Andrew reminisces about his career as an arranger:
After leaving Cambridge I played at the “Proms”, then worked at Covent Garden, playing electric guitar & electric harpsichord in Michael Tippett’s opera The Knot Garden. I also started doing “sessions” (mostly playing bass guitar) for a couple of people whom I had known at Cambridge - Adrian Munsey and Robert Kirby (I had met Robert through Nick Drake.).
I was walking across Trafalgar Square one day when I heard someone call my name: it was Robert Kirby. He was already a successful arranger - largely because of his work with Nick Drake (I had played on a couple of sessions with him and Nick.) We chatted for a minute or two, then he said - ”You must be able to do arrangements - you studied at Cambridge - I have taken on too many albums this month - would you like to do one of them?” Thus started a career...
The album I did for him was for a singer/songwriter called Roger Saunders (who was in the group Medicine Head) - a couple of months later Robert rang me again, asking if I could help out once more. This time he gave me the wrong album! He asked me to do the debut album for a group called “Cockney Rebel” - the tracks Death Trip & Sebastian both written for large orchestra and choir, were to get me noticed in the business. From then on, I scarcely stopped working as an arranger: the discography shows how many records I did.
One of my favourite moments was being asked to arrange four songs for Donovan - I had bought his records as a schoolboy! Other arrangements I really enjoyed writing were - Leo Sayer's One Man Band (a most unusual line-up - Eb clarinet, 3 Bb clarinets, 2 bass clarinets, contra-bass clarinet, heckelphone, solo cello and piano accordion), John Miles' Music & Rebel, Cockney Rebel's Ritz, Al Stewart's Modern Times & The Year of the Cat, Elaine Paige's The Second Time, Cliff Richard's Miss You Nights (originally written for an unreleased album by its writer, Dave Townsend) and, of course, Kate Bush's The Man with the Child in his Eyes, as well as The Fall of the House of Usher - the major work on the first Alan Parsons Project album. More recently I have enjoyed a fruitful working relationship with the Belgian producer Wouter van Belle: firstly his epic double solo CD, then work with various interesting artists from Belgium and Holland such as Laïs, Yevgueni, Eva Jacobs, Racoon.