Clanjamfrie ( (an erstwhile super group from the Cambridge area!) To Contents
A sometimes irreverent retrospective revealing some secrets not yet public knowledge...........
Clanjamfrie were a five piece acoustic folk/rock band with personnel based in Cambridge, Ely, Peterborough and Yorkshire. They were frequent visitors to the Otley Folk Festival and the Junction Inn.
It all started in approximately 1980 with the collaboration of Karl Robins and John Carey followed by a few Pennine Radio Sessions in Bradford encouraged by Nigel Schofield who was then head of music. Periods of relative inactivity followed interspersed with two folk bands in Otley 'Fine Artistes' and 'Renardine'. Nevertheless Karl's song-writing was prolific including a short-lived but meteoric venture into 'Christian Music' followed by just as quick a departure! (the least said the better!) .
Activities then moved to the Isle of Man where Karl then lived which made rehearsing very difficult. We never bothered much with rehearsing anyway and so it probably made little difference. The Isle of Man provided a few good local venues particularly in Laxey and Ramsey. It was during this period that the duo released 'Easy Street' coinciding with early appearances at the Otley Folk Festival . This was due to an unfortunate map reading error. They were trying to find Otley in Suffolk (You thought there couldn't possibly be more than one place called Otley but yes there is -check it on the map!!)
In 1995 the band had another change of locality and identity in the Cambridge area as 'Clanjamfrie' with the addition of Richard 'Jock' Currie on guitar and vocals, Richard joining as part of a rehabilitation scheme. He is now fully rehabilitated and back into hard core folk music and drinking. During this period there were a few memorable local village 'hops' in the Burrough Green and Dullingham area (just into Suffolk). From this time on the band steadily grew, the line up being augmented in 1998 by Big Jim Moore on bass and Vick King on drums and heavy artillery, a couple of no-hopers with little better to do with their spare time. The style has changed progressively with the line up but still retaining the essential melodic qualities of Karl's songs but with a band sound. In September 2000 Phil Atkin joined on drums to play the Otley festival. Phil's arrival brought the average age of the band down to 55 and foot size up to 13.
However after a dramatic reduction to 1 and shortlived restyling as Billinomates the band reappeared at the 2004 Otley Folk festival as 'Billinomates and Mates' to be dropped in favour of 'Karl Robins and Friends' including Karl & Ben Robins and John Carey
Gigs have been mainly in the Cambridge area where the band have a good following but also in Otley, West Yorkshire as a consequence of the local folk festival where they have recently appeared (again and again) in various forms. The band have also played and drunk at the Junction on many occasions.
Recordings have been prolific over the years now totalling six albums with all songs penned by Karl (see later).To Contents
Members included (at their dizzy peak):-
Karl Robins- (aka FBR) Vocals, guitar, mandolin and Morris dancing - b1946 Favourite colours - red blue yellow and green : Favourite bands - Deep Purple and Simply Red : Favourite food - Curry : Favourite chord - G: Favourite Rugby team - Bradford Bulls: Hobbies -DIY, interior decorating, crown green bowling and church choral music
Richard 'Jock' McCurry- Vocals guitar and whistle b1950 in Scotland - Favourite band -Jimmy Shand : Favourite drink - Paddy's Malt Whiskey: Favourite food - haggis : Hobbies - [caber] tossing
Phil Atkinhi b 1926 -Drums- Favourite band - Royal Fusiliers Massed Drums : Favourite instrument - Yamaha D20 electronic drum kit with preset sounds : Favourite track - Cozy Powell - 'Dance With The Devil' : Hobbies - panel beating
Big Jim Moore- Bass (should be Tetley's) b 1933- Favourite band -Motorhead : Favourite artist -Derek Smalls (bass player- Spinal Tap) :Favourite drink- Bass Best Bitter : Favourite food - more beer : Hobbies - drinking and marathon running
John Carey- Violin, viola, melodeon, whistle and harp- b 1966 -Favourite track Mahler's 5th: Favourite band - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra : Hobbies - drinking Tetleys and baiting Scotsmen
1975 - Karl playing with Oakwood Mr REE (with Pete Dunk and Gary Hetherington) playing Bread, Harvey Andrews etc. covers and Karl numbers. Karl and John meet up in Smiths Arms, Gelderd Road Leeds on Saturday music night
1980 - Karl Robins and John Carey meet up again in Otley, W.Yorks for some sessions playing Karl material on guitar and fiddle. Some sessions quickly followed at Pennine Radio in Bradford with encouragement from Nigel Schofield.
1986- Karl and John re-establish as Fine Artistes together with Dave Rees (Voc and Guitar) ex Hot Pot Belly Band playing Swing and Blues numbers. Simultaneously, short lived a folk act 'Renardine' started with Ruth Wyatt on vocals and flute playing mainly Karl numbers. Some early recording sessions which later went to become 'Four Tracking' as a consequence of the mode of recording.
1989- Karl and John release 'Trick of The Tune' on cassette produced by Alan Daley
1991- 'Easy Street' recorded and produced by John. (Completed in 1994). Karl moves to Isle of Man.
1992- Karl and John team up to play several concerts at the 2nd Otley Folk festival. Rehearsals somewhat problematical and conducted by phone.
1993- Further appearance as duo at Otley Festival
1994 - Karl moves to Cambridge area - Annual appearances at Otley continue.
1995 - Line up augmented by Richard (Mad Jock) Currie on Guitar and Vocs. Also Dawn Freshwater on backing vocs.
1997 - Big Jim Moore joins on bass
1998- Released 'Storm Clouds Rising' as trio produced by John. Successful appearance at Otley Festival with addition of drums. Attract a considerable following in Otley.
1999- Released 'New Road to Damascus' as foursome with Karl Richard John and Jim (produced by John). Adrian Wilkinson joins on guitar following Richard's temporary departure. Vic King joins on drums.
2000- released new live album 'I Got News For You' recorded at Black Horse Otley engineered by Rod Holt and line up of Karl, Richard, Adrian, Vic, Jim and John. Appearances at the Junction Inn, Otley. In September the band make a further successful appearance at the 2000 Otley Folk Festival including two memorable gigs at the Civic Hall to full houses accompanied by Phil Atkin on drums. Also appearances at the Red Lion, Black Horse, Woolpack, Junction, Manor Club and the Bowling Green - a busy three nights! Somewhere along the way the 25th anniversary got missed!
2001 - The band made an appearance on the club stage at the Cambridge Folk Festival. Rumour has it that the stage collapsed possibly attributable to the combined weight of the band (not including the fiddle player who wasn't there). Occasional gigs in Cambridge including the 'Wrestlers'. A further successful visit to the Otley Folk Festival 2001 with two gigs in the Civic Hall plus, All Saints School, The Junction, Bowling Green, Bay Horse and Three Horse Shoes. The line up remains as 2000
2002 - Still going with line up changes - Release of New Road To Damascus2 - a rework of earlier album with Phil Atkin on drums (produced by John) - this will truly be a collectors item in years to come
2003 - Much reduced line up and almost demise!
2004 - Appearance at Stamford Riverside Festival and Otley Folk Festival 2004 line up including Karl, Ben and John. Change of identity.
2005 - Back into obscurity?????? Watch this space!