Paul Whittington - Drums / percussion

Inspired by the likes of Ian Paice, Simon Kirk, Bill Bruford, Alan White, Simon Phillips, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, Lenny White, John Bonham, Steve Ferrone, Dave Weckl, Billy Cobham and then . . . he ended up playing like himself . . oh well :-(

Paul started playing jazz at the age of 10 driven by his father playing a mean jazz piano learning the fine art of brush and stick rudiments which he’s now forgotten :-)  With the release of Deep Purples ‘Made in Japan’ in 1973 the brushes went back in the cupboard and the rest is history feeling more comfortable with the more technical side of AOR.

In the past Paul was the driving force behind many top Bristol based bands now providing a steady hand to XTR always ready to dip into the ‘bag of chops’ and deliver with as much punch as required !  

Rich Price - Keyboards / piano / backing vocals

Richard Price: Life begins at . . . Rich has been playing the piano covertly for as long as he could remember.  He’d never played in front of anyone outside the family until 5 years ago when, at the age of 40 (the new 21 apparently), Paul Merrell gave him an audition.  Since then he’s not looked back and has quickly found himself busy performing and recording with Paul as well as other members of the South Wests ‘Americana’ set including Claire Gaynor and Sean Snook. His most recent work has seen him recording and performing with Gavin Thorpe on his latest and well received album ‘Random Acts of Kindness’.

Mark Anthony - Acoustic / rhythm / lead electric guitar / backing vocals

Mark is a singer / songwriter hailing from Glastonbury who has been playing as a

solo artist and with bands within the West Country throughout his musical career. As a talented and accomplished player of the live stage Mark brings his own style to compliment the live set of original songs of Claire Gaynor & Paul Merrell.

Claire Gaynor

Lead / backing vocals / acoustic & electric guitar / banjitar / piano

Claire is an award winning British singer song writer who over many years has also gained considerable experience from writing, recording and live performance.

Her latest album Raison D’être reflects the ever changing styles and instruments of contemporary AOR, folk and New Country Claire has added some of her favourite songs from a large back catalogue to complete the playlist and the live acoustic set..

To bring the songs to to live set Claire and Paul are relying on something old and something new.  Whilst the recording process often introduces individuals from outside the usual circle of musicians, the challenge of taking selected album tracks to the live show benefits from working with players that have an established empathy and a ‘sixth sense’ for working together.  This is especially true for the rhythm section of the live band who have collaborated for nearly 30 years.  It is equally important to bring new influences and experience to the lineup.  Rich Price ( keyboards / piano / vocals ) and Mark Anthony ( acoustic / electric guitars / vocals ) do just that !  Both Rich and Mark are accomplished players in their own right, bringing a fresh approach and varying influences to the lineup which is a vital ingredient when interpreting and consolidating original material for the show.

Claire Gaynor - Lead / backing vocals, electric / acoustic guitars, mandolin, keyboards

Mark Anthony - Acoustic / rhythm / lead electric guitar / backing vocals

Rich Price - Keyboards, organ, synthesiser / backing vocals

Martin Cook - Bass guitar

Paul Whittington - Drums / percussion

Martin Cook - Bass guitar

Martin is a true maverick bass player and a self-confessed vinyl junkie.  His musical ventures have so far included the twisted pop-psych of Big Chief Mkuja, widely acclaimed folk-blues with Anon-Amos, vast desert blown sounds of The Haunted Knitting Machine and the hard rocking Anglo-Italian band Fungus.  Migrating from being a classical schooled cello player, he has developed his own style of playing incorporating influences from across the musical spectrum, enabling him to feel musically at home in every situation that presents itself.  Born and raised in the city of Bath, Martin is thrilled to be the latest addition to XTR.