Gig History

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1950s - 1970s


1959 - 1971

Appearances with The Hammersmith Morris Men as a dancer, and gradually as one of the musicians as well. Local tours around West London, Morris Ring Meetings, folk music events and festivals of all kinds, and a week-long trip to Holland in July 1962. The repertoire consisted principally of Cotswold Morris, but also included Long Sword, Rapper, for a few years a Mummers Play, and once, at Sidmouth Festival in 1967, The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance.

1963 Onwards

Occasional member of various Country Dance Bands, including The Troubadours, led by Vic Godrich, and The Blue Mountain Band, led by Rick Smith.

Also seen lurking amongst the massed bands at the English Folk Dance & Song Society’s Festivals at The Royal Albert Hall, finally gaining promotion into the Arena Band!

First stab at what was to become a huge amount of work as a solo resident musician on folk dance courses and workshops. From being the musician of choice for dance evangelist High Rippon, John went on to work with most of the top callers and teachers of the time.

1965 - 1969

Regular member of “The Rhythmics” Country Dance Band, led by Peter Bowden

Resident musician at Folk Camps.

JK starts to do some calling as a dance MC.

Folk club duo with Dick Musson.

First solo folk club gigs.

Late 60’s began to lead an occasional Come-All-Ye Band at Hammersmith Folk Dance Club.


First professional solo gigs at folk clubs and festivals, including Sidmouth and Towersey.

The Hammersmith Folk Dance Band turns into Dingle’s Chillybom Band, led by JK on accordion, with Geoff Warren, Alan Roberts, Steve Dyer, and Roger Holt.

JK Deputised for accordionist Pete Shutler one night in a dance for The Yetties.

Musician for -

  • the Folkweave dance demonstration team
  • a trip to France with Martlett Morris Men from Chichester
  • various residential dance courses and workshops
  • and for folk camps
  • the Christmas Residential course at Lymington, Hampshire

Folk Camp Leader at Polegate, Sussex.

Started Dingle’s Folk Club in London’s Tottenham Court Road, with Roger Holt and Gerry Shiels.


Solo gigs at folk clubs and festivals, including Loughborough, Cleethorpes, Sidmouth, Whitby, Falmouth, and Towersey.

Played in a band backing Shirley Collins on a very short West Country Tour (2 dates – I couldn’t do the third!) with Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson, and Royston Wood.

Playing for dances with Dingle’s Chillybom Band, now also including Sue Harris.

Residential musician for dance courses, workshops, and folk camps.

Musician for Folkweave Dance Demonstration Team.

Continue to run Dingle’s Folk Club.

Final appearance with Hammersmith Morris Men.


First duo gigs with Sue Harris at folk clubs and festivals including Cleethorpes, Stainsby, Falmouth, Irvine, Barnsley, Bromyard, and Towersey, and two tours of Scotland.

Dingle’s Chillybom Band continues playing for dances.

Joins Taffy and Sheila Thomas’ group Magic Lantern for their special Christmas Show Tour – songs, music, and sketches with shadow puppets.


From January till August, a member of The Albion Country Band - Martin Carthy, Ashley Hutchings, Simon Nicol, Roger Swallow, Sue Harris, and JK.

Band gigs round Britain, including Cambridge Festival, and a festival appearance in Holland.

Dingle’s Chillybom Band continues playing for dances.

Duo gigs with Sue Harris, including festival appearances at Whitby, Wells, Barnsley, Cleethorpes, Redcar, and Birmingham Rep.

Joins Magic Lantern once again for their special Christmas Show.


Duo gigs with Sue Harris, including festival appearances at Sidmouth, Perth, Morley, and a week at the Edinburgh Festival Folk Fringe.

Tours in Scotland, Belgium, and Germany.

Final appearance of Dingle’s Chillybom Band.

One interim gig as a dance band by The Mynd End Mogglers

First gigs by Umps & Dumps as a dance band – Tufty Swift, Derek Pearce, John Tams, Sue Harris, and JK.

One BBC TV appearance accompanying Wolverhampton folk singer Jon Raven.

Join Magic Lantern again for their Christmas Show.


Duo gigs with Sue Harris, including festival appearances at Sidmouth, Norwich, Rhyl, Birmingham Rep, & Moulton.

Some solo gigs, including a solo tour of Belgium.

Umps & Dumps continues as a dance band and as a folk club act.

JK’s first live appearance as a member of Richard & Linda Thompson’s Band, with gigs at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Fairfield Hall, The Roundhouse, and Cambridge Folk Festival, and an autumn tour.

Joins Magic Lantern for a special Halloween Show Tour.

JK begins to call dances in secret corners of Shropshire.


Solo gigs, including a tour of Holland and Belgium.

Duo gigs with Sue Harris, including festival appearances at Inverness, Lacock & Chippenham, Trowbridge, and Loughborough.

Umps & Dumps continues as a band and a club act – last appearance with the band by John Tams.

JK appears in the BBC TV play “Spice Island Farewell”, as a Victorian concertina player, along with Steve Heap on cornet and Mick Hennessy on double bass.

1976 to the present day

The Shropshire Bedlams & Martha Rhoden’s Tuppenny Dish – brother and sister
morris teams from Shropshire, make their first public appearance in April,1976. JK is totally involved from that day to this, as a dancer, musician, and prime mover. The first companion teams of men and women to tour round together, and the first groups in the folk dance revival to explore exclusively the local “Border Morris” repertoire. The world of morris dancing was never quite the same again!


As well as carrying out a number of solo gigs, JK is named as Miscellaneous Instrumentalist of The Year in the Melody Maker Folk Poll!

Duo gigs with Sue Harris, including The Folk Prom at The Royal Albert Hall, and festival appearances at Lacock & Chippenham, Loughborough, Towersey, and Sidmouth (with the Bedlams & Martha’s).

Umps & Dumps continues, with Alan Harris joining to replace John Tams.

JK joins Steeleye Span in June – with Maddy Prior, Martin Carthy, Tim Hart, Rick Kemp, & Nigel Pegrum. Touring round Britain and the whole of Northern Europe. The band appeared on TV ’s “Jim’ll Fix It” singing their Christmas single.


Steeleye Span continues till June, touring Britain and Europe. The band then breaks up before re-forming (without JK) a few years later.

Solo gigs, and some duo gigs with Sue Harris, and the continuing of Umps & Dumps, with festival appearances at The St George’s Festival at Cecil Sharp House, Wrekin Festival, Crewe & Nantwich, Wadebridge, Fylde, & Jersey. Appearances abroad in France, Holland, Belgium & Switzerland.

One of the only appearances of “Knocking Nellie and The Sperm Whale Boys”, a quartet featuring JK, Sue Harris, and Geoff and Pennie Harris.

Autumn dates with Richard & Linda Thompson’s Band, including a gig in Hamburg.


Solo gigs.

Appeared as a singing, dancing, and playing member of The Albion Band in The National Theatre’s production of “Lark Rise”, and, later in the year, in its sequel “Candleford”. One or two live Albion Band gigs elsewhere.

Touring with Richard & Linda Thompson’s Band.

Tour of Belgium in a duo with Alan Harris.

Umps & Dumps continue, including a week’s tour of Holland.

A few duo gigs with Sue Harris, including festival appearances at Crewe & Nantwich, Sidmouth, and Rotterdam.

First folk club gigs in a duo with Martin Carthy.

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