Mark Richardson (musician)
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Mark Richardson playing with Skunk Anansie at Rock on the Volga River in 2011
|Birth name||Mark Richardson|
18 May 1970 |
|Associated acts||Little Angels
Richardson lived the first seven years of his life in Leeds and became a Leeds United F.C. fan, as highlighted by his LUFC drumhead at Feeder's Leeds Academy gig. He grew up playing golf and rugby from the age of 5 and went on to be a competent golfer and played rugby union for East Yorkshire.
Richardson played in bands throughout his school years with his best friend and guitar player Phil Lavery.
Richardson is a passionate biker and completed Enduro Africa a 2,500 km bike ride across South Africa to raise money for the charity, Riders For Health, Enduro India (2,500 km from Goa to the Kerala Backwaters) Experience Africa with Riders For Health (1,500 km) twice once in 2011 and 2014. Richardson has also competed in the 12hour Dawn To Dusk, numerous Hare and Hound events across the country and considers himself a 'decent clubman level rider' winning 3rd place in the clubman class in the Desert Rose Hare and Hounds championship in 2012. His dream is to complete the Africa Eco Rally (the original Paris-Dakar route).
Mark married Erika Footman, a singer, on 27 October 2012.
In 1973, aged three, whilst living in Dunblane, his grandmother bought him a tin drum for Christmas. Richardsons first played a proper kit aged six at his friends house. This became his first kit in 1976, (a Ludwig Junior) and he has never looked back since.
Richardson played Sakae Rhythm made, Yamaha drums for 20 years but since Yamaha split with Sakae Rhythm to move production to China, now gives his drum endorsement to Sakae drums. Mark hand made a custom 13x7, 11 ply, oak snare drum himself at the Sakae Factory in Osaka, Japan and became good friend with the Sakae family. Other endorsements he gives are Zildjian cymbals, continuing a 25 year professional relationship, Protection Racket cases, Vic Firth sticks, Tuner Fish Lug Locks, a product he co-invented and with Engineer Mike Bigwood, Porter and Daviesdrum stools and Remo drumheads. Richardson has appeared at various drum clinics at events across the UK including Drum Fest 2004, Academy Of Contemporary Music (ACM) 2005, Scottish Drum Day 2006, Music Live 2006, Jordan Terrace fund raiser and most recently the inaugural Sakae Live 2014. His aim is 'to bring the feel back into clinics'. 'There are so many amazing technical players out there showing off but not many of them promote powerful simplicity'. He is also the patron of Scarborough's 'Coastival', a festival celebrating all the arts. He has given masterclasses at ACM, BIMM and in February 2014 joined the staff of Detroit based music degree college DIME. He is currently setting up production company Bam Bam Productions set up with Clive Cherry and to film all the tutorials and masterclasses for DIMEONLINE, the online sector of the business.
|Little Angels||1991 – June 1994|
|Skunk Anansie||June 1995 – September 2000|
|Feeder||January 2002 – April 2009|
Little Angels (December 1991 – July 1994)
In 1991 he moved to London to join Little Angels after Michael Lee left to join The Cult. Matt Sorum had left The Cult to join Guns and Roses after their drummer, Stephen Adler, had allegedly been kicked out due to his growing drug habit. Marks first ever professional engagement was with the Little Angels on the 'Jim'll Fix It' show, a kids prime time TV show that helped children fulfil their dreams. Hailing from Scarborough, Little Angels were tipped for success and in 1992 wrote and recorded Jam, the bands 3rd record on Polydor. It entered the UK album charts at number 1. Despite touring extensively in Europe, stadium supports slots with Bryan Adams, Van Halen and Bon Jovi, adding to their already large fan base in the UK, the band split in the summer of 1994.
b.l.o.w (June 1994 – May 1995)
As well as Richardson, the band consisted of Bruce John Dickinson (guitar) and Jimmy Dickinson (keys), who were both members of Little Angels, vocalist Dave Gooding and bassist Nicky Boyes. b.l.o.w. released their first "mini" album, Man And Goat Alike, within 5 months of getting together. The album itself was recorded over a mere four days at Jacob's Studios in Surrey. b.l.o.w. was soon out on the road, playing alongside the likes of Thunder and famously held a competition to stay at fans houses because they couldn't afford hotels. Feeder supported them on this tour in support of their first EP 'Swim.' Presenting a distinctly "homegrown" image, b.l.o.w. issued demo tapes to fan club subscribers & released their first mini-album through mail order in music magazine Kerrang! before it was available in the shops.
Skunk Anansie (August 1995 – 2001 and April 2009 – present)
Richardson joined Skunk Anansie in August 1995 after meeting them at the Kerrang! Awards. Skunk Anansie were looking for a permanent replacement for Robbie France so an audition was set up and Skunk were reborn. His first job with the band was to record some movie soundtrack music for the film Strange Days followed by the video for Charity. His first gig with the band was the Leeds Heineken festival. Skunk went on to tour extensively around the world, covering the globe many times over the next six years. Most notable support tours were Therapy? and Lenny Kravitz in Europe and Sevendust, Rollins Band, Rammstein in the US. Skunk Anansie enjoyed success in the UK Charts with three Top 20 albums. Richardson played drums on their second album Stoosh in 1996 and their third album Post Orgasmic Chill in 1999. These albums were both certified platinum and gold in the UK respectively, and both sold over five and a half million copies worldwide. Richardson also plays on the tracks from Paranoid and Sunburnt at Skunk's live shows. Richardson re-joined Skunk Anansie, after playing two gigs in April at the Water Rats venue in Kings Cross, London. A singles compilation Smashes and Trashes was released in November 2009 with a tour to follow. 2010 saw the band record a brand new record 'Wonderlustre' followed by a European arena tour and festival season of 45 festivals in 2011. Black Traffic followed in 2012 and Skunk hit the road again in Europe and playing more arenas and another 40 odd festivals in the summer of 2013. In September 2013 they played a sold out acoustic show at London's Cadogan Hall and released 'An Acoustic Skunk Anansie Live In London' to critical acclaim. The band again hit the road in Europe in support of the release.
Feeder (January 2002 – April 2009)
In January 2002, Feeder's drummer Jon Lee committed suicide in his Miami home. Richardson was asked by Feeder's frontman—Grant Nicholas—to drum with the band. Richardson had previously worked with Feeder when they supported b.l.o.w. as well as Skunk Anansie. His first gig with Feeder was a warm-up for the Reading and Leeds Festivals in 2002, at the Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms on 21 August. Richardson recorded drums on 2002's "Comfort In Sound", 2005's Pushing the Senses, tracks for 2006's The Singles album and 2008's Silent Cry. All of these albums including Comfort in Sound (his first album with Feeder) made the Top 10 of the UK Albums Chart. On 6 May 2009, it was announced that Feeder had 'ended their partnership' with Richardson after seven years.
Whilst in Feeder, Richardson remained committed to inspiring learners of music – attending Bruce Dickinson's (of Little Angels) school at Brighton Institute of Modern Music at Rock Lane – to play the drums live to 'Come Back Around' in front of faculty members and students, as well as opening up to an eating problem regarding the pressures of the industry, in 2004.