Pete Farrugia is a professional guitar, bass guitar and ukulele teacher based in Carshalton, Surrey, UK. Lessons are also available worldwide via Skype.
Pete started playing in 1972, and started teaching in 1977. He has had a long, varied career in music. His first professional recording session, for a corporate client was in 1975. The first of his bands to reach any level of notoriety was the Fast Set in 1981. They were featured on the Synth-Pop classic Some Bizarre Album, and played all over the UK. Around the same time Pete played bass on “Pass Myself”, a highly collectable single by Neo-Psychedelic band the Third Eye, and several singles and albums for Danielle Dax.
He has toured and recorded with many British Blues Bands, notably Chad Strentz & The Chad-illacs, Shout Sister Shout, Breakout Blues and Mo’Indigo. Pete has also toured as lead guitar sideman with several American Blues and R’n’B artists, including Earl Gaines, Al Garner, Deacon Jones, Chick Willis and Taka Boom.
Pete has an honours degree in humanities with music, as well as two diplomas: one in music, and one in guitar performance. He is a member of the Registry Of Guitar Tutors, and the Musicians Union. He is also registered with the Disclosures and Barring Service (DBS).
Pete currently plays lead guitar with London’s black rose of the blues Sister Cookie. Cookie and her band, including Rob Tyler on drums and Alex Bland on saxophone, play all over the UK and Europe, and are currently recording her debut album In The Blue Corner.
Pete also plays guitar with Chad Strentz and the Chad-illacs, reuniting with his long-time friend Chad. The acclaimed rhythm section is Mike Thorne on drums and Orlando Shearer on double bass.
Occasionally Pete and Chad also reunite with their previous band Shout Sister Shout! More about that band below…
Pete Farrugia was born in London right at the beginning of the 1960s, and many of his earliest memories are musical: Little Richard and Chuck Berry on the radio, spinning Chubby Checker on the family stereo, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones on TV.
His mother bought him his first guitar when he was 12, and immediately it was like the thing that had been missing from his hands. Before long, he’d formed a band with like-minded friends, and was playing his first gigs and recording sessions.
Pete was serious about music, and took lessons anywhere he could, from the local youth club, from evening classes and from private tutors Peter Rubie and Martin Jackson. After studying hard for five years, Pete became established as a private guitar tutor himself.
Pete’s first notable band was The Fast Set, which had been formed initially as a solo act consisting of David Knight on synthesizers, tapes and vocals. Pete and David teamed up with vocalist/lyricist Marc Sebastian Jones, and recorded the T.Rex cover King Of The Rumbling Spires. This was released on the compilation Some Bizarre Album, which made the national album chart. When Marc left, Pete took over on vocals, and later Pete and David were joined by Brad Day on drums.
At roughly the same time, Brad and guitarist Vulcan Webb invited Pete to make his recording debut as a bass guitarist, on the collectible single Pass Myself, by neo-psychedelic trio The Third Eye. This track has since been re-released on a compilation called Another Splash Of Colour.
Beginning with The Fast Set, Pete acquired some rudimentary keyboard skills, and these were to come in useful in 1989, when he was recruited to wild London rockin’ r’n’b band Shout Sister Shout! They played an eclectic mix of rootsy material, some of it original, from Chicago Blues, through Deep Country Soul to Rockabilly. Pete played both guitar and occasionally keyboards.
Other members contemporaneous with Pete were his long-time friend Chad Strentz (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Brian Nevill(drums), Dot (guitar), Andy Neal (guitar), Matt Radford (bass) and Lyn Boorer (bass).
As well as clubs and festivals both in the UK and continental Europe, the band held the regular Friday night residency at Bob’s Goodtime Blues at the Station Tavern, playing to a packed house every week for several years.
Meanwhile, Pete’s recording studio experience came in useful when he was asked to play guitar and bass guitar on several releases by Indie/Goth multi-media artist Danielle Dax. This also reunited Pete with his former partner in The Fast Set David Knight. Pete played on the singles Cat-House and White Knuckle Ride and the albums Dark Adapted Eye, Comatose Non-Reaction and Blast The Human Flower. The latter was on the major label Sire, and was produced by Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur etc).
Pete spent most of the ’90s with Bluer Than Blue, an r’n’b band which released the album Through The Storm, gigged extensively and opened the show for the likes of Peter Green’s Splinter Group, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and Sherman Robertson.
With several line-up changes, that band reformed as Mo’Indigo. As well as releasing the album We Accuse The Blues and making an important contribution to the compilation Beatles Blues, Mo’Indigo played pretty much every Blues club and festival in the UK, as well as touring Europe as backing band to the Excello Blues Legends, including Earl Gaines and Al Garner. As such, the band also appeared on BBC Radio 2’s Paul Jones Blues programme.
While playing with Mo’Indigo, Pete became friends with virtuoso drummer, producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ron Roesing.
As well as playing many Goth/Shoegaze-style guitar sessions for Ron, Pete joined Ron in helping James Teitelbaum record the avant-garde multi-media album Prolusion under the name Left Orbit Temple. Pete and Ron also did some Blues gigs, backing up Deacon Jones and Taka Boom.
In 2002, Pete formed Breakout Blues with old friend Chad Strentzon lead vocals and guitar, together with Paul Atkinson on drums and Fox on bass. This was a dynamic, exciting, but unfortunately short-lived Blues band, playing mostly original material written by Pete and Chad. The album Drunk’n’Homeless attracted good reviews as well as BBC and Jazz FM radio play. Gigs included London’s famous 100 Club as well as other Blues clubs across the nation.
From 2007 to 2009, Pete was lead guitarist in authentic 1950s Rock’n’Roll band The Alleycats. Led by walking r’n’r encyclopedia and bassist Drew Spikes their roots go way back to the 1970s Rock’n’Roll revival, when three of them were members of Yakety Yak.