The band’s only true-born Northerner, Phil’s musical ambitions began at school in rock and roll style, by playing cello in the school orchestra.
It did not take long though for pictures of rock stars and a friend who could play Auld Lang Syne, with his teeth (Jimi Hendrix style) to inspire him to switch to the guitar.
Phil learned the necessary chords (three) to master the basics of Status Quo and Bob Dylan songs with the aim of impressing the girls and annoying the neighbours. He achieved one of these objectives.
Having found an electric guitar and amplifier for the significant investment of £10 he slaved away in true School of Rock fashion, copying the styles of Eric Clapton, Santana, “The Quo” and inspirational player Bill Nelson of Be Bop Deluxe fame (a truly under-appreciated master of rock guitar).
Moving South to a lucrative career in IT and playing in a succession of bands Phil joined The Late Shift and is one of the longest serving members.
Phil says “Most members of the The Late Shift are really a bunch of 18 year olds, trapped inside the bodies of more “mature” people but with one ambition; to be the best covers band in the South East. For me it gets better everyday.”
Phil’s work takes him to the USA and the lure of Manhattan’s Music shops resulted in the purchase of a Fender Stratocaster. Subsequent trips have resulted in the additions of a Taylor electro-acoustic and a cherry red Gibson 335. He also owns a PRS guitar. He uses a boutique, Class A Mesa Boogie Lonestar combo amp along with a variety of effects delivered through a Boss GT-10.
Here is a feature with Phil and Colin “Guitars With Knobs On.”