Kevin Bown: Broadwood upright piano (1880), double bass on tracks 9 and 12.
(Dalriada, Wiltshire Reunion, Grand Union, Flying Clouds)
Martin Brinsford: Suzuki tremelo harmonicas.
(Old Swan Band, Brass Monkey, Grand Union, Tiger Moth)
Mike Pinder: fiddle, banjo mandolin on track 12.
(Flying Clouds, Grey Eagle, English Rebellion, Village Band)
Rod Stradling: Cairdín and Saltarelle melodeons.
(Oak, Old Swan Band, Edward ll, Feckless, English Country Blues and Dance Bands, Tiger Moth)
Fran Wade: Marcel Richters fiddle (1980)
(Dalriada, Grand Union, Flying Clouds, Village Band, Tiger Moth)
As might be expected, Phoenix came into being out of a fire. The regular Monday evening music session at the Prince Albert pub in Stroud came to an abrupt halt in the summer of 2005, when 'the bleeding pub caught fire'.
Actually, it wasn't a terribly serious fire, and thankfully no one was hurt - so they all expected it to be back in business in a week or so. Strangely though, the chain which owns the pub had other ideas, and it was over six months before The Albert reopened ... yet, mercifully, not turned into a theme pub!
Rod Stradling (melodeon), one of the initiators of the session, is not a man to go without music for six weeks, let alone six months, so he was soon to be found knocking on the door of two other session regulars, Fran Wade (fiddle) and Kevin Bown (double bass and piano), who live just 50 yards up the road from him.
As may be imagined, it wasn't long before new tunes began to replace the old session repertoire, and the trio realised that they had the makings of a new band. Martin Brinsford (mouthorgan), another local Albert session regular, was invited to join, as was an old friend of Fran's, Mike Pinder (fiddle and banjo mandolin), who was just about to take early retirement.
All the members are seasoned band musicians, but they have tried not to bring 'the same old repertoire' of tunes into the new band. Phoenix play a fairly eclectic mix of music - mainly English, of course, but with contributions from right across western Europe, and even North America, and these are tunes you may not have heard much before, at least, not in England.
Phoenix love playing for dances, and playing together, they love these tunes - and hope that others will enjoy and play them, too.