I have been both a solo artist and a session singer from the age of 17, and am still in demand even though now primarily an educator. In the last few years I’ve appeared on records by various artists such as Placebo, (20th Century Boy) Suede, (She’s in Fashion and Electricity) and Tom Jones and the Stereophonics, ( Mama told me not to Come). In the last year I’ve also worked with up and coming bands Last Man Standing and Gear and sang backing vocals and played Irish whistle on a song by Steve Markwick which won a prize in the Unisong song contest.
My first professional appearances were as a singer and dancer in West End musicals as a teenager, in particular Hair! in all three British companies, performing all the major roles over three years.
Through the musical contacts I made there, I left musical theatre, and started touring and recording as a backing vocalist notably with Kiki Dee, Elton John, Mick Ronson and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band. The track ‘Anthem’ that I sang on the ‘Impossible Dream’ album was recently featured on a BBC4 Programme.
My ability to take direction and adapt my performance led me into commercials and voice over work for television and radio for over 20 years and I am currently still the voice of Kylie Kangaroo in the Coco Pops ads.
I also had a stint as an actress, singer and composer for the World Service on English by radio serials, and appeared as as actress in training films for Guinness and BP.
Because of my musical education I was a good sight reading musician and was lucky to have appeared in vision and behind the scenes as a backing singer on many television series including some like the Val Doonican show that were televised live on a Saturday night to up to 9 million people, and several series of the Granada music show Get It Together performing featured songs and backing vocals with guest artists.
Too many recording sessions to list, though one of note was with Sir Paul Mcartney and Sir George Martin when slightly delirious with a cold I told them where they’d gone wrong with their vocal arrangements!
I also sang on Film soundtracks including the Muppets, An American Tail, Breaking Glass, Letter to Brehznev, The Missionary and with David Essex in Silver Dream Racer which featured a song sung by me and released the day that BBC radio went on strike!
A slight change in direction took me back to the theatre to take the lead musical role in the Young Vic revival of John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert by Willy Russell. There I arranged the music, sang and played the piano and also trained the other actors in their musical roles.
I also had short stint as a TV Presenter with Nickelodeon on one of their live broadcast summer roadshows as the character Granny Grunge improvising piano accompaniment and introducing segments. I performed in weekly satirical comedy revues with the likes of Hale and Pace writing songs and sketches.
I recorded and performed with an 8 piece vocal group the Neil Richardson singers specialising in jazz harmony arrangements of standards. This stood me in good stead when I started singing, playing piano and arranging harmonies for a 4 piece vocal group composed of myself and three of my former pupils called Hummingbird, who performed at cabaret venues and as guest backing vocals.
One of the most fun projects was working with Dame Edna Everage aka Barry Humphries as musical director and pianist for the stage show Back with a Vengeance which was in the West End for almost a year and toured England. I also ventured abroad with Barry with his one woman (?) Shows.
I have continued to compose music for documentaries like Horizon, Dispatches and two series of a documentary series ‘Hidden Treasure Houses’ currently being shown on Channel 5.