About Robin

Robin Sunflower started playing the harmonica in the 80s, joining the legendary blues act Victor Brox and the Blues Train, gigging extensively throughout the UK. In the early 90s he made the transition to chromatic harmonica after hearing the amazing playing of Toots Thielemans.

His next project was “The Identical Twins” – an avant garde jazz-tinged comedy folk duo who made veggie rasher muffins, gazpacho and popcorn as part of an interactive stage show.   In 1997 he put together a 6 piece band for a 1 off stint at the Edinburgh Festival. The Woodbank Streetband went on to play 5 years running at Edinburgh, 4 years at Marlborough Jazz Festival, twice at Solfest, Castlebar Blues Festival (Ireland) and gigs in France from Tours to Bordeaux.

A personnel change a few years ago saw Woodbank become The Robin Sunflower Band.  2016 will see Robin’s band clocking up a 15 year resident slot at top Manchester club Big Hands.This year’s band features Dan Broad (guitar-Happy Mondays), Iain Mellor (Drums-Global Grooves) and occasional guests…John Ellis (keys-Baked A La Ska,Lily Allen,Tom Jones).Guest bass players including Matt Owens(baked A La Ska) in June, Danny Blomeley(Kyla Brox Band/ ex-Woodbank Streetband) in july…The Big Hands band is never the same twice(well hardly ever)

Robin has increasingly been invited to guest/session with other acts. Notable gigs include: Castle Howard banqueting hall with John Heliwell (Supertramp), Glastonbury Festival World Jazz Stage with Suns of Arqa, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall with Kirsty Almeida, support to Elbow with Indigo Jones.

Since 1999 Robin has also run a weekly night (Quack) currently at The White House, Stalybridge (Monday) and Beer Traders, Marple (Tuesday). The night consists of an invited guest playing a 40 minute set from 9pm, followed by an hour or so of open mic. The guest returns for a shorter closing set around 11pm. Robin plays with all the invited guests and some of the open mic contributors too.

“Baked a la Ska” is Robin’s latest band. The line-up of this football team sized super-group reading like a who’s who of the North West jazz scene. Their ska versions of 70s & 80s pop classics have resulted in packed dance floors at Manchester’s Band on the Wall, Kendal Calling festival and Liverpool’s Mathew Street fest.To date they have released four albums: Baked A LA Ska; Just Deserts; Gas Mark 3-The Slow Burner; Ska of Wonder (Christmas album).

A chance meeting at the Big Hands residency has resulted in Robin working with comedian Sophie Willan (2015 Magners new comedy award winner, BBC new comedy awards finalist)…Check out “The Wiggle Song”- More to come:)

2016 will see the 5th anniversary tour of the Toots Thielemans Birthday Tribute Band.This band re-forms at the end of April each year for one week only to play music from Toots’ repertoire (Midnight Cowboy, Bluesette…) Toots’ first major gigs were with Benny Goodman in 1949. He went on to play with George Shearing,Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Jaco Pastorius, Oscar Peterson and pop acts such as Paul Simon, Billy Joel and Julian Lennon. A man at the top of his game for over six decades. He retired from public performance aged 91 in 2013.

2015 saw Robin playing sessions for all manner of recording projects from spaghetti western library music to trance groove dance music (with Balaphonic) to dub reggae with Bakery Studio (expect a harmonica dub album in 2016 with Al “Breadwinner” Monkey). Other exciting recording projects are being planned for 2016 – Listen to this space!

Gigs

Date Band/Artist City Venue Country
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
03 Oct 22 Kathy and John Dyson Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
04 Oct 22 Kathy and John Dyson Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Great sax and jazz guitar duo, standards and originals
08 Oct 22 Sunflower and Ingram quartet Marsden, Yorkshire Hanson Marquee, Marsden Jazz Festival UK
Time: 12:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Marsden.
09 Oct 22 Sunflower and Ingram quartet Stockport, Gtr Manchester Bakers Vaults UK
Time: 3:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Market place. Robin Sunflower harmonica and vocals, Adrian Ingram guitar, Hayden Minett guitar, Nick Lunn bass, Laid back jazz and blues
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
10 Oct 22 Sarah Winton and Colin Rocks (The Cogs) Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street. Cool modal jazz and laid back funky blues, piano, vocals and drums
11 Oct 22 Brian “splint” Walker Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Ex-Paramedic sings bluesy songs inspired by experiences
15 Oct 22 Baked A-La-Ska Manchester, Manchester Freight Island UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: ???. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Manchester.
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
17 Oct 22 Brian “splint” Walker Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
18 Oct 22 Sarah Winton and Colin Rocks (The Cogs) Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd.
21 Oct 22 Sunflower and Ingram quartet Marsden, Yorkshire Marsden Mechanics UK
Time: 7:30pm. Admission: £10. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Marsden. Fundraiser gig with support from Liam Quinn plus Jamie Hulley plus Cover Up (Police tribute band)
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
24 Oct 22 Matt Furniss Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
25 Oct 22 Matt Furniss Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Blossoms sweatshirt, Johnny Marr t-shirt, sets the tone
Tour: Monthly Residency since 2001
26 Oct 22 The Robin Sunflower Band Manchester Big Hands UK
Time: 10:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Robin harmonica and vocals, Dan Broad guitar, John Sandham bass, Iain Mellor drums, Free wheelin’ rock, jazz, blues and reggae
27 Oct 22 Baked A-La-Ska manchester, manchester albert schloss UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: ???. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 27 peter st.
Tour: SKALLOWEEN
29 Oct 22 Baked A-La-Ska Liverpool Liverpool Philharmonic Theatre UK
Time: 7:00pm. Admission: £15?. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Hope Street.
29 Oct 22 Baked A-La-Ska Liverpool Liverpool Philharmonic Theatre UK
Time: 7:30pm. Admission: £15?. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Hope Street.
30 Oct 22 Baked A-La-Ska Manchester, Manchester Band on the Wall UK
Time: 7:30pm. Admission: £15?. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Swan st.
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
31 Oct 22 Skalloween fancy dress Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street. Let’s face it most of us look better with a mask on!
01 Nov 22 Robin Sunflower- solo Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Piano, vocals, harmonica, celebrate World Vegan Day
Tour: Bi-monthly residency
06 Nov 22 Sunflower and Ingram quartet Huddersfield, Yorkshire The County UK
Time: 4:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Huddersfield. Swinging jazz and laid back blues from Duke Ellington to Fleetwood Mac
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
07 Nov 22 Lennox Bellows Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
08 Nov 22 Lennox Bellows Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Original songs inhabiting the psychedelic/country folk corner
14 Nov 22 Michelle Holding & Bonz Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
15 Nov 22 Michelle Holding & Bonz Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Harmony vocals, banjo, dobro play Americana
21 Nov 22 Kirsty Mcgee Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
22 Nov 22 Kirsty Mcgee Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Country blues originals, with 6 acclaimed albums to her name
28 Nov 22 Katie O’Malley Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
29 Nov 22 Katie O’Malley Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Think Rumours era Fleetwood Mac, Bonnie Bramlett and other classic soulful voices
Tour: Monthly Residency since 2001
30 Nov 22 The Robin Sunflower Band Manchester Big Hands UK
Time: 10:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Robin Sunflower harmonica and vocals, Dan Broad guitar, John Sandham bass, Iain Mellor drums, Free wheelin’ rock jazz blues and reggae
Tour: Ska of Wonder
20 Dec 22 Baked A-La-Ska Liverpool Liverpool Philharmonic Theatre UK
Time: 7:00pm. Admission: £15?. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Hope Street.

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Get in Touch

You can get in touch with Robin by calling him or emailing him on:

 

07747 117 698

 

Or drop in to one of his gigs and say hello!