Brian (Sly) Shanks – Bass Guitar

Originally from Glasgow Scotland, Sly got his first taste of the live music buzz from the playgrounds of primary school in Porirua. Coming from Glasgow in 1976 the culture shock was lessened by the kids at school strumming and playing the guitar! Once he heard that awesome sound, he knew what he had to do, learn to play the guitar!


Thankfully for Sly, his mother’s cousin just happened to play in a band, (a bass player) who gave Sly guitar lessons.

Moving into college, Sly received music tuition from Louis and Betty Fox as part of the school’s curriculum. It was there that he was given bass lessons from Wellington jazz musician and bandleader “Rodger Fox”.

At the age of 14 Sly got his first opportunity to join a pub cover band along with his brother James (drums) with the name of “Speedway”. Speedway managed to secure a residency at a couple bars in the area and it was there that Sly honed

his playing skills.


Throughout the years Sly has had the privilege of playing with some great musicians and bands such as, Savoy, who had a regular gig at Wellingtons 1860 hotel, from which some members went onto join such bands as the “Holiday Makers” who had a number one hit with Bill Withers “Sweet Lovers”. In this time Sly has appeared on TV and radio and live shows.

Sly also spent two years touring Australia, from Melbourne to Darwin with blues band “Slippery Sam”. In this time he had the privilege of meeting and playing with an array of many great Australian musicians.

Upon his return, it was just a few short years before he met Greg Bates and Steve Brattle…………..the rest is history in the making!