If you booked him for a session for example and the engineer
wasn't getting a good sound from his kit Andy would know how
to place the mics to get it to sound better, or if things
were drifting time-wise because the synchronising wasn't quite
right he would advise you on what to do get it right, or even
if half the desk went down, give him an hour or two and a
soldering iron and he'll fix it.
The first thing he did on leaving school was a two years electronics
Drums and electronics:
He didn't start playing the drums at all until he was 17 years
old at which point he simultaneously started work at Mcdonalds.
After seeing Guy Richman play in a big band Andy was so impressed
he found out the name of his teacher (Bob Armstrong) who helped
him develop that famous technique which due to its power and
speed makes the stick blur in a great fan in every photo you
ever see no matter what the shutter speed.
After 4 years as a 5 Star worker at McD's Andy went out one
night with his friend Perty to see a drummer called Neal Wilkinson.
Andy said "How come he can play like that?"
Purty said "Because he doesn't work in McDonalds".
He hasn't seen the inside of a McDonalds since that day.
Andy was the fifth out of six kids, the first from his Guyanese
family to be born in this country, he grew up in Walthamstow,
the son of a zany mum who had a talent for tapping rhythms
on a table, and his father a meticulous tailor who Andy knew
at the time would think that packing in a perfectly good job
to play the drums was nothing short of insanity.
Which is why he didn't tell him for two months.
Purty told me about one cold winter's day spotting Andy in
his blue cagoule walking up and down in the rain unable to
either get in a practice room or go home until the time he
used to do when he had had a job.
After working for a whole week stamping words on the sides
of pencils he got a job at Holiday Music in Leytonstone and
picked up gigs in function bands.
After seeing Dave Weckl play in Chic Corea's Electric band
Andy saved up to buy his first drum machine, a Sequencial
His partying habits were very different back then, he used
to drink water and lemonade and spend all his money on gear.
He was very much drawn towards electronics and bought a Yamaha
PMC 1 (pad to midi converter), a Simmons SDSV, a PA and a
digital mixer which enabled him to land his first proper paid
work with a singer called Basia who used to sing with Matt
Bianco and had used a Linn 9000 to programme all the drums
on her album and wanted to recreate that sound live.
Suddenly the young Andy Gangadeen was transported into a high
life of limos and private jets and thrilling as it was there
was just one thing.
It was TVs.
It was miming.
Two months later when he voiced his concern over this he was
Six months after that he found their old album on a half unwound
cassette in the bottom of his bag.
So he chucked it in the bin.
Later that very same day after getting a call to do a week
at Ronnies and loads of live dates with them he dug the tape
out of the bin, sellotaped it back together and re-learnt
Two years later he landed the Lisa Stansfield gig, which was
heavily electronic, in which he used more or less the same
configuration you see on Bays gigs today 17 years later.
Of course there was The Spice Girls thing after that which
is why he's got door handles in his house by Philip Starke.
£125 a pop.
What's wrong with B&Q?
Of course he still gets offered the best session work available
but the shallowness of the commercial music industry just
doesn't interest him any longer.