FROM astronomy to website design, Nigel Minchin has had a fair share of careers and hobbies, and he has added Tai Chi to his list over the past few years too.

One of his passions from a young age was music. And now, this talented guitarist and singer is leading a tribute band, playing the music of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

He said: “I started playing guitar as a teenager and was in a few different bands, but then when I went to university to study astronomy and didn’t play a lot. In the late 80s I was in a goth rock band, but then I went on to study my PhD in Observational Astrology until the end of the 90s when I started a family. I decided I needed a normal job, so I worked in software for a bit.

“I got back into music five years ago because the children were older. Tom Petty died, so I started listening to his music again and realised that it suited my voice.”

Petty Criminals began in 2018. Although Nigel had been a fan since the late ‘70s, 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 realised how much he loved the classics so he decided to form a band to pay tribute. This time last year, the band were playing local pubs and now they have a 20-date theatre tour.

Petty Criminals will be performing at The Playhouse in Weston-Super-Mare on Friday, March 6 at 7:30pm.To book visit