Born: September 8, 1975
Hughes attended Tonbridge School where he was friends with Tim Rice-Oxley and Dominic Scott. At the age of seventeen, he learned to play the drums, and when Scott and Rice-Oxley formed a small covers band in 1995 he was invited to join as drummer. They later invited present vocalist Tom Chaplin to join the band, although Hughes initially objected, later stating, “The idea of giving someone who’s already the loudest person you know a microphone was not something that I was particularly keen on.”
Hughes then went to university at University College London where he received a degree in Geography. He took a job as a secretary at the BBC in order to support himself and the band while they lived and practiced in a flat on Upper Clapton Road in London. He also had a job as a supply teacher for a short time. It has been said that the song ‘Put it Behind You’ was written by Rice-Oxley for Hughes after he had broken up with a girlfriend, and that much of the album ‘Perfect Symmetry’ – in particular the track ‘You Don’t See Me’ – was also written about him and his unrequited love for a music who broke his heart by marrying another man. Hughes, however, has since denied these claims. Hughes is known to be the most humorous member of the band. Since Under the Iron Sea was released he has provided additional backing vocals for the band. He was married, presumably to his long-time girlfriend, in 2010.
He is a Human Rights activist with Amnesty International. On 3 November 2011 Hughes spoke at the Oxford Union about his work with Amnesty International, and his campaign for justice for Troy Davis.