Brian Bennett

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Brian Bennett
Bennett in 2005
Bennett in 2005
Background information
Birth nameBrian Laurence Bennett
Also known asJames Aldenham
Born (1940-02-09) 9 February 1940 (age 82)
OriginPalmers Green, North London, England, UK
GenresRock and roll
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
Instrument(s)Drums, piano
Years active1956–present
Brian Bennett, Bruce Welch and Warren Bennett at a concert in Brussels in 2005

Brian Laurence Bennett, OBE (born 9 February 1940)[1] is an English drummer, pianist, composer and producer of popular music. He is best known as the drummer of the UK rock and roll group the Shadows. He is the father of musician and Shadows band member Warren Bennett.[2]


Bennett was born in Palmers Green, North London, England.[1] Educated at Hazlewood Lane School, Palmers Green, London and Winchmore Council School, he finished school at the age of sixteen to play drums in a Ramsgate skiffle group performing for holiday makers. After returning to London he became the in-house drummer at The 2i's Coffee Bar in Soho and was a regular performer on Jack Good's TV show Oh Boy![1]

He then became a member of Marty Wilde's Wildcats in 1959.[1] After a successful period with the Wildcats, during which he appeared on their instrumental record without Wilde (recorded as the Krew Kats), "Trambone", he backed Tommy Steele for some of his London stage performances, and then in October 1961 he joined Cliff Richard and the Shadows as the replacement for Tony Meehan.[1]

In 1967, Bennett released a solo album of jazz music, entitled Change of Direction, in mono and stereo (neither charted). This was the first solo album by a member of the Shadows.[citation needed] In the 1970s, music by Bennett was selected for several Radley Metzger films, including Barbara Broadcast and The Opening of Misty Beethoven.

He stayed with the group throughout all of their subsequent line-ups, and in May 2005 took part in the Shadows' European tour. During a show in Reykjavík, Iceland he sustained what was thought to be a minor injury to a finger. A splinter from a drumstick pierced under his fingernail on his right hand, he removed it with a pair of old pliers and applied a plaster. A few days later after arriving in Paris, France he was in so much pain he called a doctor. The doctor diagnosed a bad infection and recommended Bennett go to hospital immediately. Thinking it would be a short visit he attended only to find out that it would involve a minor, but very painful, operation to remove the poison. He was due to be playing on stage that evening and had already missed the soundcheck. He arrived at the theatre 15 minutes before the show with his right-hand bandaged and still numb from the anaesthetic. He managed to play for the whole show using an altered playing style.[3]

In addition to his work with the Shadows he has also appeared in Cliff Richard's backing band and plays piano and occasionally vibraphone.

He has composed many popular TV theme tunes including BBC sports themes such as Rugby Special ("Holy Mackerel") and BBC Golf ("Chase Side Shoot Up"), Channel 9 Australia's cricket theme ("New Horizons"), the sitcoms Robin's Nest and Birds of a Feather, The Ruth Rendell Mysteries,[1] Pulaski, Square Deal, Close to Home, Murder in Mind and, with his son Warren, composed and played the incidental music in New Tricks. Two of his most famous works were "The Journey" and "Just a Minute" written under the alias James Aldenham and used for the ITV Schools on 4 broadcasts between 1987–1993. He scored the British-German film The Harpist in 1999.

He is also an orchestral conductor, having learned how to arrange and conduct music for orchestras from a correspondence course. His son Warren Bennett formerly played keyboards for the band Glass Ties, and is also a composer and producer.


He was appointed OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to music.

Bennett runs a home recording studio, Honeyhill studios, in Radlett, Hertfordshire. In November 2009, at the age of 69, Bennett completed a 50th Anniversary reunion world tour with Cliff Richard and the Shadows.



  • Brian Bennett – Change of Direction – LP/CD – Columbia/see4Miles
  • Brian Bennett – Illustrated London Noise – LP/CD – Columbia/see4Miles – 1969
  • Collage – Misty – - LP/CD – DJM/see4Miles
  • Brian Bennett Band – Rock Dreams – LP/CD – DJM/see4Miles – 1977
  • Brian Bennett Band – Voyage (A Journey Into Discoid Funk) – LP/CD – DJM/see4Miles – 1978
  • Heat Exchange – One step ahead – LP/CD – EMI/see4Miles
  • Ruth Rendell Mysteries – LP/CD
  • Ruth Rendell Mysteries (volume.2) – LP/CD
  • Ruth Rendell Mysteries (Wexford) – LP/CD
  • Drumtrax (house library. ) – CD
  • Nomads of the wind – CD
  • Global sunrise – CD.
  • The Works – (Box set of 4CDs).
  • Greatest Guitar hits (volume 1) – CD
  • Greatest Guitar hits (volume 2) – CD
  • Living Britain – CD
  • Official Bootleg album – CD


  • Canvas/Slippery Jim De Grize – 7" – DB 8294 – Columbia.
  • Ridin The Gravy Train/Bubble Drum (Thunder company) – 7" – DB 8706
  • Chase side shoot up/Pegasus – 7" – 6007040
  • Thunderbolt/Clearing skies – 7" – DJS10714
  • Saturday night special/Farewell to a friend – 7" – DJS10756
  • Girls back home/Jonty Jump – 7" – DJS10791
  • Pendulum force/Ocean Glide – 7" – DJS10843
  • Top of the world/ Soul Ice – 7" – DJM10981
  • Shake down/Your gonna love this – 7" – EMI 2988
  • Shake down/Your Gonna Love this – 12" – 12EMI2988

Music labels (non-commercial)[edit]

  • Themes Records – LP
  • KPM – solo & w/others – LP
  • Bruton – solo & w/others – LP/CD
  • Music House – solo & w/others – CD
  • Reliable Source Music – CD


Production credits[edit]

  • Dennis WatermanDownwind of Angels – LP – DJF 204830 – DJM – 1976
  • Dennis Waterman – Dennis Waterman – LP – DJF 20513 – DJM – 1977
  • Demis RoussosThe Demis Roussos Magic – (CD) – BX 523-2
  • Drake - "Summer Sixteen" – 2016


  1. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 219. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ "Brian Bennett Allmusic Page". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Diary of a Drummer". Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2008.

External links[edit]