“Darlings of the Indie scene”
Musical career: The House Of Love, Levitation, Pete Fij/Terry Bickers, Cradle & Colenso Parade
Terry started his musical career as a bass player, then in 1984 changed to electric guitar. One of the main reasons he switched was that he was interested in the sonic possibilities of the electric guitar and was also inspired by guitarists who used sound effects. He recollects borrowing a Roland Space Echo (sound effects unit) in his teens and while playing around with the sounds it created he felt transported to another realm.
The first band Terry played guitar with was Anglo/Irish Indie band Colenso Parade. Colenso Parade’s music could be described as a fusion of post-punk influences combined with the lyrical excellence of The Smiths.
The House Of Love
In 1986 Terry met Guy Chadwick after answering an advert placed by Guy in the Melody Maker. After some preliminary rehearsals Guy and Terry invited musician friends Pete Evans, Chris Groothuizen and Andrea Heukamp to join them and the chemistry was good. The band developed their musical identity and a certain resilience by accepting almost every opportunity to perform that came their way.
“Darlings of the Indie scene” – The Independent
As the band progressed legendary DJ John Peel championed them, they then became one of Creation Records most important acts. In the late 1980’s they topped the Indie charts and later signed with major label Phonogram records. The House Of Love split up in 1993, with Terry having made an earlier departure from the group due to personal issues.
In 2002 founder members Terry, Guy Chadwick and Pete Evans reformed The House Of Love and were joined by new member Matt Jury on bass. Since reforming The House Of Love have released two studio albums and one live album, ‘Days Run Away’, ‘She Paints Words In Red’ and ‘Live At The Lexington’, respectively.
In 2018 The House Of Love celebrated the 30th anniversary of the release of their debut album with a UK tour and a box set reissue of the first album plus bonus material. The band’s year culminated in a show at the Camden Roundhouse in November 2018.
“Beguiling and spectacular” – The Quietus
After his time with The House Of Love Terry teamed up with musicians David Francolini, Bob White, Bic Hayes and Laurence O’Keefe and collectively they formed the band Levitation (also known jokingly and tellingly by those close to the band as ‘The Punk Floyd’). Levitation was unique in that every band member made a substantial contribution to the songwriting process. Levitation won much critical acclaim and had a reputation for intense live performances.
In between days
Throughout the 1990’s Terry continued honing his recording and production skills and also played sessions for artists such as Heidi Berry, Claudia Brücken (Propaganda) and Hector Zazou. During this period Terry also wrote songs with his then partner Caroline Tree and band members Ian Mundwyler, Richard Barber, Daniel T Howard, Pete Moon and Sergei, collectively known as Cradle. Cradle released one album, ‘Baba Yaga’.
In 1998 Terry moved to Brighton and met singer songwriter/producer Sam Smith (later founding the influential underground acts Mother & The Addicts and Casual Sex), and bassist Nik Webb (Synthi AKS). Early rehearsals showed great promise and so together with performance artist/poet Kieran Pierce they formed Monkey Seven.
Monkey Seven’s music stood in stark contrast to Terry’s ‘Shoegaze’ roots, but nonetheless each of Sam Smith’s songs was a carefully crafted creation and their performances inspired joy and abandon in audiences who got to see them live.
Pete Fij/Terry Bickers
Since 2009 Terry has recorded and toured with Pete Fij (formerly of ex-Creation Records act Adorable).
Thanks to generous support of their backers Pete and Terry produced two crowdfunded albums, ‘Broken Heart Surgery’ and ‘We Are Millionaires’. Both albums were very well received, ‘Broken Heart Surgery’ being cited as “one of 2014’s albums of the year” by the Louder Than War online music magazine. Pete and Terry made appearances on Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie’s afternoon show on 6 Music and also Radio 4’s Loose Ends program.
Bringing it up to date
Other session credits include Astrid Williamson, Small Town Scars and more recently Porthferatu and Melissa Jo Heathcote. Terry also plays occasionally with Country/Americana act Montana Rain.
Listen to samples of Terry’s guitar work below:
The House Of Love – Safe
Levitation – Even When Your Eyes Are Open
Pete Fij/Terry Bickers – Sometime Soon
Credit: Tim Driver
Credit: Suzie Gibbons
Sessions & production
Terry is an experienced session musician and is available for work in this area. He has co-produced several albums and EPs for other artists and will consider offers of production work. Generally sessions are done in person but proxy sessions can also be arranged.Find out more