Steve Parry

The Classic Rock Show, Steve Parry

Where and when were you born?

I was born in Wallasey, on the Wirral, 22nd May 1975 (hmm, getting on a bit now...)

When did you start to play?

I started playing piano when I was about 4 years old, then I just started picking other instruments up and having a go at them.

Tell us about some of your previous projects.

I was the musical director for the Official Tribute To The Blues Brothers for 15 years touring most of the UK and Europe and also playing in London's West End, Chicago and São Paolo. Amongst other things I've also played in a good few theatre shows, gone round the world on a cruise ship and toured as trumpet player for Corinne Bailey-Rae. And I'm the musical arranger for BBC's The Voice.

Who are your influences?

A lot of jazz; Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon. And also a lot of Genesis. And The Beatles. Can I include the Wombles in here..? They were brilliant!

If you had to take one album to your desert island, what would it be and why?

Why does this question always come up? Very difficult. I think it would have to be the debut album from Joe Topping And The Vagrant Kings. Partly because I'm on it(!) but mostly because the writing is wonderful. It's on repeat in my car at the moment so I know what it would be like to have only that album to play.

What gear do you tour with?

My main pieces of gear are my Roland VK88 organ and (slightly modified) HL722 Leslie speaker. I love the sound of a real organ through a real Leslie and this is a good compromise - I think Roger & Dave, part of our road crew, would be slightly unhappy if they had to move a B3 as well as the Leslie... My other main piece of equipment is my Muse Receptor QU4TTRO, triggered by a regular 88-note weighted master keyboard for all other non-organ sounds.

One obscure interesting fact about yourself.

I once taught Liam Neeson a song. I was in New York with a show I had arranged and recorded the music for and Liam Neeson was going to be the mystery guest at a later date so I had to teach him this particular song. That was the same trip I had an encounter with Roger Moore, but that's another story...