Andrew Nix

Andrew was born  on August 22nd 1968 just outside Selby, North Yorkshire. He has established himself on the organ circuit not only as a musician but also as an entertainer. His varied musical repertoire along with his Yorkshire humour has made him one of the country’s favourite performers.

It was when Andrew reached the age of ten that his interest in organs became apparent. His mother had an organ at home and Andrew sat down and learnt several Christmas carols (even though it was in the middle of summer). There were a few organs that went through the Nix household, including Wurlitzer, Gem, a couple of Godwins and a few Technics models. His parents, Harold & Mavis, were lovers of organ music so would enjoy taking Andrew to see professional concerts by the likes of George Blackmore, David Hamilton, Howard Beaumont, Brian Sharp and Doreen Chadwick who later played a big part in encouraging Andrew. Fascination of these players all performing in different styles really inspired Andrew and they were all very approachable and gave great encouragement. It was not long before Andrew discovered another side to this world – the theatre organ.

 

He was taken to the Rainbow Rooms in Snaith to hear the Compton that was installed there. Fascinated after being shown around the instrument with its “real” drums and xylophones etc. that were alongside the pipes, this sparked off a love for theatre organs and with his parents help, they were soon travelling on a regular basis to concerts and private practise sessions at “The Harworth Christie Organ Enthusiasts”, “The 3 J’s – Gomersal” and the back of a garage (Dale Hall) in Hampsthwaite, Nr Harrogate. The latter was really unique as you had to put 50 pence in the meter and when it ran out the organ just ‘deflated’. This Wurly is now at Saltaire, Yorkshire but sadly Andrew has not played it in this venue.

 

As Andrew needed to learn more about the different playing techniques of a theatre organ, he had some classical training alongside his other tutor. The next stage was to enter competitions. He won many local talent competitions and after repeat wins, he was politely banned from entering at Selby Trades WMC – instead they invited him to play whilst the judges deliberated over the contestants and they paid him the same as the winner! There were then the theatre organ competitions….including The Northern Young Theatre Organist of the Year (Gomersal), The ATOS Young Theatre Organist of the Year (Harrow) and the Scottish Theatre Organist competitions at East Kilbride. Winning the title outright at Gomersal and being awarded “Most Promising” at the others got his ‘foot in the door’ for concerts and enjoyed the increasing number of bookings.

 

Andrew was accepted at two separate music colleges but he felt confident that he just wanted to perform and carve out his career with the tools and knowledge he already had. Alongside concerts and private functions, he took on three nights a week playing in a local club where he accompanied artistes and played for dancing. This “training” proved priceless as at 17 years old he was appointed Organist and Musical Director for a Theatre Group performing at Butlins, Barry Island. Andrew thoroughly enjoyed this position as he was gaining experience and confidence. After three further summer seasons with Butlins and one for Haven Holidays Andrew became fully freelance as he was increasingly in demand for concerts and dances nation-wide on both Theatre and Electronic organs.

Andrew enjoyed the variety of work and enjoyed meeting and working with some of the country’s top stars in the clubs. He enjoyed the buzz of just having a quick look through the artiste’s “dots” then walking on stage with his drummer and the artiste to perform as a show! There certainly were some wonderful performers that he worked with, Stan Richards (Seth Armstrong), Charlie Williams, Jane McDonald, Jimmy Cricket, Johnnie Casson, Bobby Knutt - to name but a few.

 

Andrew’s residencies include;

 

Resident at BRSA 1985 to 1989

Resident The Groves WMC, York 1989 to 1990

Resident Post Office Club, York 1990 to 2008

Resident on Compton Theatre Organ – The York Museum of Mechanical Music 1990 to 1996

 

Initially performing with a Technics U90 and Kawai SX-210 synth, Andrews concert presentation was well received. The set up soon progressed to Technics C800 plus Ensoniq SQ-80 with Alesis HR16 Drum Machine and then in May 2000 Andrew started performing on the Roland Atelier AT60R, then AT80S, AT80SL and now currently tours with the AT900c (Freelance). Andrew fell in love with the richness of the Atelier which produces a perfect backdrop for his wide range of playing styles. Audiences are enthralled by the range of sounds and are stunned by the truly authentic Theatre organ sounds which are an asset to Andrew's programme. From Ballads to Latin, Marches to Musicals, Andrew is one of the busiest performers on the circuit performing light hearted shows with a wide range of musical tastes.

Still living in the Selby area Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife and family. Lisa is a qualified Veterinary Nurse. They married in 1993 and they have three lovely daughters, Stacey, Melissa and Ashleigh. Stacey married Sylwester in June 2019 and in July 2020 they became proud parents to Franczeska Paige Lilla making Andrew & Lisa very proud and happy grandparents. Melissa and Ashleigh both live with their respective partners in the Wakefield area.

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