Derek has written, sung and played on hit records, has toured with bands throughout the world, has managed a studio, that has consistently produced hit records of the 90’s, writes and produces music for film, television, the corporate market and library albums.
Founder member of The Climax Blues Band, initially playing guitar and later switching to bass guitar and keyboards, Derek’s first album ‘The Climax Chicago Blues Band’ was recorded in 1968 at the infamous Abbey Road Studios, produced by George Martin’s protege, Chris Thomas, who eventually went on to produce such artists as Roxy Music, The Pretenders and Elton John. Derek recorded 12 albums with Climax, ‘Climax Chicago Blues Band, Plays On, A Lot of Bottle, Tightly Knit,(Cover produced by Storm Thorgerson of Pink Floyds ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ fame, Rich Man, Sense Of Direction, The Stamp Album produced by Richard Gotterher, Gold Plated, Shine On, Real To Reel,( recorded at George Martins, Air Studios in Montserrat) Flying The Flag and Lucky for Some, produced by John Ryan in Los Angeles. During the late seventies Climax produced a string of self penned singles and albums which not only sold well but also received critical acclaim, The singles ‘I Love You’ written and sung by Derek from the album Flying The Flag, and ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’ from the album Gold Plated, were monster successes around the world, (both top ten in The USA)and the bands many albums registered heavily in the charts.
Climax toured the world constantly and became known for the hardest working band on the road, they toured the US for many years in the 70’s and 80’s, playing with such great acts as Lynnyrd Skynnyrd, ZZ Top, BB King, ELP, ELO, Jeff Beck, The Eagles, Sly and The Family Stone,The Beach Boys, Little Feat, Steve Miller, Bad Company, Cars, Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Kiss, Black Sabbath, Albert King, T. Bone Walker, Johnny and Edgar Winter, James Brown, Marshall Tucker Band,The Charlie Daniels Band, Peter Frampton and Lou Witney, to name but a few. Climax were also invited to appear on The ‘Startruckin’ tour where about a dozen bands would all tour around like a travelling circus, all sharing the same chartered plane, the same equipment, same hotels etc, etc, on this legendary tour were Mahavishnu Orchestra, with John McLaughlin,Wishbone Ash, Caravan, Rennaisance, Soft Machine,It was a journey into the unknown especially when the plane was so heavy with equipment and band members that it could hardly take off,edge of seat stuff!
After leaving Climax in 1984, Derek teamed up with Nektar guitar legend Roye Albrighton, recorded two albums for A&M and toured the US Twice with ZZTop and The Marshall Tucker Band.The band then went its separate ways and Roye re-kindled his band Nektar who are still touring today.Brendan went on to teach drums and perform with many artists, most notable being with The Steve Gibbons Band .In 1989, Derek teamed up with legendary guitarist Steve Hunter and Pete Haycock to form a band called The H Factor which was formed to record an album for IRS records which also became the soundtrack for IRS media film The Wedding Band, Derek featured as lead vocalist, bass player and keyboards on all the tracks.
Climax were managed for a while by Miles Copeland of (Police ) fame and Derek got to know his brother Stewart really well, they collaborated and recorded the main title music and incidental themes for George Lucas films’ highly successful television cartoon series, ‘Ewoks and Droids’.
During his time running and operating Miles Copeland’s Blue Chip Studios, the studio was involved in a variety of re-mixes for artists such as Sister Sledge, D.REAM, Altern 8, Bizarre Inc, Sure Is Pure, Billy Idol, The Sahotas, Ian Gillan, Jools Holland,etc etc.
In 1990, Derek was invited to play bass, play keyboards and sing lead vocals on Miles Copelands ‘Night of The Guitars’ tour, which featured such artists as Alvin Lee, Leslie West, Steve Howe, Randy California, Robbie Krieger (original guitarist with The Doors), Phil Manzanera, Robin Trower, Jann Akkerman, Andy Powell and Ted Turner from Wishbone Ash, this toured The UK and Europe.
During May 1999 and Sept 2000, Derek was invited to a song writers ‘gathering’ in France, with many other international artists. Working in small groups of two or three per day, they collaborated to write new songs. Notable partnerships for Derek were with Lisa Loeb,(US singer/ songwriter whose albums have sold in the millions) Chas Sandford (writer of the classic ‘Missing You’ which was a worldwide hit for Tina Turner and John Waite). Derek was also teamed up with other prolific writers such as Timothy B Schmit, from The Eagles, Stewart Copeland, Jeff Beck, Pat McDonald, Steve Balsamo where many great songs were written, he described the experience as a ‘pinch yourself’ moment.
Derek was also bass player for The legendary Chuck Berry for some gigs in Spain, he continues to play live with various different acts, most recently ‘The Abbey Road Experience and ‘Desperado’, he is still involved in international song writing, writing music for film and jingles for the corporate market. In August 2012, was invited to do some dates in Canada, headlining festivals in and around Toronto, with a Canadian band featuring Michael Keys on Keyboards,Brian Gauci on guitar and Bruno Farrugia on drums, this mini-tour was very successful and some footage can be seen on You Tube.
Most notable credits include Title music for ‘Notes From a Small Island’, Central TV’S, Main Ident music, ‘One False Move’, ‘The Wedding Band’, ‘Ewoks and Droids’.