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The Albion Dance Band

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Biography

In 1977, English musician Ashley Hutchings (having abandoned the Albion name some years earlier and focused on forming the Etchingham Steam Band with his wife Shirley Collins) put together a new Albion Band, this time with the aim of playing traditional dance music. Hence the name.

The band had a huge and unstable membership that included Simon Nicol, Graeme Taylor (from Gryphon), the early music experts Phil Pickett and John Sothcott, fiddle player Ric Sanders, plus John Tams (one of folk music’s most distinctive and highly regarded vocalists). The immediate result was a lively tradition-based album The Prospect Before Us under the name The Albion Dance Band.

In 1978 the name was shortened to The Albion Band (which has remained the basis of the group’s identity since) and they released, under Tam’s direction, what is usually considered the finest album in the long history of the band Rise Up Like the Sun (1978)

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