Welcome to my music and writing - with a little bit of family history, and ever so slight name dropping thrown in for good measure. I'm a singer-songwriter, classically trained guitarist and playwright based in Barnet, with a passion for music, singing and writing.

Thanks for stopping by and showing interest - I hope that you will enjoy what you watch, hear and read. I feel that there's much more to come during 2024...

And remember, 'It's not over until the thin man stops singing (or writing)!'



P.S. You may prefer to just skip to the 'news' page for what I'm up to, as this page is a longer read. 

Music & Singing

Since I can remember, hardly a day has gone by without singing. These musical genes were passed down to me from my great-grandmother Dora (whom I was fortunate to have known), who was a piano teacher, and my grandfather George, who received training at The Royal Academy of Music, and was a semi-professional singer in the 1940s - with even a fan club! He had a wonderful voice, similar in style and tone to Harry Secombe (and just as good I would say) but unfortunately had to turn down an offer after the war to join the popular George Melachrino Orchestra, due to family and work commitments. (Amazingly, he once told me that he had seen Stan Laurel getting on a train and that he looked "Bloody miserable!")

I have played guitar since I was 7 years old - certain that I was intuitively drawn towards it all those years ago. I started singing and accompanying myself on the guitar, and then soon progressed to studying classical music, when I discovered the beautiful sound that this versatile instrument makes. I spent many happy hours giving recitals at school music festivals and concerts, playing compositions from the likes of Leo Brouwer, Manuel Ponce and Francisco Tarrega, and found that I was able to control my nerves enough, to enjoy performing in front of an audience.

My early musical influences and appreciation of melody and harmony were shaped by the songs I was listening to from a young age, by Paul Simon, Wings, Dionne Warwick, the Bee Gees, Barbara Streisand, and the two Neil's, Sedaka and Diamond - I still remember the album covers. In my childhood, on Saturday evenings when there was only one television in the home, and the babysitter was looking after my sister and me, we often watched The Val Doonican Show as she was crazy about him (the charming Irish singer/guitarist, whose show ran for an incredible 21 years on the BBC, fondly remembered for crooning away on a rocking chair in his knitted sweaters - remember, there wasn't much else to do in the late '70s and early '80s!) I'm certain that programme must have played its part in my love of variety and that easy listening singing style. 

In a nutshell, I truly love singing, playing guitar and entertaining. I feel that it nourishes my soul and I hope that joy comes across to those who are listening. And I get the same buzz today from learning and perfecting new songs, as when I started. My own songs have received an enthusiastic response from audiences as they have catchy, melodic tunes with sincere, heartfelt lyrics - sharing the relaxed style of artists such as Katie Melua and Yael Naim. There are so many talented singer-songwriters out there - the above singers, plus Gary Barlow, Roy Orbison, Mike Batt, David Essex, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Elvis Costello, Cat Stevens, and the Bee Gees are just some of my inspirational favourites. I feel that if I'm able to produce work anything close to theirs, then I am happy.



I have been writing for just over three decades in one way or another, which has included 60 topical, satirical songs and comedy sketches (some co-written and all performed), over 30 contemporary and folk songs, poetry, monologues, short and full length plays. I have been writing more substantial pieces (longer than sketches) since 2016. Four other members of my family also enjoy writing - so it definitely runs in the blood. And my great auntie Paula (whom incidentally, was seemingly chatted up by the actor Stewart Granger - before she told him that she was just 16 years old!) trained at RADA, in the same class as Pat Hitchcock (Alfred Hitchcock's daughter), so that's an interesting link, as I love the theatre, 1930s - 1960s films (especially Hitchcock), and appreciate great acting/directing. I particularly enjoy the writing of Alan Bennett, Victoria Wood, Willy Russell, Mike Leigh, Neil Simon, Sue Townsend, J.B. Priestley, Mitch Albom, Eric Chappell, Ray Galton & Alan Simpson (whom I once passed by in a restaurant, where he was chatting to someone about Bob Monkhouse), Jimmy Perry & David Croft, Richard Matheson, William Rose, Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, and Gerald Wiley (aka the genius Ronnie Barker). I'd better stop before I run out of ink. 

I like to write in a naturalistic way, with a sprinkling of humour and sense of fun whenever possible. (Writing a gag again, never wanted to. What am I to do? I can't help it! With apologies to Marlene Dietrich). I hope that people would class me as a sensitive writer, and I tend to add an emotional, often sentimental tone to a script – certainly something to entertain and uplift, rather than anything downbeat, which I feel is all too common. As the late comedy playwright Sam Bobrick commented, 'My main goal is to entertain, to have people leaving the theatre feeling good. Life is tough enough. Why send an audience home suicidal?' The talented actor/playwright Mikel Murfi has a similar view, 'For the great theatre critics – the ones who think they’re the great theatre thinkers – there’s no place for sentimentality. It has to be full of conflict, full of drama, you have to be at the coalface of something visceral. And I go ‘no, other people go to the theatre too’. You’re entitled to go to the theatre and see something which is utterly uplifting and joyful.' I'm all for that! It has taken me some time to realise that a recurring theme running though most of my work is one of hope and kindness between characters, which I'm very happy to show. 

My personal songwriting rules are simple - 1) That the most important part of the song is the melody.* 2) That the most important part of the song are the lyrics. 3) No wishy-washy songs allowed! As I'm sure any other writer or artist will explain, there are few things which match the satisfaction of coming up with something which is original - with the added enjoyment of sharing it with others. I'm an 'old school' ballad writer, and strongly believe that a well told story, along with a more sensitive approach to writing, can still find its place in today's music world. I always strive to find the best melody to fit the best lyrics that I'm able to write at the time. Sometimes the melody arrives first, at other times the lyrics, and if I'm lucky, both together. Occasionally I've been fortunate (in the right zone) and have written songs in 25 minutes - some of my better ones, as they happen organically. Others have taken longer (5 years with a chorus in my mind, before finally writing the song!) Ultimately, I'm seeking a publishing deal for other artists to sing my songs and am always keen to find new places to showcase them live.



I first found my stage feet in my teens, as I was lucky to join what must have been unique - an  amateur, annual topical comedy revue company, all produced with original material, which honed my writing and performance skills (thoroughly enjoying the challenge of condensing a story into an humorous song or sketch), which I loved performing in until my early thirties. Also in my twenties, I relished singing at venues in a four-part harmony choir, and was lucky enough to be involved in four large scale musicals at The Bloomsbury Theatre (with West End musical and BBC comedy directors), which were great fun, and gave me a small insight into what a professional experiences - performing two shows a day at the weekends (I wonder if I would have the energy now!) From 2004 - 2011 I regularly performed a set of Gershwin, Berlin, Bart, Porter and Rodgers & Hart songs with a piano accompanist and since 2011 I have been singing with my guitar. In June 2022 I trod the boards once again in the wonderful play Goodnight Mr Tom.  



Some exciting and interesting experiences along the way have included auditioning for talent shows such as Stars In Their Eyes, as their youngest ever Bing Crosby (I was one of 200 auditioned from 10,000 entries - when I was telephoned at work, I thought someone was pulling my leg!), and Opportunity Knocks (when the great Bob Monkhouse was presenting it - which probably shows my age), recording songs at a BBC radio station, rehearsing at Sadler's Wells and the Royal Opera House, working alongside Denis Norden's sister (the entire family were very tall, and no - they didn't all carry clipboards!), receiving a nice reply from Neil Sedaka's assistant (the following day after sending my lyrics to him), standing outside a stage door until midnight on a freezing November evening (which inspired a short comedy script) whilst waiting to give my cd to Katie Melua (I eventually handed a copy to a friend of hers and another to her tour bus - I'm still waiting by the way...), contacting Norma Farnes (Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes' former manager) when I was searching for some impossible to find sheet music of a song Spike had written the words to, getting in touch with the writer Lynne Reid Banks after watching the moving film The L-Shaped Room, amazingly, exchanging several private Facebook messages with the genius singer-songwriter Paul Simon (yes, it's hard to believe but it really was him - honest guv!), posting a copy of a play to one of my childhood comedy heroes, Stanley Baxter - receiving a kind letter on his behalf (a whole 6 months and two days later, when he was aged 92!), and speaking on the phone with comedy legend Barry Cryer (I have written about this on my 'A Little Bit of Writing' page). 


* “There are only 7 notes that you can work with; the difference is in getting them in the right order. Not everybody does, otherwise everyone would be having a successful composing career. The difference is if you’ve got a knack of knowing something… you just know when you hear something that it works… When you write a pop song, you write with melody first.” Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.


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