Del Mandel was born Derek Mandel in London and has been playing guitar and other stringed instruments since childhood. After leaving school, he became a professional musician.
In the 70s he played with Danta, an “Afro Rock” band, then played Reggae inspired music with Ozo, Both these bands had records in the top 100, but no big hits.
Mid 70s saw him playing with an experimental instrumental band “Specta” playing festivals and clubs around Britain. He has kept an interest in experimenting with musical ideas including ambient music and even techno inspired guitar. He has also experimented with playing classical, or to be more precise, Baroque orchestral pieces on guitars, playing several parts himself. A sample can be found on this website.
In the 80s he toured Britain and Europe as a member of Aubrey Lovejoy & Tennessee Rain, backing country singers from the USA.
He also played with JJ and the Fliers [recently described on Radio1 by Ade Edmonton as the best band he ever heard ] featuring the late great Archie Leggett on bass and Jon Cleary on piano.
In his career he has played or recorded with members of
The Beatles [ George Harrison ],
Kinks [ Mick Avory ],
Foundations [ Alan Warner ],
Swinging Blue Jeans [ Alan Lovell ],
Pretty Things, Ten Years After, Alvin Lee Band
and many others.
As well as Acoustic and Electric guitars, Del also plays mandolin, bouzouki, sitar and various types of banjo.
Mainly a rock and blues guitarist, Del also plays country, folk, jaz
and various types of experimental music.
Also appears on the Charlie Lankester and the Mojo Killers Album, “Song in a minor Key.”
He plays as a duo with Alan Lovell of The Swinging Blue Jeans using backing tracks, and also with Alan Warner of The Foundations, playing amplified acoustic Instruments without any other backing. He also plays some folk inspired, but original music with Almond Greenway
He also plays occasionally in Switzerland with the “Fun Band” and also with Kevin Noel as “Noel & Mandel” [ music samples also on this website. ] Del met up with Kevin Noel in the early 90s while they were both touring with Mark Mosley from Nashville, Tennessee, and since then, they have been playing acoustic guitars and other instruments together, mainly in Switzerland.
He has also written and played music for films and adverts.
Having a knowledge of old songs from music hall to the present, Del has played at the Lord Mayor's Show in London since the early 90s, and plays at events like The Derby with Denny Purssord on banjos, and another cockney duo with Roger Lewis, going out as “Spit & Sawdust”
He appears as:
He also plays at Old peoples care homes and day centres.
He plays for Cockney Heritage Promoting traditional London culture
Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Banjos, Mandolin & Bouzouki