Monkey started his musical journey playing bass for funk-metal act Psi-Cosis along with guitarist Mark Johnson (now of Brighton's Bears) and drummer Tim Head. They played one gig at the infamous Dick Turpin in Northampton in 1996. All members promptly left for university at different ends of the country and the band split.
Later, in 2000, Monkey rejoined Mark in dance-punk act PTNBC along with frontman Anwar (Ash) Hassan and a handy drum machine. They played shows all over the East Midlands, releasing a CD EP, entitled Comrade?. In 2004 Monkey left the band. They carried on for a year or two after that without him and eventually fizzled out.
Meanwhile, in 2003, Monkey had already picked up lead guitar and formed a new band, The Flamin' Kermits, with Johnny (Metal) Yau (rhythm guitar, and now of The Bitter Suite), Paul (Dubs) Witney (Lead Vocals), Sam Whiteley (Bass, and later of the Bitter Suite) and Dr Matt REconstruction (drums). The Flamin' Kermits Played all over the East Midlands and London over the next two years, releasing a now rare and much sought-after EP, A Credit to The Race. In 2005, the band split to focus on new projects, but leaving Monkey a free agent.
As fate would have it, Monkey got a call from Tony Taylor, frontman and bassist for Leicester punks First Wave (as well as, later, bassist for Wreck-Age and Hi-Fi Spitfires). First Wave's original guitarist, Bobby (Blades) Flowers was planning to take it easy on the gigging, and Tony asked Monkey if he'd sit in. Monkey then became First Wave's main guitarist from 2005 onwards.
With Monkey, First Wave played hundreds of shows all over the UK, culminating in a barnstorming appearance at Rebellion Festival, a mini-tour of France with Project Reject and Les Prouteurs in 2013, and encompassing several EP and album releases, most notably Dead Presidents, Guns of Wigston, Rebel Station and split CD with U.K. Subs guitarist Steve Racket's side-project The Last Gang, Rebellion Times. At that point, Monkey left the band on a high, relocating to sunny Swindon.
In the meantime, in 2006, Monkey had also briefly played double bass for Northampton-based jazz-folk trio The Bugs, but that's a whole other shaggy-dog tale
First Wave continue to this day, with guitar duties passing to Graham (Warney) Warne, formerly lead guitarist with New Generation Superstars and Union-X.
After taking a year out, Monkey found Tommi, who found Captain, and turned down an offer to join punk originals Picture Frame Seduction to form a new band in late 2014, taking the name of First Wave's last full-length album, Rebel Station as their new name.
For a day job, Monkey works as a professional cat-herder. Things you may not know about him... he is skilled at Calligraphy, can understand Old English, and once met Lemmy from Mötörhead. If you see him at the bar, buy him a stout or porter!
Monkey left the band in Sep 2022 to pursue new musical projects. We wish him all the best.
Check out Monkey's old band and still great mates...