Bob Andrews has a serious, thoughtful face. Hair recedes like an ebbing tide. Talks with a strong hint of Northern accent and plays keyboards with Brinsley Schwarz with a strong hint nowadays of Garth Hudson.
Bob's been with the guys who formed the basis of the present Brinsley Schwarz for about six years. Before that he was playing with P. P. Arnold.
"It didn't last very long. I got it through a friend of mine. I was having, uh, emotional things at the time. I won't go into that." He smiles.
He, like Ian Gomm, saw an ad in the MM. Went along to an audition and joined the band. "That was Kippington Lodge. They were just issuing their last single. I just got in to be able to sing on the last single. We did a very Joe Cockerish version of 'In My Life,' John Lennon's number. That didn't do anything at all."
Bob started playing in groups when he was 14. Played bass guitar for a year back home in the Leeds area, then he played lead guitar for a year ("I thought I was Chuck Berry.")
Then when he started work some of the lads at the office he was in had a group. "They wanted an organist. I'd played piano when I was younger and so I suddenly fancied the idea of playing organ. Then because we were so together in the works we were forever talking about music, eventually it got intolerable. So we thought let's blow it."
They turned professional. Andrews leans forward against the table throughout the interview. Recollections well up inside him; he smiles at each remembrance. He speaks quickly, in bursts.
"We did one of those auditions 'Groups for continental work,' you know? We did this show with Al Read, a Christmas sort of thing for the Rhine Army. We did the backing. He used to do these sketches where he'd have musical introductions. Like he used to do a football sketch and we'd do the Sports Report theme." He sings it.
Bob stayed in Germany for about two years ("twelve hours a night and stuff") and then he returned to England and got the gig with P. P. Arnold, this was, of course, after her first band, The Nice, had left her to go it alone.
When he joined Kippington Lodge, Bob says the music was getting away from the singles thing ("like when I joined the organist I replaced went and joined Vanity Fare.") Bob, at the time, was leaning towards jazz "and I was also into, well heavy rock I suppose. I'd gone through all the Cream sort of syndrome.
"Then round about the end of 1969 we got the album Crosby, Stills & Nash and I think that was probably one of the biggest things that happened to us before Brinsley Schwarz. That was the sort of thing that changed our way of thinking."
They were, says Bob, getting so far into these new ideas that they were getting fewer and fewer gigs. "It ended up that we just weren't a viable proposition. We had a few fans in our local area (Tunbridge Wells) but you can gig your area only so much.