Drummer joins new big band

Andy 'Stix' Thomas. EMN-140511-145408001

Andy 'Stix' Thomas. EMN-140511-145408001

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A top professional musician who is launching his own big band in Lincolnshire has chosen a Heckington drummer to join the 18 piece line-up.

Andy ‘Stix’ Thomas, a former RAF career musician, makes his debut with Steve Walker’s Big Swing Band at the Terry O’Toole Theatre, North Hykeham, on Saturday November 22.

Andy was principal percussionist with the Band of the RAF College Cranwell until he retired five years ago after 30 years of service, touring the world with the RAF Germany Band and the RAF Central Band and was the first RAF musician to undertake an exchange tour with the Royal Australian Air Force.

Andy gained experience of the swing genre as a founder member of the RAF Swing Wing, sharing the stage with many top music names including jazz saxophonist Tommy Whittle and the late great trumpeter, Kenny Baker.

Steve Walker’s new band is a mix of Lincolnshire professional and amateur musicians, including a former musical director of the British Army, Major (retd) Paul Murrell, from Bardney. Steve himself has played trumpet regularly with the Syd Lawrence, Joe Loss and Nelson Riddle orchestras.

Having his own big band is the latest triumph in a career which has seen Steve lead bands on famous ships like the QE2, Canberra, Oriana and Arcadia. Since then, he has had a long career appearing all over the world with names like The Commodores, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and The Miracles.

Recently he was part of ‘Elvis in Concert’, a European arena tour that included sell-outs at the O2 and Wembley and a performance to 45,000 people for London Hyde Park’s Proms in the Park.

Making a guest appearance at the Terry O’Toole is Butlin’s musical director Steve Allen on piano, who has worked with a host of famous artists. Most recently, he was part of the UK jury for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

To book seats call 01522 883311.