Lead Vocals and Flute
Best known as the former frontman of South Yorkshire's industrious prog rock tribute Harmony of Spheres, and the flautist of ambient prog outfit Nova Cascade, Charlie brings his theatrical vocal stylings to the otherwise familiar line-up of Ghost of the Machine.
Prog has been an essential part of Charlie’s life since he was first introduced to Genesis at the tender age of 4 by his older brother. It left a permanent impression, with both Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins becoming huge inspirations. With HOS, Charlie sought to pay homage to the many giants of prog such as Genesis, Pink Floyd, Rush, Marillion and Jethro Tull with a memorable stage show that also featured flute parts, dramatic costumes, audience interaction and, of course, cowbell.
This is not Charlie’s first time working with his Ghost Of The Machine colleagues; eagle-eyed fans may recall his stand-in appearance on vocals with This Winter Machine at The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton, December 2019.
Charlie featured as the titular Signaller on The Flagging Career Of A Semaphore Signaller, a synth wave opera written by Tim Hunter under the Light Engineering banner, provided additional vocals and lyrics to the debut EP Burning The Stars from Pavel Rusev's Senses Reel, and will appear on other recorded projects in 2022.
Guitars and backing vocals
Graham has had a love of music from a very young age and has played in bands with Mark Hagan and Stuart McAuley throughout his life.
In Mark and Graham's guise as SAND, they played shows with the mighty Marillion and John Foxx (original Ultravox frontman) with the pair writing prolifically over the years.
Regarding Graham's formative love for music, 'Shang-a-lang' (the TV show with The Bay City Rollers) was the starting point. He says, "I used to run home from school to watch it, and pretended to be them with my toy electric guitar!"
Later, his sister got an acoustic guitar, and was having lessons at school, but she wasn't that interested, whereas Graham was! He used her chord sheets to learn and made steady progress, but it wasn't until he started listening to Rush and Marillion that his skills really took off; he found out he could play their material and developed his own style from there: "I think the way I play now is a combination of Steve Rothery and Alex Lifeson, with a bit of Johnny Marr picking and jangling thrown in!"
He prefers guitar melodies over solos for the sake of them, and always tries to have a structure to guitar breaks, as he believes they are an integral part of the song's structure - most of the time, anyway!
Piano and keyboards
Mark has been around since he was born. His love of the ivories began aged 9, when he was writing concertos on his beloved Bontempi.
Mark's first band was Atmosphere, a soft rock covers and originals band. He played his first gig aged 14 in February 1980. He went on to synthesize his way through the 80's in Session 4 (new wave, punk), Sarcasm Kings and Geneva. It was in Geneva he met up properly with Graham and Stuart after sessioning for them on an EP. Geneva became SAND (Mark and Graham). They went on to support Marillion and John Foxx.
From 2003 SAND went on a 17 year hiatus whilst Mark murdered cover songs in Working Mens Clubs and holiday parks, home and abroad.
Mark was a founder member of This Winter Machine, until a sideways move with his bandmates formed Ghost of the Machine.
Mark claims that his greatest talent is enthusiastic gusto. He hopes to see many of you at future gigs to chat and drink beer. He is very exited by the music coming from the new band and believes you should be too.
Gear used: Roland Fantom 8, Jupiter 50, RD 300gx, D50, SC33 module, SH 201, Access Virus Ti, Alesis Fusion 6HD, Novation Mini nova, Korg Kross, Micro Korg, M1, Triton.
Bass, Moog pedals and Mellotron
A former bass player with This Winter Machine, Stuart now adds his distinctive low-end noodling and drive to Ghost of the Machine.
As a prog fan since the late 1970s, Stuart’s first album purchases were Yes - Tormato, Genesis - Foxtrot and Pink Floyd - Relics. From then on, it has been much more of the same, although in later years he has listened to a lot of German Berlin school synth music, jazz and fusion, all of which has added to his playing style and approach.
His first venture into a prog band was with Paragon along with Graham Garbett and Dave Hopton with whom he recorded one album in 1987. Stuart then played in the prog power trio Still Life, again with Garbett. It was in this time that he also started the long association with Mark Hagan who played on some Still Life recordings in 1992, which never saw the light of day.
Stuart, Graham and Mark then played together in the melodic rock band Geneva. It had originally been conceived as pop/rock but over time morphed into more proggy areas.
In addition to his bass playing in GOTM, Stuart also releases ambient module music under the name Mr Verloc's Hat.
Stuart is looking forward to releasing Scissorgames and to returning to live performances. He may even get a new hat!
Andy felt the calling of the drums from a young age and finally picked up the sticks in his early teens. He studied avidly under a few good tutors whilst cutting his teeth in both covers bands and original projects. He studied for four years at Leeds College Of Music and performed in jazz ensembles and trios.
After a wilderness, he finally returned to his love: loud rock music! And for the next two decades has played up and down the country, in Europe and even the Far East. For three years he occupied the drum chair in This Winter Machine. Now, comfortably ensconced with his excellent former-TWM bandmates and talented new vocalist Charlie, Ghost Of The Machine offers the opportunity of exciting new material in their upcoming debut album.
"Watch this space… it's gonna be good."
Scott has always been into guitars/music, since his very earliest memories of running his toy cars over his father’s acoustic guitar. After years of begging them, his parents finally bought him a Squier Telecaster, and he proceeded to spend the next year posing in front of the bedroom mirror, miming along to various soundtracks. Eventually, he thought he may as well learn how to play the damn thing and the guitar obsession began!
At this point in time, Scott also got into the recording side of music, after purchasing a 4 track tape machine, and would spend hours playing demos and song ideas into the machine. His passion for recording never stopped, and is just as prevalent these days.
Scott’s first real interest in music, was back in ‘80/81 when he first heard Adam and The Ants (Kings Of The Wild Frontier album). However, he listens to most guitar-based bands from 1970’s bands (Fleetwood Mac, The Band etc), through to the present day Rock/Prog bands.
He was first turned on to Prog Rock, after watching a VHS Cassette of Marillion’s gig at the DeMonfort Hall, Leicester 1990. It was like a light bulb moment! He rushed out the following day, purchased the album Seasons End, and never looked back since. He still returns to that album regularly, but is also a fan of the Fish era album Clutching At Straws.
Having played in various local cover bands for many years, (and continues to do so with Angel Fire), Scott has always been part of an ‘originals’ band, and eventually landed the role of guitar player with This Winter Machine in 2017 until departing in 2020. Now, rejoining his former-TWM bandmates as part of Ghost Of The Machine, he is excited to be working with the guys once again to create and record fantastic new music, and is looking forward to get back on the road, playing the new material live, and meeting both the die-hard, and new fans alike.