Derek’s early musical career was spent as a jobbing musician, writer and arranger, working between live and recording work. In the recording studio Derek’s talents saw him commissioned to produce music for advertising campaigns for many large organisations including LloydsTSB, British Midland Airlines and B.P..
In the mid 80s, as a member of the band 'Danny Wilson', Derek toured USA & Canada promoting the band's single 'Mary's Prayer', a top 5 hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Sharing the bill with 'Simply Red', the 'Dannys' subsequently opened for the band at Wembley Arena where they played to 'sold out' crowds for 5 nights. Further prestigious outings included Ronnie Scott's Club in London, New York's historic Beacon Theatre and the Montreux Rock Festival in Switzerland alongside artistes such as 'Sting'. In addition Derek has appeared on the legendary U.S. television show 'American Bandstand', broadcast from Los Angeles. Derek's other live credits include tours with 'Level 42', 'Deacon Blue', 'Hue & Cry', 'The Christians', Eddie Reader, Dougie MacLean and Dundee's own Michael Marra.