I started to learn piano around the age of 9, and became interested in rock & roll in the early 60’s. A school friend, Keith Wallace, showed me how to play blues and improvise around chords, so formal lessons were cast aside. We formed our first group at school, playing songs by The Kinks and Stones.
I left Edith Cavell School, Hackney in 1965 to work for the Civil Service at Moorgate Hall. My first two years’ salary went on a Farfisa Organ and the next two years went on a Hammond L100. Luckily I had been getting quite a few gigs by that time with The Shades of Midnight, a soul band that played regularly at the Blue Coat Boy, and featured soon-to-be-famous Billy Ocean. He left the band to go solo, and I joined Steele - a pop band playing working men’s clubs and air bases. In 1969 I formed a band, Dry Ice with Billy Ocean with some old school friends and we made a demo which I still have! We played a handful of gigs before a serious solo career lured Billy Ocean away again.
I got married in 1973, and went to college to study musical instrument electronics. Peversely, I began to play piano accordion! I later worked for the BBC and City University’s electronic music studio, before deciding to leave London for a job at Dartington College of Arts. Ten years later I was ditched by Dartington, and decided to to study music seriously, if that’s not a contradiction, at Huddersfield. I gained a degree in ’92 and did a PGCE at Exeter University with a view to teaching music in Primary Schools. After a few years of teaching I found I was doing less music than ever, so I took a TEFL teaching certificate in ’99 and worked as a part time teacher whilst rebuilding my music activities. These now comprise of a Ceilidh band, THE SEVEN STARS a klezmer street band CITY STREETS and as a solo accordionist LE SON D’ACCORDION which could be translated as ‘Les on the accordion’
I have been closely associated with Folk South West through their NVQ schemes and continue to do workshops in schools for pupils and teachers on traditional music and dance. I am chairman of an organization –Ticklemore Folk - that promotes participation of the folk arts in South Devon
07815 925 741
Worked as a EFL teacher at Globe language school, Exeter, 2/96 – 8/96
TEFL certificate passed at Torbay Language Centre 3/99
Worked for TLC 4/99 – 11/99
Worked for TLC 4/01 - 10/01
Last revised: 11/1/02