from kooga to skin

HAND OF DIMES is the reunion of former SKIN singer and front man Neville MacDonald and keyboard player Neil Garland. Their friendship and song writing partnership goes back  to the mid eighties when they were both part of the Welsh Rock band KOOGA. Their critically acclaimed Across The Water album was released in 1986 and was recently featured in Classic Rock Magazines list of 250 vinyl albums  you must own. Sell out gigs at the legendary Marquee Club secured them a place at the Reading Rock Festival in 1987 alongside Alice Cooper and Status Quo. Despite this initial rise, the band were unable to secure a major deal and after several line-up changes, the band split in 1989.

Having written songs with guitarist Robbie Blunt (Robert Plant Band) following the split, Nev’s yearning was for more gutsy rock and roll, so the invitation to form SKIN with guitarist Myke Gray was a no-brainer…..Nev enjoyed success with SKIN in the mid 90’s following the release of their debut album. Produced in America by Keith Olsen the album reached No 9 in the charts and boasted two Top 20 singles which led to appearances on Top of the Pops. Appearance at the ‘94 Monsters of Rock Festival,support gigs in the UK and around Europe with Bruce Dickinson, Whitesnake, and Thunder helped SKIN to become a band that people took notice of, their consistent live show performances becoming their trademark. The band played their final concert at LA2 in London in 1998 which was recorded and released as the double live album "Hasta La Vista, Baby"

Nev has gained the respect and admiration for his vocals from all areas within the music business and evidence of that comes in the many offers he has received over the years to front different musical projects.  He has been lucky enough to perform alongside:-

 Robert Plant (with the Honeydrippers)

Paul Rodgers and Brian May  at the Gibson 50th Anniversary Concert.

Madeleine Bell on Skin’s debut album.

A Skin reunion to play Download  in 2009/2010 ended an eleven year break from the music business and with a final tour with Little Angels in 2012 the band split permanently.

Nev felt he still wanted to continue in music and armed with a ‘full set of pipes’ and a selection of rough ideas he’d accumulated over the years, he was ready to rekindle his song writing partnership with Neil Garland to see if they could revive the working relationship they enjoyed so many years earlier. 


here and now

Neil shared the 80’s acclaim of KOOGA with Nev. As co-writer of some of the best songs on the album, his song writing capabilities came to the fore just prior to its recording. His lyrical ideas began to make their mark with songs like ‘Lifeline’and the immense ‘Gabrielle’, and his ear for a good melody made the connection with Nev complete. They wrote instinctively and HAND OF DIMES has picked up where they left off. Their debut album “RAISE” is full of soulful melodic rock which packs a serious punch. With the powerful and emotional vocal drive which has become Nev’s unmistakable trademark the blend of electric and acoustic material has a wide range of influences. Strong melodic songs with lyrical weight are underpinned with a more Blues Rock style than either SKIN or KOOGA. “The new songs have come from the right place at a time of reconciliation, reflection, shared vision and trust in that song writing instinct”.

Making up the rest of the band are the solid rhythm section which are  Mark Maybry on Bass, David Stephenson on Drums and the subtle tones of Lead guitarist Colin Edwards.

 Support slots with THUNDER, THE QUIREBOYS,FM, WISHBONE ASH, ROMEO’S DAUGHTER and THE UNION plus several appearances at THE STEELHOUSE, HARD ROCK HELL, PLANET ROCK and HRH AOR Festivals shows the respect that they have achieved over the last few years and has been matched by enthusiastic response from audiences al around the UK.

In Nov. 2016 Nev was asked to join original Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden to play a set of Whitesnake songs at The Stables in Milton Keynes with Neil Murray (Whitesnake}, Jim Kirkpatrick (FM) and Mickey Barker(Magnum). A great honour which led to further gigs with Bernie in 2018.

Two Appearances with Bernie over the weekend at The Steelhouse Festival in 2017 playing both their own material and a selection Whitesnake songs has put them firmly on the Classic Rock map. A very successful string of gigs with Bernie followed in April 2018 and a sold out gig at The Tramshed for the 40th. Anniversary of the Ready And Willin' album has resulted in Bass player Mark and drummer Dino becoming the first choice rhythm section for many of Bernie's gigs.

Nev also co wrote and sang on the track "Left For Dead" on Phil Campbell's first solo album released in 2019. Sharing album credits with some well known names such as Joe Satriani, Rob Halford, Dee Snider and Mark King.