I started playing harmonica by accident in 1976. Apart from some slightly chaotic outings that year I didn't play with a band until 1980 when I ran out with a dubious outfit memorably called "Earl Shakespeare and Friends" in Bristol. "Earl" is still singing, I hear. I hope he's learned where a song starts and ends.

After moving to Nottingham I had a dry patch for several years. But having music inside you is like having an itch you have to scratch. After meeting Botts in the mid-80's we thrashed out a blues set with several different drummers and bass-players and several band names. Perpetual denizens of the infamous Rubber Biscuit rehearsal studios in Nottingham we were finally frog-marched into gigging by committing to a charity concert where all of the other bands failed to turn up.

About this time I staggered into what, at that time, was one of the very few late drinking bars in Nottingham -- Café Metz -- I was stunned by the band that was playing. They were Mood Indigo in their early trio form with Mitch Oldham on the drums.

After a couple of (what were probably dire) tryouts the astonishing lead (and -- simultaneously -- rhythm and bass) guitarist, Steve Pinnock, handed me a very expensive chromatic harmonica and told me to 'f*** off and learn "Over the Rainbow"'. One day, Steve :*)

Steve also got me started on hand percussion as he couldn't abide me lounging about "doing nowt" in the songs without harmonica. Luckily I have a knack for it!

It's been a long and rocky path since then, but we're still out there, and better than ever I should say.

I'd suppose that if I had a musical philosophy it would be to respect the integrity of each song, and that less is more. That's what I've always liked about playing with Chand and Gren. There's always room, and then some.

Most of all, I've been lucky to have fallen in with such excellent musicians and had the privilege of standing on stage next to them. Long may this adventure continue!

© Robin Melville 2012-6