Richard’s exciting bass playing and vocals, combine his modern influences with a great understanding of music in all genres. His fine touch, superb technique and brilliant fretless playing generate an incredible interplay with Bob’s drumming to create a world-class powerhouse rhythm section.
Richard has recorded/toured with:
Boon Gould (Level 42), David Cross Band (ex King Crimson), Cassandra Fox, Freak Power, Thomas Dolby, The Bacharach Orchestra, Abdelkader Saadoun, Crosstalk & The Ugly Boys.
To date Richard has performed all over the UK, Germany, Austria, France, Holland, Belgium, several Eastern European cities, and has played several times in the UAE, and Oman.
He is also a teacher of singing at a college in London and a private stage school in Kent, a Scotch whisky aficionado and a wizard in the kitchen!
Richard J Finch-Turner-Biography
Richard was born a couple of decades after the middle of the 20th Century, and has been involved in the making and performing of all types of music for nearly 30 years now. His interest in music began in childhood and so it was no surprise to those who know him, when he decided to embark on a career in music. Initially he took up electric bass and within a year was gigging with local bands in the South East of England, London and Kent areas.
Richard believes that he was drawn to the electric bass by his exposure to the music of Motown and The Beatles at his parents house and in his Mum’s car. The infectious grooves of James Jamerson and melodic playing of Paul McCartney gave him a subconscious predilection to the bass. In his teenage years Richard was introduced to the music of Canadian rockers Rush and that was the first time he was actually aware of the electric bass as an instrument. A few years later it was an album by British jazz-funkers Level 42 that caught his attention, and that was it…the instrument was decided…in 1984 Richard bought his first bass.
The first two years were spent “wood-shedding” and then Richard joined his first band and began gigging in pubs and clubs around London and the South East honing his craft.
In the early 90’s a good friend and band mate played Richard an album by Weather Report featuring the incredible bass playing of Jaco Pastorius, both Richard and his friend were in a state of goodly inebriation. Although Richard had heard of Jaco and heard his bass playing, it wasn’t until that evening that he really “heard” Jaco’s unique playing. It had a profound effect, so much so that Richard moved to playing fretless bass exclusively for the next 15 years, and only in the last 6 years or so started playing a fretted bass again. Given the choice Richard would far rather play fretless all the time, and views the instrument as his default setting.
Richard had always enjoyed singing and was already doing backing vocals with the bands he played with. But in 1990 he decided he wanted to expand his vocal ability and so he enrolled for classical voice lessons at the Conservatoire in Blackheath. Classical music and opera was often heard in the Finch-Turner household, but it was not until he began to sing classical music that Richard’s passion for it really began.
He is still very active with classical singing and specialises in the English classical song repertoire, performing several concerts a year.
Richard is also an accomplished DJ and producer of underground dance music, he relishes the total musical diversity in which he works, going from a gig with a band one night, to DJ’ing in a nightclub on another, to a classical recital on another…!!! And if that isn’t diverse enough, Richard often plays bass for an Algerian “rai” band. Rai is a fusion of traditional Arabic folk music and western jazz and funk.
One of the two basses that Richard uses with Be Sharp is a Wal Custom fretless 5 string. He has had this bass since it was built for him by the late Pete “The Fish” Stevens of Electric Wood in 1994. The other is a Fender American Deluxe Jazz 5 string.
Richard has two other Fender Jazz basses, a ’75 reissue, and a ’62 reissue that has been converted to fretless. And last but not least, another Wal Custom bass, this one is a 4 string fretted that Pete built for Richard in 2004. All of these basses are kept in tip-top playing condition by ace luthier Andy Warnock
For amplification Richard uses a Markbass combo. Effects wise it’s very simple, just a Boss Octaver and a Boss Super Chorus.