About Neil

One of the most highly respected and experienced bass guitarists in rock, Neil has been playing professionally since 1974 with bands and musicians such as Brian May, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Gary Moore, Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Sting just to mention a few. Neil has played on dozens of albums, sales of which exceed 10 million units, and has toured extensively all over the world. Neil was the bass-player in Whitesnake from the band's beginnings in 1978 until 1986, apart from a period playing with Gary Moore in 1982-3. He played on all of the Whitesnake albums up to and including '1987', and his melodic basslines are a feature of the classic Whitesnake songs. Neil was also a member of Black Sabbath for about 3 years in the late 80s and mid-90s, and is also known for being a member of Brian May's touring and recording band, as well as working with many other famous rock musicians over the years. These days as well as being part of the band for the very successful musical We Will Rock You in the West End of London, Neil also tours and records with M3 Classic Whitesnake which includes ex-Whitesnake guitarists Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody. He has performed with Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor at such events as the Queen's Jubilee Party in 2002 at Buckingham Palace and at Pavarotti's annual concert in Modena, Italy. Other artists Neil has worked with live or in the studio include Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Rodgers, Robert Palmer, Glenn Hughes, Jon Anderson, Scorpions, Jimmy Barnes, Ian Gillan, Ozzy Osbourne, Graham Bonnet, John Martyn, Bruford, Graham Bonnet, Randy California, Allan Holdsworth and many others.

Snakecharmer on the radio in South Wales, 24th January 2013

Thursday Rockshow 9-11pm on GTFM 107.9 FM or at http://www.gtfm.co.uk/ and on BCFM 93.2 www.bcfm.org.uk: weather permitting, special guests Snakecharmer will be previewing their new album, out on Frontiers Records on Jan 24th. You’ll recognise the members if you love classic Whitesnake, Thunder, Wishbone Ash, Ozzy Osbourne’s band etc., and band members Harry James and Adam Wakeman will be in the studio.

You can email the programme at rockshow@gtfm.co.uk

R.I.P. Jon Lord 1941-2012

It’s very sad to hear that Jon Lord has passed away today. I was privileged to play in Whitesnake with Jon from 1978-82 and again for a short time in 1984, plus I played on most of his solo album ‘Before I Forget’. Apart from being the founding father of rock keyboards, especially Hammond organ, and a brilliant composer, he was also a lovely person who will be greatly missed. A sad loss for the world of music.

Why did you choose the bass guitar to play and not another instrument?

I played classical piano & trombone first, and I was a drummer as a teenager, though not a good one. I was naturally drawn to the bass, and I often listened to the bass on records. There was a bass at school that I started messing around on, and it seemed to be the ideal instrument for me, so from age 17 until becoming professional at 23, I was playing a lot of the time, mostly along with albums. My personality suits the bass – I don’t want to be a guitarist, showing off at the front of the stage!

Which are your principal influences?

I like many kinds of music, and when I was learning the bass, I practiced lots of styles apart from rock – blues, jazz, funk, R&B, pop etc. I was influenced a lot by Jack Bruce of Cream, Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus) and all the bands of the British blues boom of that time, such as John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Chicken Shack, Fleetwood Mac etc. Later I got into funk bass-players quite a bit, then Jaco Pastorius from Weather Report, so I tend to play differently to how most rock bassists play, and I’m not very interested in just playing the root note of the chord; I’d rather try and do something more interesting, if there’s the opportunity. I used to copy guitarists as well as bassists, and try to play exactly what they drummer was playing too, so I wasn’t only influenced by bass-players.

Snakecharmer live gigs

Saturday 21st July Silverstone Classic  – The ‘Rocking & Racing’ Festival

Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 8TN


Sunday 5th August Cambridge Rock Festival

Haggis Farm Polo Club, Barton, Cambridge, CB23 7PZ


Sunday 2nd September Weyfest

The Rural Life Centre, Reeds Road, Tilford, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 2DL


Welcome to my official website!


This is where I’ll be adding my latest news and forthcoming activities. There may not be much (if anything!) on some of the other pages yet, but keep checking back, as I’ll try to add stuff as often as I can.

I play up to 6 nights a week in We Will Rock You, so sometimes it’s hard to find time for everything else I have to do, and when I’m not there, I’m likely to be rehearsing, recording or gigging with Snakecharmer, or perhaps some other project.