The Tony O'Malley Band

PizzaExpress Live (Holborn)

Tony O’Malley is unquestionably one of the most charismatic vocalists working in the UK. A featured performer since the late 60s, his CV is vast and includes stints with the iconic band 10CC and his own seminal Jazz/Funk band Kokomo. His brand of jazz-tinged contemporary soul and blues is really stunning, with his fabulous, smoky, velvety growl of a voice delivering original material and some covers in his inimitable style. With twelve CDs to his name including “Back at the Bag” & "Meteorite", Tony has established himself as one of the most original and powerful performers on the scene today, with a fan base that reaches around the world. Not surprisingly his regular band features some of the finest groove musicians around including Tony’s latest recruits, the up-and-coming guitarist Richie Aikman, bass player Sonny Winslow and young drum talent Ally McDougal. If you like contemporary R&B vocals with a touch of Jazz in the Blues Brothers style, then this is definitely for you.

Photo credits: Steven Cropper

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“Tony O’Malley is a soul survivor. He co-founded Kokomo in the seventies, who toured with The Average White Band and recorded with Bob Dylan on “Desire”. Meteorite is O’Malley’s eleventh solo album. The album kicks off with the title track, a storming groove reminiscent of Steely Dan’s Cousin Dupree. It goes at a fair lick and is what O’Malley is all about, pure groove, funky keyboard, growling vocals and soul to spare. Whether funk, soul, groove, gospel, jazz or ballads, O’Malley has it all. Check out his impressive back catalogue. This guy is meteoric as the album title suggests. He always give you all he’s got. And you won’t get much better anywhere else.”

Chaz Brooks - Blues & Soul Magazine

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At the tender age of twelve, Tony formed his first band, The Defenders, with his brother Kevin, Julian Harris and Terry Horn from his hometown Harrow-on-the-Hill in North London. They played the local youth clubs and dances until he was fifteen, when he joined Irish showband, The Skyliners from Enniskillen. Life on the road had begun.  

The Skyliners worked the Irish clubs up and down the country until Tony was spotted at an audition by Ian Samwell, writer of Cliff Richard’s first hit “Move It”. At that time, Ian was managing soul band Malcolm McGarren and the Blueshealers, which Tony eventually joined at the age of 16.  

The band was later to become Ronnie Jones and the Q Set that played a long residency at the Bag O’Nails club in Soho, where such luminaries as Jimi Hendrix would often pop down to jam with the band. The Q Set then toured the UK, France, Italy and Greece, before Tony joined The Counts, featuring his long-time friend and bassist extraordinaire Philip Chen. (Philip went on the play with Rod Stewart, Jerry Lewis, Linda Lewis, Jeff Beck, the Doors, plus many more.)  


Tony joined forces with his friend, drummer Terry Stannard. This marked the birth of Kokomo, a ten-piece band featuring Arrival singers Frank Collins, Paddie McHugh and Dyan Birch, Neil Hubbard and Alan Spenner from Joe Cocker’s Grease Band on guitar and bass respectively, Jim Mullen on guitar, Mel Collins from King Crimson on saxes, plus Jody Linscott on congas.  

Kokomo took London by storm in 1973, culminating in a debut album: “Kokomo 1”, now a classic among collectors. The band was managed by Steve O’Rourke, the brains behind Pink Floyd’s success, who sadly passed away on October 30th 2003, aged 63. R.I.P. Steve. Kokomo recorded three albums, touring the UK, Europe and America, supporting their old friends The Average White Band on several tours and recording with Bob Dylan in New York on his album “Desire”.  


Tony joined 10CC in 1977 and toured the UK, Europe, Japan and Australia, recording one album, “Live and Let Live”. In 1978 Tony left 10CC to pursue a solo career.  

Band Lineup

Tony O'Malley (lead vocal & piano)

Richie Aikman (guitar & backing vocals)

Sonny Winslow (bass & backing vocals)

Ally McDougal (drums & backing vocals)