Promo Medley

The Band

The band was formed in early 2018 by Nigel Minchin. Although he has been a fan of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers since the late 1970s, when he first heard Refugee, he had lost track of what Tom Petty had been doing in recent years as he got little media exposure in the UK and rarely toured Europe. After Tom Petty died Nigel revisited his back catalogue and discovered many hidden gems and also realised how much he loved the classics. Initially rehearsing with Marcin Bochinski on bass and and Mark Gustafson on guitar, they started to put together a list of songs they liked to play and eventually recruited Andrew Zsigmond (after Nigel met him in a guitar shop and they bonded over favourite guitars and the benefits of D’Addario strings) on guitar and Pete ‘Peroni’ Wright on Drums. Since then Rob Poyton and Dave Warminger have completed the lineup.

Petty Criminals try to be as authentic as possible to the sound and approach of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, including playing Rickenbacher guitars, dressing similarly and wearing Ray Ban sunglasses! Whilst we recreate the sound as closely as possible, Nigel has made the conscious decision not to pretend to be Tom Petty himself, with a blond wig and a fake American accent. Our shows increasingly utilise multimedia and stories to put the songs in context and where possible let the great man explain things himself.

Nigel Minchin Petty Criminal

Nigel Minchin (Tom Petty) – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica

Nigel began his musical career in the choir at primary school. After taking up the electric guitar in his teenage years, he played in numerous bands during the 1980s, mainly blues, psychedelic and goth rock as a guitarist and backing/lead singer. After several years hiatus during the 1990s he was persuaded to join a Neil Young tribute band and played the great man in various venues over a 4-year period. During the 2000s Nigel returned to choir singing and also sang in the chorus of a local opera production. The untimely death of Tom Petty in 2017 was the catalyst to listen again to his music. The realisation that he loved to play the songs and that his voice suited the range and qualities of Tom Petty’s, prompted him to look for like-minded musicians to form an authentic and quality tribute band to the late-great Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Favourite Tom Petty song – Runnin’ Down A Dream.

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Andrew Zsigmond (Mike Campbell) – Guitar, Backing Vocals

Andrew, hailing from Liverpool, is a professional musician since the early 80’s, working with projects on RCA, Columbia, Sony and EMI records, and has toured as opener for the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Richard Marx (oh, the hair…), Don Henley, Tina Turner and many others. He has also produced, managed, tour managed, guitar tech-ed and engineered for a living. With his wife he moved to the USA to pursue her musical career for a total of 19 years in California and Connecticut. Andrew also performed in the US underground circuit joining a rich community of musicians in New Haven, CT and the North East. You can find out more at his personal website – He moved back to the UK in 2017 and joined the St. Albans music community, met Nigel in a guitar shop and was asked to play the part of Mike Campbell in Petty Criminals. Although originally not a fan, he has rapidly grown to love Tom’s music and appreciate the man greatly. Playing Mike Campbell’s parts is a real treat. Favourite Tom Petty song – Honey Bee.

Dave Warminger Petty Criminal

Dave Warminger (Ron Blair/Howie Epstein) – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

Born in St.Albans and have played on the Herts Cambs area for nearly 40 years including with John Payne (Asia), Keith Marshal (Hello), Steve Rodford (The Zombies) and led two local bands. Recorded and toured with Valhalla (Neat Records), appeared on BBC TOTP, and Fri Rock show (Tommy Vance). He has been a Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers fan since the late seventies and played Tom Petty songs in many bands, so it was a natural thing to do the full tribute thing. Favourite Tom Petty song – You Wreck Me.

rob poyton petty criminal

Rob Poyton (Benmont Tench) – Keyboards

Rob joined his first band at 17 and, in the early 80s was very active on the London New Wave scene, as well as touring Europe and appearing on French TV. His band also supported Jools Holland on his first solo gig! Over the past fifteen years Rob has played with a number of tribute acts as well as a diverse range of original bands, including The Texas Chainsaw Orchestra, Bad Manners, 1- Stop Experience, The Rocksteady Allstars, The Von Nitros and Jennie and The Slingers. He has played venues as diverse as the legendary London Marquee, The Small Faces Convention, The Harley Davidson Convention and the Ostroda Reggae Festival in Poland.  Rob takes the role of Benmont Tench in The Petty Criminals, bringing the classic, warm sound of the Hammond organ to the mix. Favourite Tom Petty song – Breakdown.

Pete Peroni petty Criminal

Pete ‘Peroni’ Wright (Stan Lynch/Steve Ferroni) – Drums

Pete’s passion for music began at an early age. His parents bought his first kit when he was just seven years old and consequently the hapless neighbourhood were subjected to an unrelenting storm of flams and paradiddles. By the time he was fifteen he had graduated to rattling the dental fillings of a real-life audience in a semi professional pop/rock group. The pub rock circuit was vibrant and he played in a number of wayward bands on occasion supporting bigger acts including Mungo Jerry and Steeleye Span. His most notable achievement was receiving a lifetime ban from the Little Chef Restaurant chain. He was also sick on a tortoise once. Pete resided with a number of function bands for many years until fate took a hand and a Tom Petty impersonator spirited him away, and the rest is history. Favourite Tom Petty song – Refugee.

© Petty Criminals 2019.
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