Fiona’s our excellent, and gorgeous (we should add), ‘power-house’ of a singer who fronts the band. She apparently spent many years studying Italian, French and German opera and did remarkably well, getting a Grade 8 with distinction, no less! Yes, I know what you’re thinking – all bloody useless when it comes to singing in Parkhouse!
Fiona or Fe as she lets her friends call her (you’ve guessed it - we have to call her Fiona!) has an amazing vocal range handling anything from soft ballads, through to smooth classy jazz styles, to the real rock anthems with equal ease. The talent doesn’t stop at singing either; she also plays the saxophone and clarinet (simultaneously apparently?) and in addition……. wait for it, the tambourine.
Fiona tells us that she’s a massive Amy Winehouse fan. We wouldn’t say massive – she’s quite petite really. She also tells us that she studied English Literature and drama. No one in the band needs to be told she studied drama – we’ve experienced it on many an occasion!
Enthusiasm is also something that Fiona has in abundance and you can see this adequately demonstrated in her role as the band’s lighting engineer, where sometimes she will spend well, seconds, trying to set up our light show before passing the job to someone else fearing it might ruin her nails!
Anyway, in Parkhouse, we all agree that we’re incredibly lucky to have someone so talented in the band – and if we don’t agree, we’re in for it!
Keyboards & Drums
David, or Uncle David, as he seems to be known in the band these days (no one seems to know why!), is our keyboard player.
David has been playing ‘keys’ in bands now for over 25 years but started his musical life as a drummer, playing for a number of Norwich bands through the 80s and early 90s, including Dimitri, Paris, Ice and Fire and World’s Apart. In recent years he’s also developed a liking for blowing his own trumpet. Sorry, did we say ‘trumpet’ - we meant ‘saxophone’.
David’s versatility, being one of a number of multi-instrumentalists in the band, gives Parkhouse an extra edge and flexibility, as they are able to swap instruments, changing the mood from sophisticated, mellow keyboard based songs to driving rock tunes with twin guitars. Not only that but David also throws in the odd saxophone solo to the Parkhouse set (and when we say odd…..) to add an extra dimension.
Finally, to wrap this up, the band are rightly proud of David. They’re always telling him he’s a complete ‘pianist’!
Kevin’s our lead guitarist and a damn good one at that……so he tells us. He jokes about taking 30 years to learn 3 chords and now that he has just about mastered them, he’s started working on his 4th chord. It’s no bloody joke – we can tell you.
Kev’s really talented on the guitar. He can play it loudly, and he can play it quietly. The trouble is, he plays it loudly in the quiet songs and quietly in the loud songs. His musical career started in the late 70s in a punk rock band called The Intensive Breeders. I think we all agree - there’s no doubt that Kev can still be an intensive breeder at times!
Kev’s been talking a lot recently about 50 shades of grey. No – not the infamous book – his hair! He tells us that it’s that colour because he dyes it to look older and fit in with the rest of us – cheeky sod!
Kev is also a multi-instrumentalist but claims that Uncle David won’t let him play drums in case he shows him up!! Well, there is no doubt that Kev keeps time very well…..he’s never late for a rehearsal.
But, it's not all about music of course! Kev has lots of other hobbies - walking, talking, breathing and erm................playing guitar.
Callum is the youngest members of the band and is yet another of the band’s multi – instrumentalists. OK, he’s predominantly our bass player but he also plays drums and guitar (though obviously not all at the same time!). Amazingly he’s played whole gigs with Parkhouse on all three instruments. And, on top of that he also plays violin! Bit of a smart-arse we think.
Callum has a real wide range in musical tastes which stretch right back to the 20s and 30s, would you believe, and all way up to today’s music – well most of today’s music (sorry Rizzle Kicks but he thinks you’re s#*@!). To demonstrate that quite nicely, Callum also plays drums in the excellent 40s influenced, jump-jive band, King-size Papas.
Callum wasn’t content to have 4 strings on his bass guitar, like most bassists, and decided that he wanted to add a 5th string. Mind you, it has come in really useful, he assures us……though for what, we’ve no idea! Looks good though.
In Callum’s own words, when he’s pounding away on the bass guitar, he “keeps the beat thumping and the people humping” – did he mean ‘jumping’?
Hoody, as he rather strangely likes to be called, is our superb and very talented drummer. He's the man who delivers the solid beat for the band and also keeps us all in time. We call him 'the man at the back with the sticks'...although sometimes he does use his walking frame.
Hoody is capable of playing all types of drumming styles, moving effortlessly from pure driving and powerful rock beats to sophisticated funky grooves. When Hoody first joined Parkhouse, we told him that he was the person who needed to 'drive the beat'. We thought he understood until he asked us what was wrong with his Lada.
Hoody tells us that he's been playing drums for a long as he can remember, which to be honest, is about 5 minutes.....and that's on a good day. When he was young, he tells us that he was always playing on tins and saucepan lids – heavy metal I guess? Hoody has obviously studied drumming and will often talk eloquently for hours about what he calls 'the rhythm method'.....which probably explains the 6 kids.
We promised Hoody that we wouldn't resort to writing cheap and childish drummers jokes in his profile. Why would we? He's very useful to us! For example, we can always tell when the stage is level because he drools from both sides of his mouth equally.
And finally, we've often wondered why Hoody stands outside at our rehearsals. Then again, he's a typical drummer and doesn’t know when to come in!
Sorry Hoody – we couldn't resist finishing with a few (more) drummers' jokes...
What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians? A drummer.
What's the last thing a drummer says in a band? "Hey, how about we try one of my songs?"
What do you call a drummer with half a brain? Gifted.