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Tim - Didgeridoo and Percussion


While walking around Glastonbury festival, we came across a didgeridoo seller, and for the first time in my life, I heard a didge in the flesh. I was amazed at the guttural sound that came out of it and asked if I could have a go. After being told what to do, it only took a few attempts and I hit the drone for about three seconds, and from that point, I was hooked!

One day, a friend of mine, Haydn, asked if I could play a bit of didge at a 50th birthday party. Of course, I agreed. We were to play at a place called 'The Hat', which turned out to be a pagoda in birthday girl's garden. While jamming with Haydn and a few others, a fella who reminded me of Dracula walked in, picked up a guitar, sat down and started jamming with us. I soon learned that 'Dracula' is better known as Quinny! We all seemed to get along just dandyo, so in the following weeks we got together a few more times with Lewis and Gus (drummer and bassist in Haydn's previous band) and a few songs started to emerge. Nick joined after a couple of weeks as our rapper. As we only had two or three tunes that included the didge, I picked up a small Djembe (an African drum) and borrowed a tambourine from Quinney so as not to look like a spare part on stage! After a few months, a friend loaned me a pair of congas until I got my own and haven't looked back since. Didgemonkey is born!!

After a couple of months of rehearsals, and in the February of 2004, New Groove Formation was unleashed upon an unsuspecting public!

My musical influences don't come from the usual avenues. I spent the main part of my childhood in Canada and America, so I grew up with mostly disco, Motown and rock like Led Zepp and Deep Purple, and when my family came home, I explored many more avenues from Abba to Kiss to Pink Floyd and most things in between.

Given my love of the didge, I have been lucky enough to see Rolf Harris's live show four times and have personally met Shining Bear, Rolf's didge player and Mark Walker, Rolf's percussionist. Mark remains as my favourite percussion player, the list including the likes of Pete Lockett and Luis Conte. Shining Bear was a big influence early on in my didge playing 'apprenticeship', but as I heard other players and their styles, I found my own style to be more and more contemporary. Something else I used as a practice tool was to play along to music, didge based or not, and could find a didge rhythm in many types of musical styles, particularly funky stuff and good driving tunes, which has obviously been a great help in playing along to fast Ska!

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