Andy Oliver, award winning songwriter and composer…
I hail from the North East and I am very proud of where I began my life, but I now live in France, its much warmer. I think it is fair to say I have had quite a ride, I started out doing anything that would pay me a wage and eventually got a break in acting, at Newcastle’s Live Theatre. I loved this bit of my life, I did bits of telly including Byker Grove and 55 Degrees North and I met my wife while on a job in London. But then I lost my way, what started out as fun, became the central thing in my life, I began to drink without a thought to anyone else, I became a different person, a person I am not proud of, but one that ultimately brought me to here. I admitted my addiction in 2009 and in a flash the old cliche rang true, I put down the glass and suddenly, I could see things clearly, I was also incredibly lucky to have friends and family to help me through. At this time I picked up the guitar and began playing again, writing how I was feeling and also passing the gulf of time I had otherwise filled with beer and nonsense. I played a few of my songs to two of my closest friends ms Julie Hesmondhalgh and Mr Ian Kershaw and they encouraged me to record them, I worked with the wonderful Jim Ellel and Annie Wallace and put out some demos on myspace. Its fair to say I never expected anyone to listen and I was even more amazed that I finally had something that made me start to live again.
I could bore you with figures and other things, but in essence I write music because I can’t go a day without it and the fact that other people see something in my work that they like listening to, is such an amazing feeling. Without Music I wouldn’t be sober and without sobriety I wouldn’t be here.
Behind every man there is a great woman and mine is amazing….
Janet Bamford, The Penny Whistle Queen.
Here is my introduction to people who help bring my music to life on stage. Janet has played the penny whistle from a young age. Being Belfast born, to a music mad family, she spent many a weekend in sessions driving from gig to gig with whistle in hand and bodran on knee.
In 1981 Janet won the All Ireland penny whistle championships. (Which is the equivalent of The Web Ellis Cup for blowers and shriekers)
I am delighted to say she has joined me in making music on tour. As she brings the music up a level and injects some much needed good looks to the stage. Given me and the drummers sex appeal.
Janet is also my wife of 8 years and asks me not to mention the fact she is my wife, or world champion penny whistle player, in any live performance! Which I always seem to forget when in front of a crowd for some reason.
Anyway here is a pic of my world champion, penny whistling wife. If you get to see us live you will see why she once wore the crown.