A late starter. My family bought a record player when I was 12, just so they could play the single of Amazing Grace - played on the bagpipes.... Then my mother found a letter in my pocket, one which I tried to conceal from my parents. It offered free violin lessons at school. So I became a talented but very reluctant violinist.

Then I discovered a whole new world inside a transistor radio, sacked off the violin, bought a guitar and set off to rock the free world. This plan held sway for a few years until a gig in someone's back garden in 1977. A saxophonist turned up and jammed along with my band. The idea of improvising in this imptomptu fashion was completely unknown to me, blew my mind and changed my life in a moment.

I left the rocking of the free world to Neil Young and everybody else (they're much better at it than me anyhow), virtually moved into the sax player's house and began the journey into the land of Jazz. The sax player was (and is) Stuart Spiers. For those who mourn the loss of a Rock God, Troubadour and Stadium Igniter - address all complaints to him please....


Double bass became an inevitability after hearing Palle Danielsson and Danny Thompson (on record), along with Chris Laurence and Ron Matthewson (on the radio).

Chris became my first bass teacher, helping me to tame that first, and fondly remembered, shiny yellow plywood block of musical concrete that I called a bass. Soon after there followed a real bass (made of wood!), and more tuition from the likes of Daryl Runswick & Dave Holland. I am ever mindful of their help and ongoing inspiration.


Steve Berry



Anyway, here comes the inevitable list, of some of the musicians I have variously toured and/or recorded with this past thirty years. It includes:

All the people with me in Loose Tubes (Batchelor, Bates, Ballamy, Buckley.. in fact a long & distinguished list of 20 or more people who continue to leave their creative mark), then in no particular order; Mike & Kate Westbrook, Ute Lemper, Lew Tabakin, Jessica Williams, John Surman, Kathryn Tickell, Dagmar Kraus, Mike Walker, Ian Carr, Billy Jenkins, Art Farmer, Tal Farlow, Scott Hamilton, Nikki Iles, Anthony Kerr ,Paul Clarvis, Peter Fairclough, Dick Morrissey...........and early on there was a certain amount of touring theatre and musicals, including West Side Story, Blues in the Night, and who could ever forget - Happy As A Sandbag..................well I'm trying to!

I almost forgot, somewhere in there I took up 'cello too, my finest hour on that instrument coming courtesy of Mr
Django Bates, and his uniquely brilliant suite of pieces that toured and recorded as the Powder Room Collapse Orchestra, the work in question being The Third Policeman. Well worth a listen. The man's a genius.

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