Born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1950, Brian's musical training began at the age of ten with piano lessons from an adorable teacher in Southport Lancashire called Miss Cooper who encouraged him to capitalise upon his natural gifts for rhythm, invention and memory. Associated Board exams followed, but the greater interest became the blues and a school blues-band 'Fredrix Father' headlined at Luton Sixth Form College Blues evenings, raising money for destitute blues artist Skip James with the generous help of artists like Alexix Korner. This loose collection of musicians broadened their range of personnel and by July 1969, 'Hot Cottage' was born. They played in and around London and the south-east supporting a wide variety of bands including Glen Cornick's (ex-Jethro Tull) Wild Turkey, on no less than six occasions. Travelling further afield, they brought their own brand of blues-rock to Westhill College's Rag Ball (Birmingham) and the Cambridge Folk Festival.
Moving on to Higher Education, Brian joined forces with Mick Donegan, Karl Turner, Clive Fenner and Nigel Tame to form 'Freefall', a jazz-rock band inspired by Weather Report, Mahivishnu Orchestra, Herbie Hancock and Jan Hammer playing in and around Birmingham and at Warwick University's Arts Centre.
This was followed by a more determined commercial effort with Mick Donegan, Nigel Tame, Ricky Jack, Phil Parker, Paul Timmins and Graham Durrant in 'The Mick Donegan Band'. Playing a residency in The Coach and Horses in West Bromwich led to a fruitful relationship with Frank, who became their manager and obtained regular work for the band all over the Midlands and as far afield as Lincoln.
The onset of marriage, children and steady jobs did nothing for the pursuit of rock super-stardom, however, and Brian and Mick retreated into their bedrooms with the proverbial four-track to write those sure-fire hits under the name of 'Kilroy'. After a number of mights and maybes, together with associated heart stopping promises and false starts, they embarked upon writing songs for a new band, Safari. This saw the old firm of Mick Donegan, Karl Turner, Nigel Thame team up with 'Billy Cobham soundalike', Glen, with only occasional appearances by Brian who had by now decided upon an electronic route to the future, armed with Bassline, Drumatix, MC202 and TEAC four-track tape-recorder.
Following a period of solo work, electronic composition and educational projects another Band, Plan B, evolved. Based in Buxton, Derbyshire, it was made up of Peter Gilbert, Adrian Sherwood, Fred Rolland, Dave Riley and Brian Gresham. They remained fully functional, together for over twelve years playing at every kind of venue from house parties in front rooms to the Samaritans' National Conference at the University of York, from Tissington Village pig-roast to the Grasslands Society in Ashbourne. Plan B supported those in adversity and was always prepared to play for nothing in order to help raise money for a good cause. They have helped to raise money on numerous occasions for the Samaritans, British Heart Foundation and British Diabetic Association.
However, time marches on and following the departure of founder member Peter Gilbert in 2006 the decision was made to carry on as a four-piece with Adrian and Fred sharing the vocal load. This new venture was christened PHASE 4 and continued to play locally for another three years until I decided to 'hang up my keyboard' and concentrate on writing and recording.....again! A sense of deja-vu here, and who knows, in a few years, if I've any get-up-and-go left, the thrill of playing live and making that big sound may be irresistable once more!