Chart-topper recalls fondness for Whitby

CHART-topping drummer Mark Richardson has revealed his delight about returning to the Whitby area to headline Scarborough's new arts festival, Coastival.

Mark (39) is drummer in hit band Feeder and was brought up in Whitby where he attended Caedmon and Whitby Grammar schools from 1979 to 1986.

He played rugby for both schools and has fond memories of playing different teams around the area.

"I remember always getting our backsides kicked by Scalby School rugby team on a regular basis.

"However, we always beat Eskdale," he said.

After enjoying his school life in Whitby, he moved to Scarborough in 1986 to attend Scarborough Technical College, where he played his first gig at the student union.

After enjoying initial success with early 1990s band Little Angels, Mark has gone onto drum for Skunk Anansie and become established as drummer for one of Britain's best-loved rock acts, Feeder.

Despite moving away to become a rock star he is still in love with his early surroundings in Whitby and Yorkshire – a place that is very special to him.

He said: "My favourite place in Yorkshire is my sister's farmhouse near Glaisdale and all the surrounding dales, it's my dream home and I'm really jealous. I've travelled a lot over the past 20 years but I have never been anywhere as beautiful as the Yorkshire Dales.

"It's a place that pulls me back all the time and once the music part of my life is over it's spaniels and 12 bores all the way."

Due to hectic tour schedules of a musician Mark has little time to come back to Yorkshire but misses it every day.

"The things I miss most about Yorkshire are my family and Yorkshire itself, the people, the scenery, the air.

"The air I took totally for granted when I lived here, it's so much cleaner.

"It's hard to go back down south when I'm here."

Mark's career has given him great opportunities, meeting some of the world's most influential people such as Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.

His advice to Whitby's young aspiring musicians is simple – start playing.

He said: "Advice to any budding musician would be go out there and play, a lot.

"Play great songs and be a great performer. If you do, the business side will smell the money from far, far away."

Feeder are about to embark on a tour of Japan, a place where they have been looked after and well received.

The northern lad has even grown to love their foreign cuisine.

"I grew up eating battered cod but I have grown to love raw fish too.

"By 'eck I've been down south too long."

Mr Richardson is ecstatic about playing a homecoming gig and can't wait to come back and do normal everyday things – something lost when headlining gigs around the world.

"The first thing I do when I come back is see my family, have a roast, walk the dog, I can't wait."

Feeder will be headlining Coastival on Friday 13 February at the Spa Grand Hall in Scarborough.

To book tickets visit www.coastival.com or call (01723) 384545