Formed in 1986, can be described as an original rock band. For 30 years they have played the clubs, bars and pubs in and around the South Wales music scene. Drawing their inspiration from a wide variety of great American and British songwriters and bands, such as Richard Thompson, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Bob Dylan, The Kinks, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Johnny Hiatt, Tim & Neil Finn (Crowded House), The Jayhawks, Nils Lofgren and the Rolling Stones (to name but a few). They have tirelessly and relentlessly stuck to their principal of playing original music at every given opportunity. Despite the many challenges this caused in terms of attracting gigs, over the years the band have been tremendously successful promoting their music. Their debut album ‘Generous’ featured on Bob Harris’ (cult) BBC Radio 2 late night show; and the track ‘Body Parts’ (taken from their second album All in Good Time) was used as part of the sound track of the BAFTA Award winning film ‘Way of Life’. They have also supported The Climax Blues Band; the Mutton Birds, and the legendary Nashville producer, singer-songwriter ‘Rodney Crowell’ (together with Wil Kimbrough a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer based in Nashville).
Today, Roosevelt are a respected and much admired band; they continue to hold their own, in what is described as a diverse and vibrant music scene that exists in South Wales. With more projects waiting in the pipeline, these are indeed exciting times for Roosevelt who do not view themselves as being in competition with other local bands, in fact, over the years they have forged long lasting friendships with many talented players; and they actively participate in supporting and promoting other bands, particularly over social media. They appreciate that when bands and individual artists start to live in that place of comparison and competition, everyone misses out on so much.
Roosevelt are an integral part of the local scene, they are essentially a ‘must see’ live band. Their mission to promote original live music remains unchanged, even after 30 years. They genuinely appreciate and are always humbled at the abundance of support they receive from fellow musicians and music lovers wherever they play. When you watch Roosevelt it's not just about the music, it’s more about having a complete ‘live music experience’.
Meet the Band
Paul Spencer Biggs
Guitar & Vocals
Paul is the main guitarist and frontman of Roosevelt. He is also a founding member of the band and is the architect behind the original material which features in the regular live set. Paul also doubles up as the sound man and is the main decision maker within the band. Paul’s unique playing style and distinctive sound can be attributed to the inspiration he has gained from a very wide and diverse number of guitarists ranging Django Reinhardt, to Nils Lofgren, and from Richard Thompson, to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Sonny Landreth, and Keith Richards. Away from the band Paul has a love of classic cars and he is the proud owner of a stunning 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible which was imported from the USA.
Having worked in the television and film industry, Paul has got many ‘claims to fame’. He has worked closely with film stars of international status, and many well-known national and local TV celebrities. At this moment in time, Paul’s short term musical ambition is to be able to sing ‘Blinded by the Light’ (Springsteen version) without having the lyric sheet in front of him.
Rhythm Guitar, Harmonicas & Vocals
Pete is the bands’ rhythm guitarist (and occasional harmonica player), he one of the original founding members of Roosevelt. In addition to collecting guitars, Pete enjoys listening to a wide range of music genres, but has a particular liking for Country, Rock, and Blues, particularly from the 1960’s & 1970’s. Some of his influences include Ritchie Blackmore, Jonny Cash, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Eagles, Elvis, John Hiatt, Tom Petty, Danny Gatton, Roy Buchanan, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, James Taylor, and the Beatles.
Pete’s claim to fame is that the legendary Nashville singer songwriter and producer Rodney Crowell (ex-son in law of the late Jonny Cash), once complimented him on his custom Fender Telecaster guitar after showing a particular interest in it and playing it in the green room just before a gig at a packed out Exchange in Cardiff. After 30 years, Pete’s is still continuing his search for that ‘perfect’ guitar sound.
Bass Guitar & Vocals
Carl is the bass player and also the newest member of the band having joined in June 2015. His enthusiasm for music coupled together with his dynamic bass playing style have, (over the past year), lifted Roosevelt to a different playing level. After having worked in music retail (including the world’s oldest record store for over a decade), Carl has an extensive (even phenomenal) musical knowledge regarding albums, bands, musicians etc. One of Carl’s many great qualities is that he regularly gives up his spare time to play for good causes and he is actively involved with the amazing local musical charity C Major Music 4 Life, supporting their monthly Jam sessions raising money for Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. Carl is a well-known, popular and respected player within the local musical community and his influences include, Rolling Stones, John Coltrane, David Bowie, Ben Harper, Yes, Earth Wind & Fire, Jellyfish, XTC, Ryan Adams, The Church, Otis Reading, The Beatles, and the Byrds, plus many others…
Carl’s claim to fame is that he once made a cup of tea for popular punk outfit ‘Siouxsie & the Banshees’ during an album signing session whilst working for Virgin Records.
Drums & Percussion
Simon is the bands’ rock-solid drummer and is also a founding member of Roosevelt. He has played on the local scene for a long time experiencing great success with some prominent and popular bands, most notably the late Cal Newman’s Muddy River Band and Dave ‘Spidge’ Spiller’s amazing Fire Down Below. In his time, Simon has played with just about every musician on the local scene today. He loves all genres of music but he particularly draws inspiration from the 1960s, in particular the Beatles. He cites artists such as Buddy Rich; Ringo Star; John Bonham; Ian Paice; and the great Steve Gadd as some of his main sources of inspiration. Simon is literally the ‘foundation stone’ of the band; he is the very reason why Roosevelt has survived for 30 years – he tirelessly arranges the gigs, taking promotional materials to the venues, and organises the weekly practices and informal get togethers.
Away from music Simon loves painting and he is a very talented artist painting truly amazing landscape and portrait pictures using acrylic paints. Simon’s main claim to fame is that he once jammed with the legendary Francis Rossi of Status Quo.
Keyboards & Guitar
Al began in the music industry as a guitarist, but is also a proficient on bass, keyboards and vocals. He has worked with many artistes including Bonnie Tyler. David Soul, Del Shannon, Jane Macdonald, Joe Longthorne, The Korgis, The National Orchestra Of Wales, and Peter Karrie. He has been a Musical Director at The London Palladium, The London Hippodrome and The Royal Albert Hall.
Al is the co-owner of Shabbey Road Studios, where he has recorded Elvis Costello, Samantha Barks, Paul Potts, Lea Salonga, and many more. He has produced over 200 albums at the Studios, and also orchestrated and conducted the orchestra for many of them. Paul says that Al is great at adding the right musical input at the right time....and is not bad on a guitar either!