Andy "Stoker" Growcott (born 6th March 1959) began his musical career as drummer in West Midlands punk outfit The Wailing Cocks fronted by singer-songwriter, Andy Leek. In November 1979 Growcott and Leek were both recruited by Dexys Midnight Runners following the departures of drummer Bobby "Jnr" Ward and keyboard-player Pete Saunders. The duo made their Dexys debuts at a gig in Camden's Electric Ballroom in December of that year and shortly afterwards performed on the new single "Geno". Stoker soon became a poster boy for his new band, featuring on publicity material for the new single and eventually being immortalised when his image, walking into the distance, kit-bag in hand, was featured in the art-work on the back of debut L.P. "Searching For The Young Soul Rebels". 

The reasons for the break-up of the "Young Soul Rebels" Dexys line-up have always been subject to debate but it has often been suggested that Stoker was a central figure in proceedings. It is claimed that Kevin Rowland had hatched a plan to replace him with Seb Shelton from Secret Affair and that, when the other band members caught wind of this, they hatched their own plan to remove Rowland from Dexys and continue with a new lead singer. Whatever the accuracy of these claims, five of the band members - including Stoker - did indeed replace their lead singer by forming The Bureau and enlisting the vocal talents of Archie Brown - while Seb Shelton did join Dexys just a few weeks after Stoker's departure.

Despite recording a brilliant debut album and proving themselves to be a powerful live act, The Bureau failed to find the success they deserved and had split-up barely two years after their inception. However, having earned a reputation as a top-notch drummer, Stoker's services were soon in demand and, after a brief stint with the group Fashion, by 1982 he'd joined original Duran Duran member Stephen Duffy in his new band Tin Tin. The group's debut single "Kiss Me" was a big hit, returning Stoker to the Top Ten in the U.K. and giving him his first taste of chart success in the U.S.A.

By 1984 Stoker was part of yet another new group as he joined up with ex-Beat members Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger in General Public. The band also featured keyboard maestro Micky Billingham (who, ironically, had joined Dexys as one of the replacements for the departing Bureau members) and  Horace Panter from The Specials, creating a line-up with serious credentials. The band's potential was evident on the excellent debut L.P. "All The Rage" and the sound of Stoker's drumming was soon gracing the U.S, charts once more as the single "Tenderness" proved hugely popular across the Atlantic. General Public never managed to replicate this success in the U.K. and by the time they released their follow-up album "Hand To Mouth" in 1986, Stoker had parted company with the band. 


In later years Stoker has forged a successful career as a recording engineer and record producer working primarily in the U.S.A. His credits include Sting's "Demolition Man", Ice Cube's "Death Certificate". and The Specials' 90's albums "Today's Specials" and "Guilty Til Proved Innocent!" as well as work with Lighter Shade of Brown, Supreme Love Gods, Let's Go Bowling and Dance Hall Crashers. His most notable success to date as a producer has been Pato Banton's 1994 smash-hit, with UB40's Robin and Ali Campbell, "Baby Come Back" which sold 6.5 million copies. Following production work on Suckerpunch's self-titled album in 1996, Stoker formed a collaboration with musician Tim Mosher, creating "Mosher & Stoker Composers", to provide music for Television programmes such as "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" and T.V. commercials including several Toyota adverts.

After almost twenty years in the music business, 1997 saw the release of Stoker's debut solo album "Syncopate". Featuring Stoker's percussion alongside a select group of musicians - including Marc Antoine, Greg Smith and Dave Langoria who had all performed on General Public's 1995 release, "Rub It Better" - the album is a collection of modern interpretations of classic jazz recordings by the likes of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins and Miles Davies. Although Stoker was the only ex-Midnight Runner to appear on this release, there is plenty for any Dexys fan to enjoy about the album - from the excellent ensemble brass to the funky organ sound - while Stoker's percussive skills and previous experience of producing Hip-Hop beats are also very evident. 

Listen to short extract from "Jeannine":






Tracks - 1. Straight, No Chaser; 2. Killer Joe; 3.Mood Indigo; 4. Sidewinder; 5. Good Morning Heartache; 6. Walk Tall; 7. St. Thomas; 8. Sister Mamie; 9. Blue In Green; 10. Ronnie's Bonnie; 11. All Blues; 12. Jeannine.

[Label - Douglas Music. Catalogue no. - ADC6. Released - 1997] 
Production/Engineering Discography:

MCM -  Xmaz-N-The-Hood
(Engineer - 1991)

Ice Cube - “Death Certificate”
(Engineer - 1991)

Supreme Love Gods
- “Supreme Love Gods
(Producer - 1992)

Kool G Rap & DJ Polo
- “Live and Let Die
(Engineer + Backing Vocals - 1992)

Lighter Shade of Brown
- “Hip Hop Locos
(Engineer - 1993)

Havoc & Prodeje
- “Livin' in a Crime Wave
(Mixing – 1993)

– “Demolition Man”
(Engineer/Mixing/Producer - 1993)

Pato Banton with Robin & Ali Campbell – “Baby Come Back”
(Producer -1994)

Jamie Foxx
– “Peep This
(Engineer – 1994)

Various Artists - “Mi Vida Loca (Original Soundtrack)"
[Tracks – “Hey D.J.” / “Two Lovers” – Lighter Shade of Brown] (Mixing – 1994)

Lighter Shade of Brown
: “Layin' in the Cut
(Engineer/Mixing/Producer - 1994)

For Real
– “It's a Natural Thang
(Engineer/Mixing/Producer - 1995)

Dance Hall Crashers
– “Lockjaw
(Producer – 1995)

Various Artists - “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (Original Soundtrack)”
[Track – “Spirits In The Material World” – Pato Banton / Sting] (Producer – 1995)

General Public – “Rub It Better”
(Engineer/Composer - 1995)

The Specials
– “Today's Specials
(Mixing/Producer - 1996)

– “Suckerpunch
(Engineer/Mixing/Producer – 1996)

France – “France"
(Producer/Drum Programming - 1996)

Various Artists - “O Come All Ye Faithful: Rock for Choice
[Track – “I Did It For The Toys” – Dance Hall Crashers] (Mixing/Producer – 1996)

Various Artists - “It Takes Two
[Track – “Baby, Come Back” – Pato Banton with Robin & Ali Campbell] (Engineer/Mixing/Producer - 1996)

Various Artists - “Bulletproof (Original Soundtrack)
(Engineer – 1996)

Various Artists - “The Show (Original Soundtrack)”
[Track – “She’s Trying” – Dance Hall Crashers] (Producer – 1998)

– “Right on Time
(Engineer/Mixing/Producer - 1998)

Various Artists - “Meet the Deedles (Original Soundtrack)”
[Track – “Lady Luck” – Dance Hall Crashers](Producer - 1998)

Various Artists - “Half-Baked (Original Soundtrack)”
(Engineer/Mixing/Producer -1998)

The Specials
– “Guilty Til Proved Innocent!
(Engineer/Mixing/Producer - 1998)

Let's Go Bowling – “Stay Tuned
(Engineer/Producer - 1999)

Various Artists (Tribute Album) - “Searching for Jimi Hendrix
(Arranger/Drums/Engineer/Mixing/Producer – 1999)

Might-Ay White-ay
– “Mephiskapheles
(Producer – 1999)

Pau Hana
“Altered Natives”
(Producer – 2004)

Various Artists - “Gospel Songs

(Arranger – 2005)

[To be continued...]