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Andrew McGibbon : biography

1961 -

Born in Chiswick in 1961, Andrew McGibbon (a.k.a. Andrew Paresi) is an English comedian, actor, writer, musician and composer. He has also produced and directed extensively, chiefly for radio.

The Nimmo Twins

Andrew McGibbon briefly performed as the third member of The Nimmo Twins, a sketch troupe formed in 1996 by Owen Evans and Karl Minns. Augmenting the team from the spring of 1999, their third Edinburgh show premiered in August at the Pleasance and was well received. In a five-star review by the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, it was claimed that “you never know where their comedy is coming from. It sneaks up behind you and bites without warning. Whether it’s a skit about Chaucer having his prologue, having The Canterbury Tales rejected on account of the spelling mistakes, or a killingly funny analysis of the abysmal acting common to crime reconstructions, The Nimmo Twins hit the comedy bulls eye like Tyson hits his unfortunate opponents. It’s anarchic, off-the-wall and eye-poppingly innovative.”Scotland on Sunday – August 22, 1999

By the time of their 2000 radio series, McGibbon had left to pursue his own projects.

Music career

McGibbon initially associated himself closely with the London jazz scene, often rehearsing with Django Bates. However, he failed to make a significant impact, peaking with a performance alongside Lou Donaldson at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club on 22 March 1982.

The name Paresi was adopted around this time on the advice of his then girlfriend, who had found that it was an Italian medical term for embolism. “There was something appealing about naming myself after a heart attack”, he remembers. “Some sort of post-punk bollocks, I guess, which meant a lot to me back in 1982”.

His first big break came on 7 November 1984 with an appearance on Tyne Tees children’s pop show Razzamatazz as the drummer in Jim Diamond’s band. Given the success of his number one hit I Should Have Known Better, a subsequent appearance by Paresi on Top of the Pops was expected were it not for Diamond’s regular drummer Simon Kirke rapidly returning to the fold.

Paresi soon built a reputation for his drum programming work, and working relationships with a number of record producers developed. David Motion secured Paresi’s percussive abilities for Love in a World Gone Mad and I Used to Love the Radio, recorded during the sessions for Bucks Fizz’s 1986 album Writing on the Wall. He also worked with Motion on One Way, an album by europopglam band Rok-Etz recently augmented by Sal Solo of Classix Nouveaux. That same year the drummer encountered Stephen Street, who mixed a single by A Pair of Blue Eyes, a short-lived CBS band to whom Paresi was assigned.

The Street connection would lead to regular work with Morrissey, immediately following the demise of The Smiths in 1987. Paresi was regular drummer on albums Viva Hate and Kill Uncle as well as the Bona Drag sessions, lasting until the singer songwriter’s sharp change of direction into rockabilly in 1992. This period of Paresi’s career would later be chronicled in a BBC Radio 4 documentary, I Was Morrissey’s Drummer (2005), as well as a number of related articles.

Paresi joined Bleed in 1994, an agitating feminist group famed for their anti-pornography single It Makes Money, for which they sent “faxes to various music and mainstream press publications plus top-shelf sex magazines” highlighting the industry’s abuses of women.The Encyclopedia of Popular Music – 4th Edition (Oxford University Press, 2006; editor Colin Larkin), p669. Despite an association with Stephen Street, by then producing Blur, the group struggled to find an audience and split in 1997.

More recent musical activities include drum duties on the 2010 album by Franc Cinelli, who performs under the Good Times, Good Times moniker. The record, also called Good Times, Good Times, was produced by Danton Supple and released on his label, Definition Sounds.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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