Famous Musicians From Reading

Famous Musicians From Reading

Here at Piano Lessons Reading we are pleased to offer our students and site visitors the chance to read about some of the famous musicians of the past and present who have lived, worked and were born in and around Reading. It can raise awareness about the local music scene or perhaps even inspire!

David Byron

A rock star born in Epping, Essex; David Byron whose birth name David Garrick worked across almost all of the rock and roll genres. From heavy metal to pop rock and progressive rock. He was a vocalist and songwriter and began his career with a company as a session musician and not in a band. It was not till later that he joined a local band called The Stalkers and started making music professionally. in the years that followed he made his career with a band called Uriha Heep as their first vocalist. This was his big break because he was loved by fans for his singing voice and style and so he went on to record on 10 Uriha Heep albums before being replaced due to issues within the group.

After his dismissal from the band his career never really reached the heights it had once achieved even with launching a solo music career, which ultimately didn't see a positive outcome. By the time of his death while still young at the of just 38 it seemed like music reporters had forgotten about him. It is said that his long-term use of alcohol was the main reason behind him being dismissed from Uriah Heep and indeed his death. He died in his home in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

Alma Cogan

In short Alma Cogan was brilliant at what she did but in her era especially when the 60s arrived she started to fade away slowly from the music scene and TV. She had been most famous for doing cover versions of hit songs in the US and doing them so well that she would worldwide attention making the charts in multiple countries. Her style was loved and she became known as the girl with the giggle in her voice because of laughing once on a recording and making it her signature sound on later recordings. The first time she performed live was in Reading while studying there she performed live at a charity event in Palace Theatre.

At the turn of the decade into 1960 the world was changing people's perception, fashion and music were all moving on to a new image. This was lead by the huge success of the Beatles. The Beatles were at the forefront of all major changes in fashion, music and TV and the Beatles themselves soon deemed Alma’s style “square” and “out of date”. The 1960s were the start of her downfall once she never really recovered from as she battled long with illnesses and eventually passed away in 1966 aged just 34.

Neil Halstead

Hailed by AllMusic as one of Britain's most respected songwriters Neil Halstead certainly has his share of admirers. He was born in Reading and he started making and performing music professionally with a band called Slowdive. He is the front man and songwriter of the Reading based rock band who like Neil make music in a variety of rock sub-genres such as pop rock, ambient and experimental rock music. It is notable to mention that the band have collaborated with Brian Eno who has produced some massive records throughout his career. He was co-producer on the album Soulvaki.

Although the band did split up in 1995 and went on to spend some 10 years away from Slowdive, they recently got back together in 2014 and are currently touring trying to build up some steam perhaps ahead of releasing a new album although no mention of that has been made as of yet.

The Hoosiers

The Hoosiers are a band based in Reading, Berkshire although they had been formed in 2003 it was not until 2007 that their first single reached a high number in the charts, number 5 to be precise. Further success followed with their first album reaching number 1 on the album charts. The band is still together today and their new album "The News From Nowhere" was released in early 2014. The Hoosiers make music in a variety of genres including pop rock, synthpop and indie rock.

The band's huge early success was due to some level to the deal they signed with Sony, however this was not to remain a happy story as due to some complications the band departed from Sony thus their latest album was released by their own backing. To fund The News From Nowhere the band had to approach fans and ask them to pre-order the album in return they would give those who pre-ordered the chance to hang out with the band in music videos and at shows. A good way to fund an up coming project if you are operating for yourself.

Photography: Christian Bertrand

What I can offer

We can teach students from complete beginners to more advanced students, enabling them to play the songs that they are passionate about. I can teach classical, jazz or rock and pop piano - from Rachmaninov to Elton John and everything in between, ensuring that our lessons are fun and enaging. I teach from a central Reading location, with easy access from public transport and by car.

If you are interested in booking your first lesson, or simply to find out more about my piano lessons, don't hesitate to get in touch!

Andrew is a great piano player, but more importantly he is a great teacher. He encouraged me to learn and be confident in my abilities and that helped me a huge amount. (Sam)

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