The Players

David Carroll

Bouzouki, mandolin, acoustic electric & high-strung guitars, acoustic & electric dulcimer, uilleann pipes, lute, vocals

Towards the bottom of a family of 7 children, the ‘borrowing’ of an elder brother’s guitar at age 13 started a wild infatuation which put an end to any further ideas of firstly homework and then education as a whole. An approach by folk band 'Spinning Wheel' at age 17 led to most of the 1970s being spent in vans travelling the country earning a crust from the then buoyant folk club and college circuits.
The advent of punk led to a lessening of interest in older forms of music, so to supplement a waning income, a qualification in stringed instrument making and repair was gained, leading to a successful career in the musical instrument industry. Several bands, duos and solo performances followed over the years, as well as a steady flow of both live and studio session work on instruments as diverse as uilleann pipes and appalachian dulcimer as well as the more normal guitar, bouzouki and mandolin. A chance conversation with old friend Dave Oberle at the Cropredy festival in 2009 led to an invitation to add some sparkly bits to Dave’s new project, the Beagles.
After appearing on countless recordings for other people the idea of a solo album fermented over several years and, bolstered by offers of help from many good friends (including all the below!) the ideas and arrangements finally surfaced in 2022.

Brian Gulland

Bassoon, contra bassoon, harpsichord, harmonium, church organ, keyboards, soprano alto tenor & bass crumhorns, recorders, soprano sax, tuba, euphonium, tenor horn, cor anglais, harp, whistle, vocals

Brian first sang in public aged 8 as The Angel in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Whilst a choirboy at Canterbury Cathedral he met and engaged with the Bassoon.
Following the National Youth Orchestra, the Royal College of Music beckoned, but Brian left early, with vague ideas about playing Hammond organ in a rock band.
Teaming up with Richard Harvey, he was led into Mediaeval & Renaissance music and Crumhorns, playing in Music Reservata and London Pro Music.
Gryphon emerged seamlesslyish in 1972 and continued till mid ’77, when, headhunted by Gabriel Yacoub, Brian spent 2 years in the French Medieval Folk Rock band Malicorne, whilst moonlighting playing sax in a Parisian punk group.
From the 80’s, Brian has spent much time in studios, and on the road with the acoustic folkers The New Scorpion Band, the guitarist John Williams, and on sousaphone with the Swervy World Theatre.
He has also been writing, arranging, producing, expanding the instrument cupboard, and playing on numerous recording sessions, from the Nolan Sisters to Hans Zimmer, via Jon Anderson of Yes, Emma Thompson and Ian Dury, as well as working in the film music world including a spell as Musical Assistant to David Byrne of Talking Heads on ’The Last Emperor’ for Belusconi, being a chanting monk for Sir Paul McCartney, and supplying bassoon cannon noises for Muppets Treasure Island.
The blessings of a musical existence have permitted access to magnificent venues like the Houston Astrodome, The Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, Madison Square Garden, the Albert Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Queen’s Park Rangers Football Ground, and Village Halls and Folk Clubs without number.
Working in top recording environments like Abbey Road, Air and Grande Armee has been a privilege.
In addition to his writings for Gryphon, Brian continues to compose in different musical genres, including choral music and a set of harpsichord pieces. He is getting closer to finally coming out with a solo record.

Dave Oberle

Drums, tubano dancing drum, tablas, bhangra dhol, bodhran, spoons, annoying humming, vocals

Dave was born in Farnborough, Kent. His Father was Charter Director for B.O.A.C and consequently he spent much of his early life traveling, with the first 6 years spent living in Singapore.
His Mother loved to play piano and he was brought up with an appreciation of classical and popular music. However, the drummer was lurking inside and he was more interested in hitting things and would raid the kitchen drawer for two meat skewers which he used to play on an old wooden box. Then at the age of 10 his Father bought him a snare drum and it was all downhill from there. Throughout his teens he developed a taste for hard rock and at the age of 16 began playing in Surrey based Prog/Rock band Juggernaut along with original Gryphon Bass player Phil Nestor.
Dave was eventually approached by Richard Harvey and Brian Gulland in 1971 and asked to join what was later to become Gryphon. His challenge was to adapt his style and kit and to create a new method of playing which would work with the acoustic sound of the band. Gryphon went on to tour all over Europe and the USA supporting the likes of Yes, Steeleye Span and Genesis as well as headlining their own gigs.
During the first seven years in Gryphon he also played on Steve Howe’s (Yes) solo album “Beginnings” and did a vocal session for Punk icons Wire on their “Pink Flag” album, considered to be one of the most important punk albums of the time. When the members of Gryphon eventually went their own ways, he went to work in the music press, contributing significantly to Melody Maker and Sounds. He was later to be part of the team that launched the incredibly successful worldwide heavy rock magazine Kerrang! He then spent the next 10 years running independent Heavy Rock Record label Communique releasing albums by Motorhead and Girlschool.
He still plays with Gryphon and 2022 marks 50 years of the bands existence. One of the few bands from the 70’s with 3 original members. In recent years Gryphon have produced 2 new albums (bringing the total released to 7) both of which have received much critical acclaim.
He has also appeared as a guest backing vocalist for Martin Orford (IQ and Jadus) on his album “The Old Road” and has done vocal and percussion sessions for Prog rock outfit Gandalf’s Fist, who’s album “Forrest of Fey” was voted No 3 in Classic Rock Magazine’s top 100 albums of 2015. He has also appeared on their latest album “The Clockwork Fable”
Since 2009 Dave has also played in a side project ‘The Beagles’ with David Carroll.

Graeme Taylor

Electric guitar, engineer, producer

Graeme’s musical career began age 17 in 1971, as founder member of ground-breaking band Gryphon. He also played with an assortment of rock and R&B bands from the mid 70s through to the 90s, notably singer songwriter John B. Spencer.
In 1977, Graeme joined forces with Ashley Hutchings, Shirley Collins, John Tams, Ric Sanders and Michael Gregory, resulting in the formation of a new Albion Band, and with the addition of Dave Mattacks and Simon Nicol from Fairport Convention, the making of the classic album Rise up Like the Sun. With John, Ashley and Greg, together with Bill Bryden's team at the National Theatre, he was instrumental in the making of The Mysteries and Lark Rise to Candleford, for which a distinctive English brass section was added, and for the show's revival in 2000, Graeme assumed the role of Music Director and wrote original music and arrangements.
He has continued working with John and Greg, forming the critically acclaimed Home Service, which took these concepts much further and has recently enjoyed a successful reincarnation with the great John Kirkpatrick.
He was Music Director for War Horse at the New London Theatre for 3 years, and nowadays spends most of his time engineering and producing music for other singers and bands in his inspiring purpose-built garden studio in south west London.
Additionally, he has written music for library, has done session work and made live and TV appearances with such diverse artistes as Long John Baldry, Tim Rose, Madeleine Bell, Julie Covington, Denise Black, Kiki Dee, Rolf Harris and Rebecca Storm.

Chris Leslie

Fiddle, vocals

Inspired by local musicians in his native Oxfordshire, Chris began playing the fiddle at the age of thirteen. One of his early influences and, later, his mentor was Fairport Convention's then-fiddler Dave Swarbrick.
In 1976, Chris and his brother John Leslie began performing as a duo and they recorded an album in 1976. Chris also played with singer-songwriter Steve Ashley, touring extensively in the UK and continental Europe. Chris studied violin making in Nottinghamshire and completed his three-year course 1983. Back to Oxfordshire, he was invited to tour with Dave Pegg to promote Dave's solo album.
Dave Swarbrick invited Chris to become a founder member of the pioneering acoustic group Whippersnapper. This band made several albums and toured the UK, Europe and the USA. Chris also toured with rock group All About Eve.
During the 1990s, Chris worked as a duo with Whippersnapper guitarist Kev Dempsey, collaborated with folk pianist Beryl Marriott, and was a member of Simon Mayor's Mandolin Quartet. He also played fiddle on tour with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.
In 1995 Chris joined The Albion Band, touring and recording with them before joining Fairport Convention the next year. As well as playing and recording with them, Chris has contributed many songs to Fairport's repertoire.
In the run-up to Christmas each year, Chris tours with seasonal group St Agnes Fountain. His session credits include work for Ralph McTell, Steve Ashley, Alan Stivell, Chris While and Julie Mathews, Jez Lowe, Christine Collister, Maartin Allcock, The Melstock Band, Kieran Halpin, John Wright, All About Eve, and Mostly Autumn. Chris has also recorded four solo albums
A talented multi-instrumentalist, Chris plays Fiddle, Mandolin, Tenor Guitar, Bouzouki, Ukulele, Banjo, Oud, Whistle and Native American Flute.

Dave Pegg


As a teenager, Dave became involved in Birmingham's vibrant 60s rock scene. He soon found himself playing guitar most evenings with one or other of the city's young bands. Later, Dave auditioned as a lead guitarist with The Uglys but was persuaded to swap to bass guitar and has played the instrument ever since.
After a spell with The Uglys, Dave joined the Ian Campbell Folk Group on double bass and met fiddle maestro Dave Swarbrick by whom he was introduced to Fairport Convention. He joined them and has been in the band ever since.
In 1980, he joined Jethro Tull as bass player and spent 15 years with the band. As if playing in two bands was not enough, he set up Woodworm Records to produce and market Fairport's albums. He also recorded a solo album.
Dave has also co-organised Fairport's Cropredy Convention festival since the early 1980s. From small beginnings, it has grown into a major event that attracts 20,000 fans each August.
As well as recording and touring with Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull, Dave is much in demand as a session player and has contributed bass to innumerable recordings, including those by John Martyn, Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Ralph McTell, Dave Swarbrick and Richard Thompson. He is also an accomplished mandolin player.
Dave splits his time between his homes in Banbury, Oxfordshire and Merlevenez, Brittany.

Lucy Cooper


A life long love of singing and songs has led to years of singing in pubs and bars, folk clubs and sessions, solo or with her sister Mary Humphries, or on and off as a duo with David Carroll. Lucy and Mary provided backing vocals for Judie Tzuke’s 1985 album, Wonderland.

Tom Spencer


Tom started his musical career singing backing vocals for his dad, the late John B. Spencer, whilst still in his teens. There followed a career playing guitar (and sometimes bass) and singing with a succession of punk/new wave/post punk/rock bands including Big Boy Tomato, the Lurkers, the Yo Yos, the Loyalties, Ginger and the Wildhearts, Dogs D’Amour and his family band, Fast Lane Roogalator. For some years now he has also played banjo and guitar with The Men They Couldn’t Hang, and banjo with Banjoey Ramone. Since 2015 Tom has also been guitarist and singer with The Professionals, along side of Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols.
Tom is also a talented stained glass artist, working under the title ‘Tattoo Glass’.

Morden Shoals Studio

Produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Graeme Taylor at Morden Shoals Studio

Dave Pegg’s Bass recorded by James Wood at Woodland Studio in Nantes, France.

Woodwind & keyboard arrangements, vocal coaching and magic ears by Brian Gulland