History

Origins

The one constant in the band’s history has been the band leader Ashley Hutchings, founding member of arguably the two other pre-eminent English folk rock groupings Fairport Conventionand Steeleye Span, and it has been the home for most of the projects of his long and highly productive career, though in the 2011 incarnation of the band he has handed over the reins to son Blair Dunlop. Initially Hutchings formed the band in April 1971 to accompany his then wife the singer Shirley Collins on her No Roses album. Dave MattacksRichard Thompson and Simon Nicol, from Fairport Convention, beside such luminaries as Lal and Mike Waterson of The Watersons and Maddy Prior, were among twenty five credited backing musicians.

The Albion Band Reborn

In July of 2011, Hutchings announced that the Albion Band would be forming again, and for the first time, he himself would not be a member. Instead he passed the baton to his son – the guitarist and singer Blair Dunlop. This new line up also features a number of other current folk performers from a range of backgrounds reflecting earlier versions of the Albion Band. These members include Folk Award nominee Katriona Gilmore (Tiny Tin Lady, Gilmore/Roberts – Fiddle and vocals) the traditionally biased vocalist, concertina player and guitarist Gavin Davenport, (Crucible, Glorystrokes, Hekety, solo) drummer Tom Wright (Eliza Carthy projects/Glorystrokes), Tim Yates (Blackbeard’s Tea Party/The QP) taking on the onerous duty of playing bass – only the second bass player – the first being Ashley Hutchings himself and lead guitarist and relative newcomer Benjamin Trott. This line up released an own label taster EP in 2011 and are scheduled to release a full studio album in early 2012.

Singles

  • Hopping Down in Kent (1976)
  • The Postman’s Knock / La Sexte Estampie Real (1977)
  • Poor Old Horse / Ragged Heroes (1978)
  • Pain and Paradise / Lay Me Low (1979)
  • Wings (1998)

Albums

As the Albion Country Band
As the Albion Dance Band
As the Albion Band
  • Rise Up Like the Sun (Harvest, 1978)
  • Lark Rise to Candleford (Charisma, 1980)
  • Light Shining (Albino, 1983)
  • Shuffle Off (Spindrift, 1983)
  • Under The Rose (Spindrift, 1984)
  • A Christmas Present from the Albion Band (Fun/Tracer, 1985)
  • Stella Maris (Making Waves, 1987)
  • The Wild Side of Town (Celtic Music, 1987) – with Chris Baines
  • I Got New Shoes (Spindrift, 1988)
  • Give Me A Saddle, I’ll Trade You A Car (Topic, 1989)
  • The Best of 1989/90 (1990)
  • Songs from the Shows, v. 1 (Albino, 1990)
  • Songs from the Shows, v. 2 (Albino, 1991)
  • Live in Concert (BBC, 1993)
  • Acousticity (HTD, 1993)
  • Captured (HTD, 1995)
  • Albion Heart (Making Waves, 1995)
  • Demi Paradise (HTD, 1996)
  • Live At The Cambridge Folk Festival (BBC/Strange Fruit, 1996)
  • The Acoustic Years: 1993-1997 (Castle, 1997)
  • Songs From The Shows (Road Goes On Forever, 1997)
  • Happy Accident (HTD, 1998)
  • BBC Sessions (BBC/Strange Fruit, 1998)
  • Along The Pilgrim’s Way (Mooncrest, 1998)
  • The Best of 89/90 (HTD 1998)
  • Albion Sunrise—HTD Recordings: 1994-1999 (HTD, 1999)
  • Albion Heart (HTD 1999)
  • Before Us Stands Yesterday (HTD, 1999)
  • Christmas Album (HTD, 1999)
  • The HTD Years (HTD, 2000)
  • Road Movies (Topic, 2001)
  • An Evening with The Albion Band (Talking Elephant, 2002)
  • No Surrender (Snapper Music, 2003)
  • Acousticity on Tour (Talking Elephant, 2004)
  • Albion Heart on Tour (Talking Elephant, 2004)
  • Albion Sunrise – HTD Recordings: 1994-1999 (HTD, 2004)
  • The Albion Band Live in Concert (Talking Elephant, 2007)
  • Vintage Albion Band (Talking Elephant, 2007)
  • Fighting Room (own label, 2011)