and I and we are no different, I record real drums digitally at our studio for myself and the band, record producers, musical directors and anybody who wants me on their projects. With the internet and digital technology, recording for worldwide clients and friends has become very easy.
If you are interested in having myself and/or the band record for your projects please get in touch – the details are on the right of this page.
- Yamaha 9000 Recording Custom with “Yess System”. Colour Deep Aqua
- Toms: 8″ 10″ 12″ 13″ 14″ !5″ All “Power” sizes
- Bass Drum: 22″ X 14″
- Snare Drum: Custom Alluminium ‘Dave Weckl’ Model 14″x 5″
- Sabian HH ‘Evolution’ Series (mainly)
- Hi-Hats: 13″ and 14″ ex-hats
- Rides: 20″ ‘Evolution’ and left side 20″ various models
- Crashes: 16″ 17″ 18″ and one 18″ Ozone
- Splashes: two 6″ one 7” 8″ 9″ 11″
- China Cyms: 22″ with rivets.
- 17″ piggy backed on 20″ crash
- 16″ piggy backed on 22″ china
- All Yamaha Stands and Holders
- DFP 880 Double Foot Pedal
- Cowbells by LP
Sticks & Brushes:
- Vic Firth various models
- Shure Beta 52 for Bass Drum
- Shure SM 57 for Snare Drum
- AKG C402 for toms
- Le Blond