Phil Thornton: an ambient delight at The Opus Theatre
Phil Thornton’s musical career started at the age of nine playing piano accordion with the family group, The Bexhill Old Time Dance Band.
His life-long interest in electronic sound began around the age of 14 with old test equipment, tape recorders and radios from jumble sales, but his first synthesiser, a MiniKorg-700, arrived in 1972 – around the same time as he took up the electric guitar.
It was at this time he started playing original material in local bands which led to him joining Hastings based progressive rock band Stallion, winners of the 1976 Melody Maker rock contest.
After touring the UK and Europe for three years he discovered the developing electronic scene in London, playing memorable gigs with pioneers of the new genre Naked Lunch, which, along with his first electronic based release on the Bugle label (Feeling Sheepish : Some of my best friends are Canadians). This became the inspiration for forming the band Expandis with John Wilde (ex-Stallion) and Dave Miller (ex-Minotaur), another of Phil’s early bands) – with which they had some success in 1980 with a single release on Elton John’s Rocket records label, gaining TV and radio exposure along the way.
Cloud Sculpting, Phil’s first solo album, was released in 1986, later that same year New World Music Ltd released best selling ‘new age’ album Edge Of Dreams. Following the success of this release Phil toured extensively worldwide, proving particularly popular in South America.
Phil has since gone on to release over 50 solo albums with New World including the award-winning Immortal Egypt (New Age Voice – best World fusion album, New Musical Express – No 1 selling New age album) – in collaboration with Hossam Ramzy (Peter Gabriel, Led Zeppelin, Gypsy Kings etc.)
Over the years Phil has been involved in many other collaborations – most notably playing keyboards on Sinead O’Connor’s 1988 world tour and recording with Arthur Brown (Kingdom Come and The Crazy World Of…)
Phil’s performance at the Opus Theatre in Hastings on February 17th will be his first solo live appearance in the Town.