Born in Manchester, England in 1961, Pete picked up a guitar for the first time at the age of 10. It belonged to his older brother Terry, but as soon as Terry was out of the door Pete would grab the guitar and disappear for hours.
The songwriting began almost immediately, it seemed the natural thing to do, and the very first song was a tear-jerker about the tragedy that struck his favourite football team, Manchester United, in Munich 1958... at 11 years old he wrote a lyric that made his big sister cry... typical!
Writing songs became a hobby, performing them was a different matter... only singing for the family from the floor behind the settee where no-one could see him!
In later years that natural shyness and lack of confidence restricted Pete’s ambition to perform in public, he did try on occasion but the stage-fright was intolerable. The guitar was always a companion, the songwriting always a hobby, but Pete had little interest in public performance until the mid-1990’s.
So what changed?
By chance, Pete visited a local folk club and the guest for the evening was Ken Nicol, an extraordinary guitarist. Ken’s performance that night was inspiring, it was the night that changed everything.
Ken became a good friend, his respect and encouragement for Pete’s talent as a singer and songwriter was demonstrated by inviting him to appear as a guest artiste at several concerts, playing solo support, duets and even singing on Ken’s albums.
That level of support from such an accomplished musician, the long chats about stage craft and delivery, and the words of encouragement from concert-goers gave Pete a new, more positive outlook and a belief that had previously been lacking.
In 2000, Ken recorded and produced Pete’s first solo album, ‘Pete’, and then his second, ‘Against the Wall’ in 2004.
Regular appearances at folk club singers nights led to more and more invitations to perform as a paid guest, while weekend pub gigs with his duo 'Andante' performing popular songs gave Pete the experience of handling the most difficult of audiences... the stage fright was cured!
As Pete was gaining more recognition on the folk scene his name became known to John Wright, a legendary singer who sold out concerts wherever he played.
After attending one of Pete’s solo concerts, John soon invited him to join The John Wright Band, touring in the UK and several European countries... he didn’t need to ask twice! This was the big break for which Pete will be eternally grateful.
Touring with John was dream come true, making a living from playing music had been a pipe-dream up until this point, but now it was happening... happy days!
When John died suddenly and prematurely in February 2008 it seemed that the dream was to be short-lived, extreme happiness turned to sadness, despair and bewilderment. Now what?...
John had a lot of concerts booked for that year, so after much consideration Pete and Gregor Borland, John’s other band member, decided to honour those commitments by performing tribute concerts to their lost friend. Joined by Dave Walmisley they embarked on a year of concerts under the name of John Wright’s Band with Pete leading the band. The astounding success of these concerts and the requests for return appearances meant continuing to tour was assured, and ‘Other Roads’ was born.
Other Roads are now in their 11th year of touring, gaining a reputation as one of the best bands to emerge in recent years.
Pete’s own reputation as a singer, songwriter and performer has grown with the band, and several of his songs are now covered by other well-known artistes including Anthony-John Clarke, Flossie Malavialle and Bram Taylor.
In recent years Pete has recorded and produced 7 albums for Other Roads at his studio in Cheshire, and his a new solo album, ‘The Times of Our Lives’ with contributions by some fantastic musicians including the late Maartin Allcock, Gregor Borland, Ken Nicol, Brian Willoughby and Gareth Moulton.
He continues to write and perform, and now also fulfils the role of the band’s manager and UK agent.
A long journey from behind the settee!...