Gary Driscoll was born in 1959 and was raised in Camden Town, London. He attended Edith Neville Primary School, and Sir William Collins Secondary School, both situated in Somers Town. It was at the age of 15 and in the mid 1970’s that his musical talent would first raise to the surface. Gary was the drummer and backing vocalist for a band called “Salamander Grass” playing at local youth clubs and then progressing on to local pubs, including “The Constitution”, in St.Pancras Way, and the “Wheatsheaf”, now known as “Belushi’s” in Camden High Street.
His first job after leaving school at the age of 16 was a Telegram Boy and then as a Postman for the GPO based in Mornington Crescent. As well as his love for music Gary had always wanted to pursue a career as a soldier. At the age of 19 he enlisted into one of the British Army’s elite Infantry regiments, The Royal Green Jackets. It was during this long career in the services, that once again his singing talent was noticed, but also his ability to perform as a Comedian. Whilst on posting in Germany in the 1980’s, Gary was runner up in the final of a British Forces ‘Opportunity Knocks’ talent Competition hosted by Hughie Green. He was spotted by an entertainments agent, and whilst still serving in the army, he would also perform as a comedian at Sergeants Messes at various military barracks throughout Germany. His stage name was “Alfie Tate”.
After returning to England Gary decided to concentrate more on his singing ability, which he did at any given opportunity. In 1992, Gary was the army sergeant who spontaneously sang from the Royal Box at the Centre Court during the Tennis semi finals at Wimbledon. He sang to over 11,000 spectators who were waiting for the rain to stop before the game could continue. This whole event was also broadcasted live by the BBC to millions of TV viewers worldwide. He was the first person ever to be requested to sing at such an event. Most people remember seeing Sir Cliff Richard being asked to do the same thing, four years later.
He left the army with the rank of Colour Sergeant in 1995 and settled down in Bethnal Green in the East end, where he pursued a new career as a singer, often appearing in the east end’s most famous pub, The Blind Beggar. He was soon to become a bit of a local celebrity in and around the east end of London, which led him to “an offer he couldn’t refuse;” performing at the funeral wake of one of Britain’s notorious gangsters, Reggie Kray.
Gary has recently been appearing with the legendary Joe Longthorne at the famous Circus Tavern and will be heading his own show there in March 2017.
BBC One “Tonight’s the Night” series 2 Episode 5 hosted by John Barrowman in 2010.
Gary performs “The Way You Look Tonight”
BBC Two The Hairy Bikers’ “The Pubs That Built Britain” Episode: East End London.
Gary tells the story of him being requested to sing at the funeral of London gangster Reggie Kray.
"The Wee Man"
Gary appears in a cameo role as the pub singer in the feature film "The Wee Man' based on the true life story of Glasgow gangster Paul Ferris. Written and directed by Ray Burdis (The Krays & Love, Honour and Obey). In association with Carnaby Films. The film was released in 2013.
“The Old East End Tonight".
"Teach Me Tonight"
All recordings are available to download from ITunes, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer.
Gary has a unique vocal ability which allows him to cover a wide range of styles from the greats such as, Frank Sinatra, Matt Monro, Nat King Cole, Al Jolson, Joe Longthorne, John Holt, UB40, and many others.