Personal History


I have been a working musician and teacher for most of my life, currently living in Cairo, Egypt. I am embarking on my music degree shortly, back in UK. I have a little black dog called Ben!

I was born in Hull, East Yorkshire and lived my early years in Beverley.  I was a member of Beverley Minster Choir and went to Longcroft School where I played in the East Riding Youth Orchestra. After school I went onto the stage. Beginning in the working mens clubs in Hull and the surrounding area`s, as an organist backing the artists.

 I accompanied people at that time such as Bert Weedon, Larry Grayson, Charlie Williams, Frank Ifield, Danny La Rue, and I worked with the Ray McVay band. All from times past. After a short time playing Hammond organ on the North Sea ferries, I took two Summer Seasons in Scarborough. After which I joined the Royal Marines Band Service. I took a few private trumpet lessons with the Scarborough teacher ‘Joe Blewitt’ and did grade 2 in 6 month`s just scraping a pass! I was considered to be the worst trumpet player in the Marines but the best pianist!!!  At the Albert Hall I managed to be the only cornet player to blast a single top C whilst the other 239 musicians were taking a crotchet rest. Oh they did jump. Next day my chair and music stand had been taken away. Oops. It apparently took a long while for EMI to rub that note out of the recording.

I was 22 years old. During a live show at Pebble Mill, a lady I had never met asked me if I knew the song ‘Fever’? I said that I did not so she took me to a rehearsal room half an hour before the show, and taught me it. Next thing I knew, I was playing the intro live on tv as the announcer said, please welcome Peggy Lee!!!!

Wow, that was playing by the seat of my pants…Maybe she just didn`t want to put me in a panic by telling me who she was!!!

 After a shock year in training I went to the Rosyth band (RM) and then on to Yeovilton (RN air station) After a very short time I went to the Portsmouth staff band. From which are chosen musicians to perform on the now defunct Royal Yacht Britannia.

Charles and Diana were getting married and they were planning a honeymoon on the Royal Yacht. That was my first encounter with the `Royals’….There are too many anecdotal memories to tell here! They are even funnier on stage…I did manage to play a duet on the piano with Diana during which she whispered a few things….I felt a little scared as more of the senior ranks came in to ask her to leave, as she was mixing with the lower ratings!!!!

 Training kicked in after she asked me if she should stay or go? I said  ‘It’s not my place to say Ma`am…..’

We sailed on to Australia for the commonwealth heads of Government meeting in Melbourne.  I stayed on the Royal Yacht until 1985 and went on to the staff band at Deal in Kent. A busy tour of America and Canada followed, where we played in most cities and states, including Madison Square Gardens and taking in Hurricane Gloria at Hartford. The eye came over and it was so amazing to stand in perfect silence until the wind started in the opposite direction again.

 I left the Marines in 1987 to try and make a go of working for myself and after a brief spell in Vancouver, I went onto the organ club circuit in UK. This was a great experience and taught me a lot about being in front of large audiences especially at festivals. It became so busy at one time that I found myself too stressed out and decided to take a break and went back down to Deal to re couperate, joining a theraputic church community.

I had been there for a year or so when some of us were asked to come out to Cairo. So out I came! However the reasons for coming were soon lost as I began to see a completely different rhythm of life. Which I think has been of great benefit. I had to find my own financial support and I began to teach and bought a vespa scooter. Bear in mind I would not be allowed to ride it legally in uk so it was a bit of fun…And very dangerous. The day I took it out for the first time I collided with a taxi on the Corniche next to the Nile, and manged to drag myself along holding on to his roof rack. A lorry behind was really braking hard…

After a while for many reasons my family and friends had to leave and I was on my own.  It has been very hard during this time, and there are many aspects that I regret. Flying my wife and daughters back and forth and not seeing them, and being a full time music teacher in an Egyptian school has been interesting to say the least. 

I have made some very good Egyptian friends here and I will really miss them.  After trying to live on a local salary I noticed that other more qualified teachers were getting up to 3 times my income. That was enough for me to decide to get my Bmus degree and have now been accepted in Canterbury. I will then have the choice to return here or get a good teaching job in UK if I decide to stay.

I feel that I have gone beyond the call of duty to maintain a musical career, but with a degree I will be able to open new doors. It will be interesting to develop other area`s of music and find out just why I am on this planet in the first place….Still searching for something?? Well life is a journey. And maybe there is no journey`s end…

 During my college years I will need some supporting income, so I will endeavour to find a way of playing a few concerts and maybe trying to make a cd or two. I will take accompanying jobs and teach a handful of students.  However I am very much looking forward to getting back to UK…Keep your eyes out for me on the organ circuit, I think I may be at a festival or two.



  1. Tom Scade Said:

    Hi Nitram Snadibro,
    I’ve sent you a quick e-mail from a link on one of the organ sites. I don’t know if it was sent or not. I would like to hear what you’ve been up to over the past 20 years. I know we caught up a few years ago in Hull but it has been a while.
    Yours Aye,
    Tom Scade

  2. Denise Morgans Said:

    Martin- ring me have sad news 07891947206 urgent

  3. June & Mike - Sittingbourne, Kent Said:

    Just clearing out the loft!! Found your tapes from many years ago… Found this web site.
    Often wondered what happened to you all, would love to hear from again.
    Same house, same address.

    Mobile – 07790298466

    28th March, 2009

  4. tom mailey Said:

    It is a long time since we served together on HMY Brittania so it was interesting to read about your exploits on the net.It was a great trip in 1982 when we sailed for Australia and we spent a lot of time together filming on our cine cameras. It must be 25 years since we last met. I have reached retirement age but still play a lot with various bands and symphony orchestras. I am still married to Anne next year will be our 43 rd anniversary. We have 4 grown up children AND 8 grandchildren. i am a member of the RMA band and we are performing at various concert halls across the south.I will close now hope you and your family have a happy christmas and great new year.

  5. mark woodley Said:

    Did you know Ian Quirke. He would have been in the band at the same time, and did the same venues (my cousin) if you wanted to get in touch.

  6. John Thompson Said:

    Just had a week of organ and keyboard entertainment at Keyboard Cavalcade’s Spring do at Hemsby. Martin Orbidans totally stole the show. We had the best organists from all over the country(and beyond) but Martin outshone all of them. He really doesn’t know how good he is. He asks for song suggestions from the audience, then asks what key would they like!!!! And then plays without sheet music , only to stop for a ridiculously amusing joke or anecdote, and finishes in front of a stunned audience. What an entertainer!!

  7. Alan John Hutton Said:

    I met Martin at Hemsby and what and what a fab guy he is in every way. He reminds me of how organists used to be years ago. He just plays from the real time. Man he is not just an extremley good musician or entertainer but a really genuine nice guy. He has that certain something that nobody else has. I cannot wait to see him again in September. And what a technique. Just keep doing what you do Martin as you really made my week for me. Simply the best.

  8. What’s up, yeah this piece of writing is really good and
    I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging.

  9. Tarik Malatawy Said:

    Hello there Martin, How are you doing? hope well!
    hope you will remember me am Tarik from Cairo Maadi, one of your neighbors the guy that you gave him your old motorbike 🙂
    How is your dog the digger i forgot his name, and how is your daughters Rebecca and Helen (hope am right)
    Wish you best of luck in your life
    i found that website while checking youtube and found your channel ( )

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