Phil Beer, best known for his multi-instrumental wizardry as one half of England’s top acoustic / roots duo Show of Hands, is also touring with his own band once again.
Described by The Guardian as ‘where Steve Earle and Richard Thompson collide’ an evening with The Phil Beer Band is fast, frenetic, ‘feel-good’ and leavened with a good helping of humour.
Delivering a unique blend of ‘folk and roll’ drawn from Phil’s love of traditional tunes and American country rock, the Phil Beer Band comprises six musicians each with musical careers in their own right, including guitarist and singer Emily Slade and melodeonist and tunesmith Gareth Turner, known for his energy-fuelled performances with Little Johnny England. Nick Quarmby (Colvin Quarmby) on bass, Steve Crickett on drums and Olivia Dunn (Mad Dog MaCree) on fiddle complete the line-up. Phil’s instrumental skills on acoustic and electric guitars, fiddle and mandolin are well documented and been utilized by countless artists over the years, including The Rolling Stones, Mike Oldfield and Steve Harley. He was for many years lead guitarist and singer with the Albion band and co-wrote many of their songs. He has also made forays into film and television music as well as finding time to produce albums for other musicians.
Known mostly as a founder member of the folk/roots band ‘ColvinQuarmby’, along with ‘The Phil Beer Band’. Nick has played bass and guitar for over 25 years, and has also been involved in both live and studio production and engineering. Currently Nick lives in Oxfordshire and continues to perform with ‘ColvinQuarmby’ on a regular basis. Future projects include a Masters in Music Therapy, an album of original material and winning the lottery.
I started playing alongside Simon Care for the morris at the age of fourteen and joined my first band at fifteen with Guy Fletcher on drums. The band was called Plastic Cutlery and was run by Ian Carter (Tiger Moth). At eighteen I moved to Yorkshire to work for Dave Mallinson Music selling and repairing squeeze boxes plus getting to go to all the festivals over the summer. It was a great time for a year or so playing in sessions and in a memorable street band called King Ligger & The Bathing Boys (Eliza Carthy, Nancy Kerr, Jock Tyldesley, Sam Thomas, Tris Glover, Barnaby Stradling, Judy Wright, Jasper King and Will McKey. In 1992 I joined the tale end of the electric Albion Band for about a year and then onto The Ashley Hutchings Dance Band with Ken Nichol(Steeleye Span), Paul Burgess (10cc). I also became a member of the Phil Beer Band that year (1993) which still tours once a year. I recorded the worlds first squeezebox duo album with Simon Care (E2,Tickled Pink). In 1999 I formed Little Johnny England.
Credits include; Miranda Sykes, Phil Beer, Show Of Hands, Maggie Reilly, Emily Slade, Nigel Stonier, Ashley Hutchings
Steve met Phil in the late 1970s when he was drummer with early music/rock band Dr. Cosgill, reforming 2011 under the name Fable of the Bees (not Beers) & Phil was touring with Paul Downes. After Cosgills called time in 1981, he joined Phil & Paul & Bill & Pete Zorn in The Arizona Smoke Revue & has worked on various projects with Phil ever since & is still waiting to be paid for some of them!! In an enjoyably varied playing career Steve has worked with a number (any number) of folk. dance, pop & rock bands & in 2010 spent spring & summer touring theatres as a musician/actor(ish) in The Vera Lynn Story. Look very,very carefully & you might see him drumless in the films Young Victoria, Wolfman, Burke & Hare, Hugo Cabret & episodes of TVs Peep Show & Lewes (2011 series). Born in Tottenham, Steve now lives in North Gloucestershire & for the last 15 years has fought off poverty by being in the pit band at the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury for 7 weeks over Xmas in Pantomime. “Where’s my career gone?”… It’s behind you!
My parents were and still are in a ceilidh band so I grew up surrounded by folk music. My dad (Christopher Dunn) made my fiddle. I have previously played for ceilidh bands, indie bands and other folk rock bands. I have been the fiddle player with folk band Mad Dog Mcrea for the past two years and we have an album due for release in Spring 2011. I also play in a sporadic duo with Paul Hutchinson (Belshazzar’s Feast), and an album is in the pipeline there too. I teach fiddle, take on the odd bit of session work and in 2010 I was Musical Director for a stage show ‘The Farmer’s Wife’, put on by Creative Cow Productions. This is my second year on the Phil Beer Band tour.
Back in the band after seven years and replacing Miranda Sykes on this tour will be Guitarist and singer Emily Slade who is returning to music after a break. We are delighted to have her on board and look forward to her contribution to the up and coming tour next March.