I was born in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England in 1950 and went to Albert Road Primary School, Westfield Boys' High School, and Hinckley Grammar School.
My father, Geoffrey Bert Richardson, was a multi-instrumentalist playing the clarinet, tenor banjo and guitar in a Leicestershire band, The Syncopated Players in the late 1920s. I treasure and play his banjo. My maternal grandfather, Lawrence Theodore Matthews was a pianist and pioneer music teacher in Leicester. I treasure and use his metronome and tuning forks.
I had some violin lessons in 1959 at Albert Road Primary School from a kindly peripatetic music teacher, Richard Butt, who encouraged me by playing beautifully to me. As a science student at grammar school I wasn't allowed to move between disciplines and take music lessons, so I'm entirely self-taught.
An amateur radio enthusiast and keen electronic equipment builder, I took science 'A' levels and was destined for a job in computer technology in Leicester. In 1967 I began to mix with a circle of literary and artistic friends and decided to go to art school instead! I graduated with a first in Fine Art and, began a lifetime of professional music!
I'm a keen painter and draughtsman and exhibit my work. I taught Btec Life Drawing at Canterbury College (1989 to 1991) and was a visiting lecturer in BA Printmaking at Winchester School of Art in the late 1990s. I'm still very keen on electronics and, of course, computers and studio technology.
My first musical performance was at Hinckley Youth Centre in 1964. I was a science student singing Woody Guthrie songs and playing a borrowed guitar! I got my first applause - I was enchanted! I began to play regularly around the East Midlands and helped to run two folk clubs with Michael Raftery in Hinckley in 1965 and 1966.
After Hinckley Grammar School I went to Nuneaton School of Art (Pre-Dip, 1967 to 1968), Manchester College of Art (Industrial Design, 1968) and Winchester School of Art (Dip AD Hons. Painting & Printmaking, 1969 to 1972).
At Winchester I helped start a college band, Red Acid, playing Caravan, Frank Zappa, and King Crimson music. Oddly enough, I subsequently joined Caravan, supported Frank Zappa on a US tour in 1975, and play with Michael Giles.
I finished college in June 1972 and moved to Canterbury to join Spirogyra. They dissolved shortly afterwards, but in the meantime I was introduced to Pye Hastings, singer and guitarist with Caravan, who invited me to join them. My first professional performance was at the 'Gaskessel' in Bern, Switzerland on September 21st 1972.
In 1978 I spread my wings as a session musician, playing on other people's records and often playing with them live. From 1982 to 1990 I wrote and recorded film and TV music with Peter Veitch of Café Jacques, a group that I'd recorded and toured with in the late 70s and early 80s. Our activities, sadly, were cut short by Pete's death in 1990.
I've toured the world and played on hundreds of records, including many that have achieved platinum, gold and silver sales. I've been a member of Caravan since 1972, a member of the Penguin Café Orchestra since 1976, have been in, or am in, the bands of Murray Head (since 1978), Rupert Hine, Quantum Jump, Paul Brady (1985 to 1988), Bob Geldof (1989 to 1995), Renaud (since 1989), Elsa, Michael Giles and other session bands.
I work as a duo with Jim Leverton, and record and play with singer/songwriter Tracy-Jane Sullivan, singer/songwriter Jo Hook and singer/songwriter Raphael Mead. I'm a backing musician for The Serenity Sisters in Birchington, and a member of Hamish Stuart's Bardcore in Faversham and a founder member of The Orchestra That Fell To Earth, comprised of former members of the original Penguin Café Orchestra playing Simon Jeffes' and their own music. I'm also a member of The Ghost Line Carnival, playing with singer/songwriter Alister Atkin.
Since 2001 I've worked in primary schools in South-East England with Francis Kendall and Ramona Egle as accompanists to Tony Edwards, a renowned storyteller.
I have my own studio in Canterbury, Richardsonics, for my own work and for writing and playing arrangements for other people
In 2012 I was made an Honorary Fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University for services to music in Canterbury.
'I Was Blind'