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A Short Bio:
Although his involvement in the Canterbury scene has always remained marginal, Rick Biddulph is a well-known musician to fans of the genre due to his involvement in bands such as Caravan Of Dreams and Mirage, as well as other minor or shortlived associations with musicians such as Hugh Hopper, Dave Stewart and Richard Sinclair.
Rick Biddulph was born in Kent in 1950. His interest in music really started with the rise of British rock'n'roll bands in the early 60's. From age 15, Rick learned the guitar playing along to Shadows records, and moving to Canterbury for his studies (English and American literature) by the end of the decade he joined or formed several folk bands, dropping guitar in favour of bass in the meantime. He also went to see concerts : "I vividly remember hearing Richard Sinclair for the first time, and realising the melodic potential of the bass that I was only beginning to guess at".
In 1971, Rick became associated with local folk group Spirogyra, consisting of fellow students from the University of Kent : Barbara Gaskin, Martin Cockerham, Steve Borrill and Julian Cusack. "I went along with them as roadie for a spate of European tours, my first taste of the road, and made my recording debut soon after, playing mandolin on one track of their second album". Eventually, Rick joined the final line-up, featuring Gaskin (vocals and piano), Cockerham (vocals and guitar) and John Gifford (woodwinds). At around the same time, he also collaborated with Steve Ashley (Albion Band, etc.) for a Dutch tour and several demo recordings.
Then, from 1974 to 1980, Rick Biddulph was the roadie and monitor mixer for Hatfield and the North, then National Health. This resulted in his playing on one track of National Health's second album, and various demo recordings with Dave Stewart ,which in turn resulted in the shortlived band Rapid Eye Movement. In 1976, Rick formed a band at Stewart's request to support on a Health tour, airing the songs of his flatmate at the time, Spirogyra's Steve Borrill : Crass Stupidity also featured John Gifford and guitarist Doug Chandler. During the second half of the seventies, Rick was involved in several low-key projects, including local gigs with Richard Sinclair and drummer Vince Clarke in Canterbury.
In the 80's, Rick Biddulph mainly played with bar bands (pick-up gigs, R&B, jump-jive, etc.). "A valuable experience", he recalls, "on-the-spot learning of bass rudiments I'd missed out on playing all the clever stuff!". He also worked extensively with Dave Stewart, first as part of Rapid Eye Movement (also featuring Jakko Jakszyk and Pip Pyle), then as guest on several Stewart-Gaskin recordings. Also during this period, Rick played a few one-off gigs with Hugh Hopper and did some demos with him.
In the late 80's, Biddulph started working on soundtracks for Greenpeace videos. These later provided the basis for his first solo album. On the live front, he also kept active playing bass and guitar with the French band Anaid, appearing on the "Four Years" CD. Saxophone player Pierre-Marie Bonafos was also in the line-up. "In a parallel universe to all that, I have been sustained by an alternative freelance career in specialised finishing work, progressing from kitchen and office stuff, to PA equipment (for Steve Borrill), to guitars (for Doug Chandler's shop) and, currently, on design models and prototypes (including work on the Synthaxe and Stepp guitar synthesizers)".
Between 1991 and 1994, Rick Biddulph worked closely with Richard Sinclair as the live bass player in Caravan Of Dreams, consisting of a trio with Andy Ward on drums, augmented whenever possible by David Sinclair (keyboards) and Jimmy Hastings (sax and flute), and others. Late in 1994, he was invited by Andy Ward to join Mirage, an all-star band featuring ex-Camel keyboard player Peter Bardens, for a tour which also involved former Caravan members.
In 1995, Rick Biddulph's first solo album "Second Nature", was released on Voiceprint. Initial recording took place in Rick's home studio, and this was expanded and polished in outside facilities with the invaluable contributions of other musicians. Predominantly instrumental, with the inclusion of two songs, the album was written and recorded over a period spanning several bands and other pursuits, but owes its origins to work on music for three emotive environmental films. The cinematic and natural world conncections continue through the album's different moods in real or imaginary locations, through haunting sax-led pieces to wide-screen epics.