Phil Capaldi

Read On

Second generation Italian rhythm section

Second generation Italian rhythm section member Phil arrived in the Vale Of Evesham, as the second son of famous music hall duo Nick & Maria Capaldi, on 1st of February 1949. It was almost inevitable that he would be involved in the music business. His father (an accomplished accordion player) had a regular show on Radio Luxembourg in it’s early days. His mother recorded 78 rpm records, and his older brother Jim played in local Birmingham bands before forming the group Traffic with Steve Winwood, Chris Wood and Dave Mason to subsequently achieve world-wide acknowledgement both with the band and as a solo artist.

Educated at Four Pools secondary Modern School, Evesham Phil studied hard to achieve a secret number of O level GCE’s and A level Art, before going on to college to gain a 2nd Honours pass in Industrial Ceramics.

In his pre-band employment Phil worked as a plasterers labourer and as the dumper truck driver to the mess block at Moreton-In-The-Marsh Fire College, prior to landing a job as a restoration artist.  He worked on the restoration of churches, cathedrals and other historic monuments and actually first appeared on T.V. when featured on a local news programme restoring the fresco at  Claverley church, a job he did whilst listening to the radio to hear his brother’s song “ Love Hurts ” ( upon which he had sung backing vocals ) racing up the charts.

Apart from his session work on “ Love Hurts ” & the follow up “It’s All Up To You ” ( which reached No 21 in the U.K.) Phil had not worked in a band until he toured with Jim Capaldi & The Space Cadets as backing vocalist and percussionist .  Phil’s first show with the band was “ The Old Grey Whistle Test” on BBC T.V.    His next band was Jim’s new backing band The Contenders and they toured Europe extensively before Phil joined Raymond Froggatt’s band as the drummer ( a job which he still occasionally helps out with when Raymond’s current drummers mysteriously explode ).

Phil’s association with fellow Joe Brown band rhythm section pal “Rico” Nilo was formed whilst in this band.  The Froggatt band toured the U.K. and Europe and backed visiting U.S. country acts such as Ronnie Prophet, Don Gibson, Wanda Jackson, The Nashville Super Pickers, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Vernon Oxford and Billy Walker.  They also toured as opening act for Roy Orbison, Hoyt Axton and Don Williams as well as playing on three series of “Sing Country” on BBC 2 T.V.     Our Bruvvers in rhythm then joined Carrie Duncan playing country rock, played for fun with local Evesham band Broken Spur and also had a spell as the rhythm section for Rose Marie.

Phil was asked in 1990 by Joe’s manager John Taylor ( with whom he had been associated since John became Jim Capaldi’s manager in 1978 )  to form an alternative band to do shows with Joe which Mike Sheridan’s Nightriders could not fill and he became the full time drummer when together with Neil Gauntlett we formed the line-up in 1991 which endured until the sad deaths of his fellow band members Neil R.Gauntlett & Save ‘Rico’ Nilo in 2008 / 9.

Phil is now the longest serving band member Joe has ever had and we are delighted to welcome him back as I’m sure are you.

Phil lists his career highlights to date as appearing with Jim at the Parkpop Festival in Den Haag, Holland in 1989.  They played in front of 125,000 people at a time when Jim’s album “ Some Come Running ” was high in the charts there and playing alongside Steve Winwood who was sitting in with Jim’s band on that first “ Old Grey Whistle Test ”  show.