Toast: a covers band above the rest
Predominantly playing hits from the 60’s with a touch of the 70’s and a smidgen of the 80’s. “The band that do numbers that other bands can’t” – fronted by Beau and his vast vocal range covering hits from Frankie Valli through to the Rubettes. Other artists covered: The Beach Boys, The Drifters, The Beatles, Crowded House, Del Shannon, Bobby Vee, etc. Toast come fully self contained with their own sound system and lighting. Dance music can be played through their sound system before, in between and after showtimes.
Lead vocals, bass
Ex Brownhill Stamp Duty, Pancho, Tramp and Mungo Jerry. Played in Pancho with Paul Sheath who was Musical Director of The Fantastics. Originally started on rhythm guitar but moved on to bass. Wealth of vocal experience having done most of his recording at Abbey Road studios. His falsetto enables the band to recreate the music of Franki Valli plus other difficult high pitched classics. Multiple tours including Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Holland, France, Belgium and Germany etc., A dozen live performances on the Radio 1 Road Show working with Dave Lee Travis, Emperor Roscoe, David Hamilton etc., Recording contracts with Columbia and Pye. Shared the stage with the likes of Rod Stewart, Steve Marriott, Rory Gallagher etc. Biggest regret not being able to sing Mr. Bass Man by Johnny Cymbal.
Started piano at the age of 5 taking grades up to the age of 9. Self taught guitar around the age of 13. At 18 started playing professionally with The Chris Shakespeare Movement, John Drever’s Expression and Inflatable Toy. Claim to fame with Chris was playing on the same bill as Stevie Wonder. Think he topped it. Stevie not Chris! Also same bill as Rory Gallagher (but not with Beau) Jeff Lynne, Georgie Fame, The Equals, The Troggs, The Honeybus, Amen Corner etc. Mid life started Classical Guitar and went from Grade 5 to Grade 8 in two years and played with The Alhambra Guitar Quartet at various venues – some outside at The Southampton Show, The New Forest Show and on Radio Solent live broadcast. Only recently got back into bands again with Toast doing their first gig last Easter. Enjoying keeping the past alive and never ceased to be amazed how many youngsters know the words to the songs that we do.
My musical journey started at aged 12, listening to Radio Luxembourg, and BBC Light Program’s “Saturday Club” and “Easy Beat.” This fuelled my passion for music. I badgered my parents and eventually got a Futurama guitar and a Vox AC4 amp together with Bert Weedon’s “Play in a Day” book! (Some might say that it didn’t work in my case!) The Futurama eventually was changed for a Red Watkins Rapier and also a Vox AC15.
The mid-seventies found me in The New Tornados (Telstar) with my best mate who had been signed to Magnet records for a short lived (unpaid) national tour, with Bert Weedon topping the bill, a really lovely man. I returned to club bands, acquired many guitars and my beloved Vox AC30. The eighties found me in an Eagles tribute outfit and as well as working solo with a residency on Poole Quay every Friday night in a wine bar for 6/7 years playing anything and everything. After that I resolved to play sixties material which I’d always loved. I joined a new 60’s covers band in Poole and enjoyed a few successful years with them and have played with other Bournemouth bands playing the same genre.
Here at the cusp of 2020 I find myself in Toast. I was in the audience at some of their seminal first gigs and greatly admired and respected their sound and material. I am so pleased to now play with Beau, Richie and Derek, I’m having a blast.
Started playing in 1964 with The Earth Angels – professional late 60’s. Recorded for MGM and Polydor. Music type – soul, rock and prog rock (Nice, Family, type band).
Supported Jimi Hendrix in Paris, Rory Gallagher, Jeff Beck, Yes, Amen Corner and The Equals amongst others. Season at the Playboy Club in Park Lane, World premiere of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the London Hilton. Time in Germany at various clubs in Frankfurt, Berlin and Hamburg
Now playing all genres, rock, blues, soul, disco, jazz, fusion, etc. Past bands have included John Drevers Expression, Inflatable Toy, Base Elegance, UK Jazz Voyagers and the Steve Gifford Band. Also Musical Shows at theatres in Milton Keynes. House band drummer for MK Dons stadium opening by the Queen and Milton Keynes 40 year’s anniversary at the main theatre in the city.
Teaching drums for 20 years, Trinity Guildhall and Rockschool graded exams as well as leisure students.
Influences – Mitch Mitchell, Bill Bruford, Dennis Chambers and Dave Weckl.
Style – Really all types – more leaning towards jazz and fusion but adaptable to all styles.
Instrument – Live playing with Yamaha Absolute Maple Custom, Zildjian, UFIP, Sabian and TRX cymbals. Also use Roland TD20 for teaching.