Percussion Kevin Franey
Kevin joined Fishburn Band in 1987. Kevin (aka Fred in his school days at Tudhoe St Charles RC School) started playing at age 12 with assistance over the years coming from local drummers such as Kenny White, Alex Greenwood and Ernie Jackson. Playing influences include Buddy Rich, Kenny Clair and Kenny Clarke and Kevin has played drums for the Clive Collins Dance Band since its formation in 1967. It's appropriate then that other than his main playing influences, Kevin's favourite artistes are Michael Camilo and of course, the BBC Big Band.
Kevin, who was born in Newcastle but now lives in Spennymoor, also has a very musical family. Married to Frances, they have four children - Carmel, Katherin (Piano), James (Bass Trombone), and Michael (Tenor Horn at Cory band). Kevin is a TV Repair Engineer so he's quite tuned in - if your horizontal hold is faulty, give him a shout. One of the un-sung heroes of Fishburn Band he's always willing to be being involved with transporting equipment from one venue to another. Known for his dry wit and sense of humour, Kevin is definitely one of the band's characters (perhaps that could explain why he supports Sunderland Football Club). He is also very "Cute" with his brush strokes as was revealed on our first CD 'Durham's Pride'!
In 1967, Kevin was playing drums in working mens clubs around Co Durham, normally just depping for other drummers. One Sunday afternoon Kevin was playing in a club in Bishop Aukland - The normal format would be bingo plus either a singer or comedian which the organist and drummer would play for. so they played a few times then the committee man told them to come into the dressing room and see what the artiste would like them to play. Nothing unusual there, except that day the artiste was a stripper and when Kevin went into the dressing room - there she was, wearing nothing more than a pair of high heels and a smile. He was quite embarassed. Well, he was young and niaive and of course she clicked on to that straight away and used it for her amusement (along with the first 6 rows of the audience) all the way through her set. A lot of what she removed, Kevin ended up wearing through no action of his own. Believe it or not, one of Kevin's main ambitions is to learn to fly - we bet he wished he could have flown that day!
Percussion Carole Bell
Carole is one of Fishburn Band's longest serving members having joined in 1968. Throughout her early years Carole couldn't resist any instrument that came to hand (she was also known to swap dolls and skipping ropes for a mouth organ and jews harp)! Her first serious entry into music started at school when Carole was 13 where she picked up a trumpet and became one of the first members of the school band. Very soon she discovered the euphonium and swapped instruments. The late George Smith, a peripatetic music teacher and someone Carole admired greatly, taught her everything from hymn tunes to jazz and pushed Carole down the route to learn the trombone and bass clef. Carole knew that she had disappointed George when she didn't audition for the Ivy Benson Band.
When Carole joined Fishburn on second baritone she was also a member of the County Brass Band, the County Wind Band and the County Orchestra too and found that there was always a concert going on somewhere. Whilst with the Wind Band it was there that Carole had her first taste of percussion when covering for the regular drummer who became ill while on tour in Germany. When percussion became important for brass band contesting and Fishburn's conductor at the time, Jimmy Foxcroft heard about the Germany episode, he talked Carole into playing timps at one of the London Finals. With a few tips on various techniques from Malcolm Dick that was it........in at the deep end again! Carole's thanks also go to Bob Stephenson for all the help he has given her over the years - he taught Carole a little more about kit playing and even found Carole her first drum kit.
Those who know Carole will tell you that, if needed, Carole will turn her hand to most instruments in the contest field with some great results......bass trombone on Checkmate at Blackpool springs to mind. However, Carole's not keen on cornet, so John Gill and the others can breathe a sigh of relief!
Over the years, Carole has been involved in the 'Northern Club' scene, playing for dances and backing the local artists and, along with Joe Armstrong and the late Wilf Beddel, even formed a dance and show band which was successful.
When asked about ambitions Carole said:
-it used to be to go from the fourth section to the top section...we've done it!
-it used to be to play at the Royal Albert Hall...we've done it!
-to see her son, Jeff (euphonium) in the ranks and that he should play at the Royal Albert Hall too...he's done it!
-guess it has to be that Fishburn Band carries on with the success everyone has worked so hard for in the past and that everyone continues to enjoy what we do.
We couldn't agree with you more, Carole.
Percussion Becky Harrison
Becky joined the Band in 2008.
Becky proved to be an excellent addition to the Band and is a brilliant Xylophone and Glock player, being regularly featured as a soloist in concerts with the Band.
Becky is now at Bristol University where she has been studying a Degree course in dentistry.
The Band wish Becky all the best in her studies and hope she is very successful in her chosen career.
Gavin joined the Band in May 2011.
Gavin, who is also an excellent Clarinet player and Composer, has settled in very quickly in the Percussion Section.
His profile will appear here shortly.