The Band

The Albums
The Singles
The Band
The Gigs
The Story of Sky

All the guys who played as part of Sky, on recordings or live (though not all at the same time), in alphabetical order, of course...

Richard Durrant
Herbie Flowers
Tristan Fry
Paul Hart
Steve Gray
Francis Monkman
Kevin Peek
John Williams

PLUS guest appearances in concert from:
Nicky Hopkins (The Great Balloon Race album and tour, 1984)
Patrick Ros (one-off Christmas concert in December 1983)
Rick Wakeman (keyboards, Australian tour, 1985)

Richard Durrant Guitars (1993 and 1994 UK tours)

To find out all about him, buy his CDs or to know where he's gigging, see the Longman Records site. Or even e-mail Richard directly from there.

Herbie Flowers
Bass (and Tuba!, 1979-1994)

Herbie met music quite by chance. He applied for early call-up. In 1955 absolutely every young man of 18 had to serve two years' National Service. After square bashing (learning to be a good soldier) and several months of egg frying he pleaded with the careers officer to help, who showed him a list of alternative trades available and at the bottom was 'bandsman' with the figure NINE in brackets after it. Herbie told his first fib, saying that he'd played tuba in the school band. A week before the audtion, he drew a tuba (E flat Bombardon to be exact) from the stores; one day later, his first note. The day after that, the scale of C.
The NINE in brackets by the way was the number of years one had to sign on for to join that particular trade group.
The band, twenty-five blokes, was the worst band you've ever heard. After several years in Singapore (where he met his wife), he was posted to the RAF Central Band and then gradually got sucked into the West End circuit of theatre pit work, night clubs, etc., and the occasional recording session. By then, he'd learned the scale of C on the String Bass and the scale of E on the electric bass. The scale of E was necessary on the electric bass because almost every piece of pop music is in the key of E.
1970 saw Blue Mink, a 'session' band, which lasted 5 years. He left to tour America with Bowie (Diamond Dogs tour). After that, he sank myself into session work again; played on quite a few hits (C.C.S., Lou Reed, Nillson, etc!) and thirteen thousand flops.
Not many people know that the largest (and thankfully long-forgotten) hit for which Herbie was responsible was the novelty song "Grandad" which he wrote and produced.
One batch of sessions was for Marc Bolan and T. Rex. "GREAT rock'n'roll; way in front of all the others. So for two years, until his sad and untimely demise, we went slumming."
SKY was the next adventure, and after several years of recording sessions and tours with the band, he retuirned to session work. He also set up and still runs a school for aspiring rock musicians in Sussex. He spends a lot of time on the road with multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Mike Hatchard and apart from his occasional one-man show of anecdotes and music from forty years in the music business, he can be seen with Mike every month on the stage at the
Komedia Theatre in Brighton.

Tristan Fry
Drums, Percussion (and Trumpet!, 1979-1994)

Since he added playing the trumpet to his role as SKY's drummer Tristan has had many requests from all over the world. But he still won't stop playing it! He is kept pretty busy when not working with SKY by quite a few different organisations. One is THE ACADEMY OF ST. MARTIN'S IN THE FIELDS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, for whom Tristan principally plays Timpani. Most of this music is of the Bach, Mozart, Haydn eras: for which he finds a great similarity to playing with SKY as all the composers were and are writing the popular music of the day.

Tristan has also been called in to play on many film and television background scores in addition to a variety of signature tunes: 'Yes Minister'; 'To The Manor Born'; 'Last Of The Summer Wine' etc. Recent films that he has played on have been 'Gandhi, the new Barbra Streisand film 'Yentl' and Sean Connery's 'return' Bond film 'Never Say Never Again' with music written by Michel Legrand. Also working on Val Doonican's TV. show, a yearly nine week series - is another feature of Tristan's session work In the past he has also done a number of Children's Television appearances both showing and demonstrating percussion instruments and their uses and in one particular series called 'Countdown To The Festival' he was involved with going to various areas of the British Isles to talk to children who were in the process of preparing for various kinds of music festivals. There were two sisters who played fiddles in Scotland, a steel band from Manchester, a pipe and accordion player from Ireland, a choir from Wales and a brass band from Southampton. This all proved to be very interesting and stimulating remembering how strong your compulsion as a young musician is to gain musical experiences.

More than any other member of SKY Tris continues to lead an extremely active isession musician' life coupled with his orchestral role during all the available moments when SKY are not rehearsing, recording or touring. Long may this continue.

Paul Hart
Keyboards, Guitars (and mandolin, and cello, and ...!, 1984-1994)

Paul Hart studied piano and composition at The Royal College of Music until 1973 when he left to take up a career as a bass guitar player, Working with Dankworth a year later he was offered a job as Cleo Laine's piano accompanist/jazz violinist. During periods when not on tour he took up jingle writing (among other things) and since leaving Cleo in 1979 has become, along with his partner Joe Campbell, London's leading jingle writer.
Also in recent years he has become artistic director of the internationally unknown Gnaff Ensemble.
In 1982, he wrote a substantial work for ex-SKY member John Williams which was performed with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra as part of the South Bank Music Festival and later at the Proms.

Steve Gray
Piano, Keyboards (and Sax!, 1981-1994)

"When I was 12, and had been playing the piano for 2 years, I was asked if I should like to join the Middlesbrough Municipal Junior Orchestra.

Unfortunately they hadn't a vacancy for a pianist so I became the second bassoon. My talent as a bassoonist led to my being promoted to third saxophone (baritone) and finally principal (and only) trombone. (The trombone section was re-named 'The Silent Service). During my stay in the saxes the section leader was Ron Aspery, who later founded the influential blues group 'Back Door' and who gave me the scar that can be seen at the top of my nose to this day. I asked him if he would like to join my band.
"Who's in it?" he asked.
"Me and you"
Later we enlarged the band by 50% with the addition of Malcolm Cope, who had a trumpet, and we built up a repertoire of the popular songs of the day; such as 'Softly, Softly', a hit for Ruby Murray, who is now famous as the rhyming slang for curry. The professional world beckoned, and I became, from Mondays to Fridays, the pianist in the orchestra of the Middlesbrough Empire; and at weekends the bandleader at the Kirklevington Country Club: an arrangement which baffled the artists appearing at the Empire who found themselves faced with the necessity of a full-scale rehearsal on the Saturday for the benefit of the pianist coming in for that evening.
This situation couldn't last, and so I left home, played in some bands, got into session work, joined SKY and lived happily ever after."
Since Sky's demise, Steve has maintained a busy compositional schedule, including a guitar concerto and other arrangements for John Williams. He's not very often seen on stage.

Francis Monkman
Piano, Keyboards (and Guitar!, 1979-1980)
here for more.

Francis went to Westminster School where he studied organ and harpsichord. During this time his first musical ambition blossomed; that of conducting a Mozart opera. In 1967 he started three yeats of study at the Royal Academy of Music. He took as his first subject the harpsichord, receiving the Raymond Russet Prize for that instrument, and while at the Academy he also took up electric guitar.
In 1970 Francis formed Curved Air’, which evolved from the group “Sisyphus”. They signed a recording deal With WEA Records and had three albums released, the first being ‘Air Conditioning’. With “Curved Air” he toured all over Europe and the USA to great and enduring acclaim. Francis started doing session work whilst still at the Royal Academy and consequently he has wotked with many of the top recording and performing artists in the UK — The Shadows, David Essex, Paul Nicholas, Kate Bush and Steve Harley amongst them. He also continued to give highly acclaimed classical concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, The South Bank and the Purcell Room. He is an extremely original and accomplished consposer and has written and performed jingles, library albums and gramophone singles. Francis was introduced and recommended to John Williams by Stanley Myers and subsequently Francis played on John’s 'Travelling’ album. It was at this time that a relationship was estabiished which finally has culminated in Sky.
Francis and two partners also formed their own music production company, Crocodile, which is primarily concerned with music for television and radio commercials.
Francis left Sky in the summer of 1980 to pursue other interests following the success of his score for the film 'The Long Good Friday'. He released a solo album, 'Dweller on the Threshold', which regrettably pretty much sank without a trace. He remained active in classical keyboard music, especially harsichord and organ and played concerts up and down the country. In 1999, he released his latest creation, 21st Century Blues, from which you can hear extracts on his own web site. (And don't forget to buy the CD!).

Kevin Peek
Electric and Acoustic Guitars (1979-1985)

Kevin was born and brought up in Adelaide, Australia. He left for England in 1965 and basically remained domiciled in London until 1982 when he returned to Australia. He studied music in from the age of seven -his first studies being in the full range of orchestral percussion instruments plus jazz drumming, vibraphone and general music theory. Studies on guitar commenced when he was twelve and, for a while did this in tandem with continuing studies in percussion. By the age of fifteen his love of the guitar had completely taken over and Kevin Peek ceased any further work on percussion from that time on. After leaving school he worked in Adelaide for a few years playing guitar in various rock and jazz bands until departing for England.
During his entire time in England, Kevin worked as a self-employed professional musician - mainly as a recording "session" musician - but also undertook concert tours from time to time. In the course of such work he performed at live concerts, on radio broadcasts, on television broadcasts and on commercial recordings with many internationally known orchestras, instrumentalists, groups and singers - as well as recording, broadcasting and performing in concert in his own right.
Artists he's recorded with include: Cliff Richard, Olivia Newton-John, John Williams, The New Seekers, Lulu, Cilla Black, Chris Rea, Elton John, Manfred Mann, Peter Skellern, Shirley Bassey, Mary Hopkins, Rick Wakeman, Alan Parsons Project, Jeff Wayne, Roger Daltry, Mel Torme, The Shadows, Hank Marvin, Neil Diamond, Val Doonican and many, many others - as well as orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Kevin is currently active within the field of music composition, recording and production for film and television and is constantly expanding the list of works completed in those media.

John Williams

See my other site.

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