A Short Bio:
Although his name is still predominantly known because of his 10-year stint with Camel (from 1971 to 1981), Andy Ward has since become a fixture of the Canterbury scene, working extensively with Richard Sinclair and Mark Hewins among others, his solid and sophisticated drummer lending itself perfectly to the mix of jazz and rock idioms that is so typical of the scene.
Born in London in 1952, Andrew John Ward started playing music at a very early age : first guitar, then drums. By age 14 he was already playing covers of Shadows, Kinks and Rolling Stones hits with a school band. His first serious band, in 1966-67, was Misty Romance with two ex-members of John's Children (T-Rex's Marc Bolan's first band) : "It was a hopeless band, basically a soul band with touches of Hendrix, Cream and Julie Driscoll". After a change in the line-up, Doug Ferguson joined on bass and thus was the future Camel rhythm section formed. After Misty Romance split up, Ferguson moved to Guildford and met Andrew Latimer. When both decided to form a band, Andy was of course asked to join. The Brew started gigging around Portsmouth, doing blues covers and a few blues-oriented originals penned by Latimer.
After a brief period backing ex-Circus singer Philip Goodhand-Tait, which resulted in the trio appearing on his I Think I'll Write A Song (1971) album, The Brew started looking for a keyboard player, and eventually got together with Peter Bardens, already a legend on the blues scene for his work with Peter B's Looners, Shotgun Express, Them and Love Affair, not to mention his solo albums. "Pete had about half a dozen gigs booked for his former band, Peter Bardens On, and we did these gigs under that name. Then we changed to Camel. It was the first name we found that was acceptable to all four of us".
Andy Ward stayed in Camel through many line-up changes and eight albums, until a hand injury made it impossible for him to participate in the sessions for The Single Factor (1982). By that time, Ward was well acquainted with Richard Sinclair, who had been Camel's bass player for two years between 1977-79, and was gigging locally in Canterbury with various line-ups featuring Sinclair and guitarist Mark Hewins.
For a brief period in 1983, Ward was also recruited by the British neo-progressive band Marillion ("I went to pick up some drums from a studio they were in, found out they needed a drummer and joined the band"), but this didn't last long as musical differences soon appeared between Ward and the rest of the band.
Back in Canterbury, he teamed up with Mark Hewins again as The Music Doctors with ex-Wilde Flowers vocalist Graham Flight on bass. He then joined Skaboosh!, a band led by violonist Anthony Aldridge, previously of Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia. When Skaboosh!'s bass player left, Ward summoned Richard Sinclair to Germany where some gigs were booked. This was the start of a renewed collaboration.
After a one-and-a-half year period of working in a factory, Andy Ward came back to music as the drummer in Going Going, a band led by Richard Sinclair and Hugh Hopper, and also featuring Mark Hewins and percussionist Vince Clarke. Although it lasted only for three gigs, it was the precursor to Caravan Of Dreams, a Sinclair-led band which recorded an album and toured all over Europe and United States between 1991 and 1994. During the same period, Ward also forged a musical relationship with Todd Dillingham, playing on several of his albums, and Bevis Frond, with whom he still tours Europe extensively.
In late 1994, Andy Ward helped form Mirage with his old Camel colleague Peter Bardens and took part in the band's first British/Dutch tour, resulting in a live double CD. When the band failed to get off the ground, Bardens however decided to form an American-based line-up with Dave Cohen on drums, which marked the end of Ward's involvement (Mirage eventually broke up in 1997).
In the last few years, Andy Ward has been busy playing sessions and touring Europe with Bevis Frond and Yukio Yung. He has also assembled a lot of compositional ideas which could result in a solo album. Most recently he contributed drum parts to the second solo album by ex- Mirage guitarist Steve Adams, Vertigo (1999), and in summer 2000 recorded a further album with Bevis Frond, which he said "has more of a band feel". More recently, Ward teamed up again with Richard Sinclair for live appearances in Britain and Spain.