Hugh - melodeons, vocals

Hugh's early contacts with folk music in Cumbria were as a founder member
of the Brewery Folk Club in the early 70's, eventually becoming its booking
secretary. It was here that he first started playing acoustic guitar and singing,
something he still enjoys. He is also remembered from those days for singing and playing at the Crown at High Newton with Steve as part of Westmorland Packet. During spells with Kendal Morris Men and Furness Morris Men, he started playing melodeon, and became a founder member of Tumbling Tom with Steve, playing bass guitar and some melodeon.

His musical journey progressed in the middle 80's when Iain Hunter formed the seminal (and infamous!) African jazz/rock band Nododo and asked him to play electric bass guitar. This was an amazing opportunity, with the band playing some really wild and improvised music. The experience led to increased listening to world music in general, and African music in particular, including the likes of Manu Dibango, Abdullah Ibrahim, Fella Kuti, and soukous music. The band eventually burnt itself out during the early 90's. Iain remains a great friend of the band and deps. on drums when Les is unavailable.

During the early 90's, he became the main melodeon player in the band, using the instrument to play lead melody or funky rhythm. Influences in his approach to playing have included Rod Stradling and Andy Cutting. Hugh also enjoys singing songs for people to dance or listen to, and is the main contact for any band queries.

His melodeons are a Castagnari Mory 12 D/G, a Castagnari Tommy D/G, and a Saltertelle Le Bouebe C/F.

He lives near Arnside with his artist partner Angie, spending time helping with her ceramics business. They like to walk on the Lakes fells and the Scottish hills, and trek in interesting places - most recently Nepal, India, Morocco, and Tanzania. On Wednesday nights, Hugh is usually to be found singing and playing at the Lamplighter session in Windermere, and on Thursday nights at the Riflemans session in Kendal. He has two children, Liam and Rachel, and three grandchildren, Lucy, Louis, Luke, and Jacob.

Meet the next band member

Return to Meet the Band