Brought up in that well-known musical hotbed of Newcastle upon Tyne, Julian has been playing melodeon now for longer than he cares to remember. He is probably best known for playing in a band with the renowned Northumbrian piper and composer Kathryn Tickell, with whom he has been working since 1998. He also has a growing reputation as a fairly decent accompanist of traditional song, having recorded and performed with amongst others Scottish singer/songwriter Karine Polwart, The Unthanks, Nuala Kennedy, and multi-award winning Barnsley songstress Kate Rusby.
From time to time Julian steps out of his comfort zone in order to work with musicians from beyond the folk sphere. Recent projects have involved performing alongside classical percussionist Evelyn Glennie, jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard, Norwegian brass legends The Brazz Brothers and Anglo-Indian tabla master Kuljit Bhamra. His most exciting musical adventure to date has been recording and performing with fellow Geordie and celebrated rock musician Sting, for the project, ‘If On a Winter’s Night’.
Other on-going musical adventures include The Auvo Quartet (an Anglo-Finnish group rooted in traditional music with a wide range of other influences), The Wendigo (with Stephen Tyler and Anne-Marie Summers of medieval music duo Misericordia) and most recently a duo with French bagpiper Fabrice Besson, playing new compositions influenced by English and French traditional music.
When not performing, playing in sessions or bean-counting, Julian can often be found at The Sage Gateshead music education centre, passing on his experience and ideas (for what they’re worth) to the next generation of exciting box-playing talent.