Simon has been playing since he bought his first bass guitar at the age of 15 using his paper round wages. With a bass guitar collection that has grown over the years, the early Fender being his prefered player, the Rickenbacker his favourite, music influences from Gary Numan, The Police and Boomtown Rats among others give TBDC the underlying back line groove the songs need to come to life. His involvement with the Collective came about by chance, being asked by Ben to play on a new album after seeing him play bass with Coloryde, and is now a permanent fixture in the band.
Becky Boo is a born performer. With extensive training in ballet and contemporary dance, Becky works as a Burlesque and Cabaret performer under stage name Aurora Blu. She has worked on various acoustic musical projects, gigging at venues across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire before joining and sharing her talents with ‘The Ben Drake Collective’ where she adds unique and alluring backing and main vocals to a number of tracks.
Liz Townsend is a singer/songwriter, multi instrumentalist who has worked as a teacher and session musician for over a decade. After graduating with a Masters in Composition, Liz pursued a career in music by collaborating with labels, recording studios and independent artists. Having toured extensively throughout the UK in the band The Floe, supporting well known acts such as Ultravox, Glen Tilbrook, Ade Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds, in venues such as the O2 Academy, Sheffield and The Sage, Liz is now focusing on work closer to home and her own material.
Singing from a very young age, Becky’s background roots and talent in musical theatre lead her into the world of music and bands, forming her own group The Random Standards influenced by the Manchester scene of the late 80s early 90s. Becky is no stranger to the gigging life and has provided backing vocals for Coloryde and lead vocals for The Little Big Things before moving onto adding her gritty yet soulful vocals to a wide range of tracks with ‘The Ben Drake Collective’.
Gary started out his live music career on York’s thriving open-mic scene in the early noughties, loaning himself out as a backing guitarist at many a beer-soaked lock-in. The return to his native Home Counties eventually saw him join rising Hertfordshire alt-rockers Hey Jupiter. This band’s abrupt demise brought a brief musical hiatus, which was ended by a call from former bandmate Chris Bruton, inviting him to join Ben and others on an eclectic covers set for a local mini-festival on the basis of Gary’s broad guitar-playing ability. And so it was that Gary became an integral part of the early incarnation of The Ben Drake Band, eventually to become part of ‘The Ben Drake Collective’.
From the age of six, Abby trained as a classical pianist. A further six years on, she experienced her first taste of recording in a studio where her passion for a career in music was ignited. During her time at college, Abby formed the band ‘Skyla’ which gained popularity and saw TV performances alongside receiving radio airplay in NZ and Australia.
Abby’s debut album ‘Flipside’, recorded at London’s Ritz Studios, was released in the UK in March 2011. The album features remastered and re-recorded tracks from her ‘Skyla’ days; two tracks from the album making it through to the finals of the UK Songwriting Competition while a further two tracks making it into the semi-finals. Abby continues to receive independent radio air play and her second album, ‘Strange Affection’ released in 2013, is also play listed throughout the UK. The single of the same name made it to the finals of the 2013 USA Songwriting competition.
With a keen interest in music from an early age, Emma took up the violin where she played in a number of orchestras. A talented musician, she is also proficient in a wide range of instruments including: the flute, piano, trumpet and flugelhorn. Emma studied Music Technology at The London Guildhall University. After taking a short break from the music scene she is now back playing trumpet and singing for local band The BeatRoute where her enthusiasm and passion for music has been revived.
Darren has been singing from a young age with Soul and Motown influences. At the age of sixteen, having always loved the sound of the horn section, he took up the saxophone. Darren has been playing in The BeatRoute, a local Hertfordshire band, for the past 14 years. After being approached by Ben Drake to help out on the title track ‘Rise of the Little Big Things’ he was more than happy to oblige providing a distinctive, almost hypnotic, rhythm and blues edge.
Although the 90s and early noughties were fairly quiet as far as playing or recording goes, Paul found a love for the keyboards again with the newly reformed Coloryde after a brief sabaticle from music. Through mutual friends He was introduced to Ben, and started listening to demos of his new work. After a few rehearsals and with a renewed pleasure for playing in a full live band again, they were ready to start recording the first track – ‘The Rise Of The Little Big Things’ – and after completing the album of the same name, Paul continued to work with the collective on Ben’s new material, becoming a staple part of the band.
Singer-Songwriter and Multi-Instrumentalist, Adiescar, composes and performs music in a range of styles from country and pop, to electronic rock. Her current performance style has been compared to artists such as Tori Amos, Judie Tzuke, and Gabrielle Aplin. You can find her music on spotify/apple music etc.
James has been playing bass for over 15 years. His self taught approach has helped him to develop his musical ear to become accomplish in many genres of music which can be heard within his overall style. Through his musical career he has recorded and played with many original bands such as ourselves, as well as his own bands ‘Pirate Radio’ and ‘Sleeping With Wolves’ where it he honed his song writing abilities. For the last few years James has played within an established function band called the ‘Blue Rinse’ which has further increased his ability to turn his hand to many style of music. His main influences consist of many virtuoso bass players such as Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller and Jaco Pastorius as well as bands such as, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Audio Slave, Earth Wind and Fire and many more!