Tony Norris
Tony Norris

Born: 13th August
DSOTW debut: The Benn Hall, Rugby (March 2015)


Family legend has it that, when I was four, I was given a small tin drum for Christmas and by Boxing Day it had been firmly secured behind the bath panel! I donʼt remember that, but I do remember my very first drum kit; four cushions, two cheese cartons and a pair of my mumʼs knitting needles – there wasnʼt much that would deter me from drumming, it seems!

On my thirteenth birthday, I became the proud owner of a gold, sparkly, Olympic drum kit and wasted no time in responding to a ʻdrummer wantedʼ ad on the school noticeboard. Just a short time after that, I played my first gig at the British Rail Social Club in Leicester. When weʼd finished playing, I can remember thinking that we mustʼve been really bad as all our families were crying, Iʼd never seen tears of pride before! I didnʼt realise it at the time but from that day onward music would become a defining feature in my life.

My family home was filled with music, particularly on Sunday mornings when, as each of us emerged, we would commandeer the record player and play our favourite songs. The Beatles featured heavily on my playlist, as did Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd.

Having completed my ʻdrumming apprenticeshipʼ with covers bands and gigging around the country, I found myself longing to play original material and so placed an ad in a local music shop. Before long I became a member of the well-supported Leicester band, Dry Ice who went on appear on New Faces in 1977, what a great experience! Dry Ice ultimately folded, its members going their separate ways for a time, until key members eventually reformed a few months later to become The Press landing a Hansa record deal in the early ʻeighties. The Press gigged incessantly around the UK, regularly composed jingles for Radio Trent and recorded new demos every week. I loved playing all the time.

After the heady days of The Press, I was hooked on playing original music and went on to work with The Kefbeats, Redman UK, Qualm, The Incurables and Kafkadiva, two of which released albums and landed publishing deals.

I was first introduced to Dark Side of the Wall when my wife, Louise, became a backing singer in 2014 and since then I have become a huge fan of the band and was delighted to have been asked to dep for Ted on a couple of occasions. And now to be a fully-fledged member of the ʻDark Side familyʼ is both a pleasure and a privilege.

So…this is me!