Posts Tagged ‘dad’

West End Drummers Part 9 – Andy McGlasson (Ghost)

Andy McGlasson – Ghost the Musical

Andy McGlasson is the drummer for Ghost The Musical at London’s Piccadilly Theatre. The London show opened in July 2011 following a 10 week stint in Manchester and is about to open on Broadway, which has given Andy a lot of input to the part as the original drummer. Andy has played for a vast range of artists that include Lady GaGa, Lionel Richie, Will Young, Leona Lewis, Pixie Lott, Shirley Bassey, Westlife, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and even Orville the Duck! He has been the original West End drummer for nine different shows, including Hairspray, Sister Act and Spamalot.

Tell me what led you to start playing drums

It was at the age of 11. I used to listen to my dad’s old LPs and I was constantly tapping. My parents thought they’d get me some drum lessons as something to do, then it progressed very rapidly from there. What started out as an activity to keep me out of trouble after school quickly became regular lessons and lots of running about for my mum and dad.

What was your first musical?

At the age of 14 I started my first semi-professional gig, which was every Saturday at a hotel with a dinner dance band. At that point I was already doing brass band rehearsals, orchestra rehearsals, regional big band rehearsals, pop bands; every night was packed with an activity. Sometimes I’d do something straight after school then run home, get my dinner and be off to another rehearsal or a gig. In fact, when I was in my 3rd year at High School one of the girls in my year asked me out on a date, which was great but I remember getting my diary out and saying, ‘Yeah, brilliant! I can do five weeks on Monday’. I think she went off with one of the rugby players in the end.

My mum and dad were really supportive. They would say, ‘Right come on, we’re going to this jazz club tonight and tomorrow there’s a great rock band in town, let’s go’. My dad would invariably blag his way backstage just so I could meet the drummer and chat to him.

I did that throughout my school years and when it came to leaving at the age of 17, it was a question of ‘Do I go to college or see how it goes?’. I was already doing a lot of professional work so I thought I’d give it a year and see how it went before deciding whether to apply for a music college or not. It went well and I started to pick up quite a bit of freelance theatre work such as summer seasons, pantomimes, gigs in cabarets venues, working men’s clubs, jazz gigs, jamming with my mates, as well as a few sessions.  I was lucky and, if I’m honest, growing up in Scotland was really beneficial as although the music scene was much smaller than in London, I probably got asked to do certain gigs that I wasn’t really ready for but there were fewer players to choose from. Quite often I’d be on a session or a gig with a big named visiting jazz artist, hanging on for dear life hoping I’d get away with it.  Mind you, it’s still feels the same now!

When I was about 21 a touring production of Les Miserables came to Edinburgh and I was asked to dep as one of the guys in the orchestra recommended me. I took over from Dave Adams and did the last three months on it. That finished and then another theatre tour came to Glasgow the following year with Dave once again playing drums. I also depped on that and eventually took over the rest of the tour. Then, I finally got asked to start on my own show, and that’s how I got into doing the bigger musicals whilst juggling all the other things I had on.

To read the interview in full click HERE to visit


Bob Knight (Alison Moyet,Rumer)

Bob Knight

Interview with Bob Knight

If you own a television you will have regularly seen Bob Knight at work. Bob was Musical Director of the live Charlotte Church Show for three seasons, which saw him work with many artists including Amy Winehouse and the Manic Street Preachers. He worked on the Justin Lee Collins show, plays in Alison Moyet”s and Nik Kershaw’s bands, is drummer and Musical Director for Rumer and manages to be one of the UK’s top session fixers. Bob found time to tell me about his varied career and I discovered more about the man who Michael Buble has called upon in his hour of need.

How would you describe what you do for a living?

I play the drums, am an MD and I run my contracting business, so double gig!

What’s your background as a drummer?

I come from Yorkshire and I studied at school there. We had lots of good community things that we didn’t have to pay to be part of and there were a lot of good musicians. We won the National Youth Jazz Orchestra competition, you know, those kind of things. Then I did music at A-level and played in bands all round Harrogate. When I was 15 I used to play with guys that are the age that I am now so my dad used to drive me, drop me off and pick me up. I used to do my homework on stage; it was great! There used to be a law that you couldn’t be in a club if you were under 17 unless you got there before it opened and stayed onstage. I would go and set up and just start doing my homework, then the band would turn up and sound check, they’d go off and I’d just stay on stage! Then they’d come back, do the gig and my dad would pick me up at 1am. After my A levels I went to the Royal Academy of Music and did the 4 year jazz degree from ’95 to ‘99 and turned pro from there.