“When I first started playing guitar at school, the challenge between us guitar-playing rebels was to see who had the sweetest vibrato. Who could bend the string up a whole tone, and hold it with the most control. At the time, Eric was God! Playing the Blues must be the most natural way to start playing guitar. It gives you an understanding of the relationship between the string, the wood, and the amp’. The amp’ is not just to make the guitar louder, but is a necessary tool to help you achieve your stylistic goals, and is an integral part of the instrument.
By the time I started gigging on the local pub scene in Bournemouth my ears were full of the sound of Jan Akkerman, quite a step from Eric and the Blues players. Next I found myself on the London jazz circuit playing some great venues with great players trying to find a bridge between Allan Holdsworth and Joe Pass. Now I was playing with people I had only known through their recordings. My interest in chord melody was stimulated by Joe Pass’ virtuoso album. It meant I was now able to tackle accompanying just one other person, singer Sue Hawker. From here it was just one step to playing solo guitar. This meant putting the pick away and playing finger-style so as to separate melody from the harmony and bass parts. I have always wanted to create a fluid sound without physical tension in the execution; this in conjunction with striving for a sweet touch and the intricacies of jazz harmonies is how my style has evolved.”