P.9 history

old members of paradise 9

Photo courtesy: Peter Young

Paradise 9 were formed in (or around) 1997, when Gregg McKella had been playing some of the songwriter’s nights around London. It was while playing at the “Acoustic Revolution” in West London, that he teamed up with Andy McDonald (ex-The Children/ex-Sex Gang Children) adding bass to Gregg’s songs, and together they also wrote a few songs together. On later sessions, Steve Teers joined in on djembe drum. It was in West London, where the trio were based, that they noticed Wayne Collyer, who was drumming for heavy rock outfit, Deepskin. Wayne also attended these “Acoustic Revolution” sessions, and so was approached to join as Paradise 9 drummer. By 1998, they had worked on a complete gig set comprising of Gregg’s songs plus a few band written songs, and had taken these out to song writer nights and occasional gigs.

Guests included :photo of mufa and wayne

Jeanette Murphy on backing vox (ex-Image Wot Image)
Poppy Gonzalez on backing vox (ex-Dreamfield/Hush Collector)
Tracie Reacher on backing vox
Mike Mishra on guitar
Gareth Whelen on fiddle
Glyn Collins on flute
Stephanie Graffitti on fiddle (East of Ealing)

Following an awesome night supporting The Vibrators, they decided it was time to get in the studio and start laying down tracks that would become their debut album “Showtime”. So at the beginning of 1999, they started recording the album at Quo Vadis studios, in North London. It was around this time, that Mufa, (who had previously played with Gregg in Image Wot Image) joined the line-up on percussion.

In order to keep the band vibe that came with their live performances, some of the musicians who had performed with Paradise 9 also guested on some of the album tracks. The album “Showtime” was released in the summer of 1999, where the band received much acclaimed radio play, including the then GLR (now Radio London).

It was actually in the summer of 2000, (contrary to earlier reports) that the band split, following Wayne embarking on a trip to Australia. They reformed under this same line-up, to do a one-off charity gig on behalf of Whizzkidz, at the now defunct Happy Jax venue in West London, in 2000.

photo of early paradise 9 band

It was not until 2004 that the band actually re-emerged, following a request from an old friend to do another charity “one-off”, at the JB Bar in Gunnesbury, West London. This time Casual Affair’s Carl Sampson came in to help out on drums. The gig went so well, the Guv’nor of the JB Bar request that they play his birthday party. From that gig, the band reformed, now with Carl as the drummer, with Gregg, Andy, Steve, with Jeanette Murphy helping out on backing vocals and percussive things.

In 2005, Gregg re-located to Brighton, however the band still continued playing occasional gigs.

Following Andy McDonald’s departure from the band in 2007, Matt Szul took over on bass duties, for a year. Gregg then approached Tyrone Thomas, who had also previously played in Image Wot Image, to come in on lead guitar, to give the band an edgier feel (below Matt on bass and Steve on djembe).

Real Music Club Brighton - 2007

In 2008, Matt Szul left the band with another Casual Affair member, Neil Matthars taking over the bass reins in 2008.

The band continued with this line up, Gregg, Tyrone, Carl, Neil and Steve. In 2010 Steve Teers left and Jaki Windmill came in on djembe and backing vocals. 

ISonic Rock Solstice - Photo courtesy: Pete Stanley c 2009

I The band continued with this line up for the next 4 years and in 2013 brought out their second album, 'Take Me To The Future' plus a DVD 'Live At The Onboard The Craft Festival 2013'

Cambridge Rock Festival 2012 - Photo courtesy Emma Matthars

The band welcomed Jonas Golland as their new drummer in July 2014, stepping straight into the headline slot at Tannerfest 2014 following the departure of Carl Sampson after 9 years, with singer and percussionist Jaki Windmill also moving on after 4 years, concentrating on her new role with the legendary Pink Fairies. In 2015, the band brought out "Live at the Amersham Arms - Sheepdog Records Bash 2" CD that featured Glyn Collins on flute.

Kozfest 2014 - Photo courtesy: Emma Matthars

In 2015, Jonas got the call from The Tiger Lillies, and owing to their extensive touring, decided to leave the band in April 2015. So Wayne Collyer, who had been guesting a few gigs on percussion, rejoined on drums in June 2015.

Kozfest 2015 - Photo: Moonshayde Photography