ANDY Nye, musician, songwriter and record producer first saw Wishbone Ash perform when he was in the sixth form.

Since then he has worked with the Michael Schenker band, Dennis Waterman, Sheena Easton, John Entwhistle from The Who, ELO, Barbara Dickson, and for this autumn he has organised his 30th tour for Wishbone Ash, for whom he acts as agent, including a sell-out gig in Swindon on Sunday, October 22.

The prog rock pioneers were Andy’s first big name on his books and he admits that he was panicking when he got the call.

“It was a sharp learning curve,” he said, “But it opened doors and they are easy to work with, and always give a great show. They are not a heritage band, they keep it fresh and current while still keeping their classic songs in the live shows. They tend to do a new album every 18 months.”

Andy’s first paid gig was when he was just 14 years old. It was for his grandad who played big band music. Most of his family were trained in classical music, Andy included, on piano, clarinet and saxophone, but his uncle was Chris White who played with the 1960s pop icons The Zombies.

“I can remember sitting in my nan’s bedroom where they would rehearse, as it was the biggest room in the house. I was aged five and they inspired me, but my real light bulb moment was hearing Deep Purple. My parents were horrified,” said Andy.

He was playing keyboards for Sheena Easton when he was asked to play in Dennis Waterman’s band.

“Dennis was frustrated that he was not taken seriously as a musician. He produced some great albums,” said Andy.

On the songwriting side the keyboard player was thrilled to work with John Payne from the Electric Light Orchestra. “It was my style, marrying classical and rock.”

He also signed a publishing deal with The Who’s management company and through that he joined The Rock, when John Entwhistle wanted to form a band, with Zak Starkey, from The Who and Oasis, on drums.

“We worked on it for 18 months with a studio being built around us while we were writing. It was a bit of madness but the pace was slow. It was a great experience, fantastic,” said Andy.

He won his place on the keyboard stand in Michael Schenker’s band by wearing a white jacket while they were headlining at Reading Festival.

“I was a session musician and they needed a keyboard player so I pulled on a white jacket to play and the other camera just stuck on me so I got in with Michael. He was a bit of a genius, a kind of guitar pioneer and truly dedicated,” said Andy.

Today Andy lives half in the UK and half in Spain, has an Abba show that has recently toured India, which he says was a real culture shock, and has written two books, one a satirical take on religious beliefs and the other about OCD, and he is about to embark on his third novel.

The band Andy has, ironically, never played with is Wishbone Ash. “I have joined them at a fan conference, but never played with them but I would love to,” he said.

For more details of gigs by Wishbone Ash, visit