The Albion Band, (also known as The Albion Country Band, The Albion Dance Band etc). The band was originally formed in April 1972 by Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span founding member Ashley Hutchings initially to accompany singer Shirley Collins on her No Roses recording . Dave Mattacks from Fairport Convention was recruited, and later that year Richard and Linda Thompson also joined for a short tour.
Ashley was keen to make a permanent band from these musicians and the first attempt included Royston Wood, Steve Ashley and Sue Draheim in the line-up. This was not to be as successful as had been hoped and a second Albion Country Band was formed. This group included Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, Sue Harris, Roger Swallow and Simon Nicol. The band split in August 1973 and retrospectively released their sole album, Battle of the Field, on Island Records.
Ashley then formed the Etchingham Steam Band which was active from 1974 to 1976.
In 1977 a new Albion Band was put together to play dance music. Another album was released, The Prospect Before Us under the name The Albion Dance Band, and in 1978 they released Rise Up Like the Sun under the name The Albion Band. This name has covered the various line-ups that have followed over the years.
In 1987 another version of the Albion Band recorded the music for The Wild Side of Town, a five-part BBC television series presented by Chris Baines. The music was also released on LP and CD; the CD has a bonus track omitted from the LP.
"Following the Autumn 2002 tour the line-up of The Albion Band broke up. This was as a result of the shrinking number of gigs available to the band. This made it difficult for members to commit themselves full time to the group. Consequently, there are no current plans to continue with the band. With a glorious history stretching back over thirty years The Albion Band has been a showcase for some of the finest folk musicians in the land. The most significant of the past members include Phil Beer, Trevor Foster, Martin Bell, Pete Bullock, Bill Caddick, Simon Care, Martin Carthy, Shirley Collins, Howard Evans, Sue Harris, Keith Hinchliffe, John Kirkpatrick, Ashley Hutchings, Chris Leslie, Cathy Lesurf, Neil Marshall, Dave Mattacks, Julie Matthews, John Maxwell, Ken Nicol, Simon Nicol, Philip Pickett, Brian Protheroe, Jean-Pierre Rasle, John Rodd, Ric Sanders, Steve Saunders, Martin Simpson, John Sothcott, Roger Swallow, John Tams, Graeme Taylor, Richard Thompson, Eddie Upton, Dave Whetstone, Chris While, Kellie While and Pete Zorn(a more complete listing can be found on the Albion Folk page).
related internet links
their seminal recording
Battle of the Field
advisor, environmentalist, speaker
and he's appeared with AH on
the Albion Band's The Wild Side of Town
she's been apart of the traditional
scene for a very long time,
a selection of songs, ditties, waltzes,
and divers merry dance tunes
Ashley Hutchings, Cathy Lesurf, Simon Nicol