James Warwick Walmsley


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James Warwick Walmsley is a guitarist and singer who plays keyboards, and is a dab hand with things like programming synths and audio engineering.

He started playing piano when he was a kid but moved on to guitar as a teenager. Totally obsessed with playing, he was mostly self-taught though did have some lessons with Jim Hall on the finer points of lead guitar.

James started playing professionally when he was 17 in Christchurch with 80’s band Louie And The Hotsticks, a very high-energy mix of R&B, ska and latino covers and originals.

He has been in a few rock and blues bands in Wellington, including A Forced Landing – a blues band with Dave Knowles on guitar – and a Kiwi covers band called Bliss with Aaron Nonoa on bass.

While playing in more pub-oriented bands James started experimenting with synthesizers and recording. He was commissioned to write the soundtrack for a planetarium show at Carter Observatory, and that music was then further developed into the Journey To The Centre Of The Galaxy album. He went on to do half a dozen or so more soundtracks at Carter, working with Richard Hall who did the script and visuals.

He wrote the music for the opening of Stonehenge Aotearoa and put together a band to perform it. The Christchurch Wizard was there as the MC and presiding Druid. The music was also performed at the Fringe Festival and at Soundings Theatre.

Currently James is rehearsing a new classic rock and blues band called Venus And The Flytraps playing guitar and keys. The group also features Meredith Bean on vocals, James Shanks on drums, Charlie Robinson on guitar, Sean Dolan on bass and me on guitar and keys.

Influences include David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre and Beethoven.

Last edited: 15.03.16

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