Colin 'Fred' Free

Known as 'Fred' to all of his friends, Colin was the original guitarist and 2nd vocalist for the Soul Detectives and was also in Tony Jackson & The Vibrations during their reformation in 1991. He remained with the band until 2004, when he left to pursue some other musical projects. He is now back as their regular guitarist.

Fred started learning the guitar at the age of 12 and by the age of 14 had formed a 4-piece pop band with three of his school friends. The father of one of the members became the band's manager and managed to get them some regular work. Within 5 years they won the Essex Beat contest and supported acts of the day like Joe Brown and the Bruvvers and Johnny Kidd and The Pirates.

After that Fred played in a number of top local bands supporting or backing well known comedians and singers from the TV and radio. At one time he worked as the stand-in guitarist for Marty Wilde and the Wild Cats.

In 1991 he was asked by Paul Francis if he would join him in reforming The Vibrations with Tony Jackson, an offer which he didn't refuse. He stayed with The Vibrations for 2 years until Tony left the band due to his poor health and the band changed to The Soul Detectives.

In 1992 Fred was asked by the lead singer of his first school band (now the MD of HMV) to record an album with the other members together with Cliff Hall, the long term keyboard player with Cliff Richard and The Shadows.  It was recorded at the Powerhouse studios in London.  One track was written as a tribute to HMV Canada employees by the singer to celebrate the success HMV had that year.  They then flew to Toronto and performed at the HMV end of year party which was videoed by the cameraman who also did filming for The Stranglers.

Fred's favourite bands include Steely Dan, Level 42, Jamiroquai, Return to Forever and The Beatles. His favourite guitarists include Jeff Beck, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Albert Lee and Guthrie Govan.


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