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.
19 Aug 19 Stuart’s Leaving Party Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street. Stu mortimer/French/Glass..man of many names.I was in a duo in 1990s with Stu(Identical Twins), He played guitar in folk act Band of Rising Sun. These days he plays slide guitar and sings Tom Waits, blues,etc. He’s moving to Spain, he will be missed…Lets give him a great send off.
20 Aug 19 Sarah Winton & The Cogs Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Featuring Colin Rocks on drums.Sarah gives us laid back funky,bluesy grooves on piano and vocals.Her voice was featured on the LP Car Boot Soul by collective Nightmares on wax.
24 Aug 19 The Robin Sunflower Band Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
26 Aug 19 Sarah Davenport & Gez Daring Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
27 Aug 19 Sarah Davenport & Gez Daring Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Members of Stockport band The Crukes play folk and Americana(mandolin,flute,guitar,banjo and….clogs!
Tour: Monthly Residency since 2001
28 Aug 19 The Robin Sunflower Band Manchester Big Hands UK
Time: 10:00pm. Admission: free?. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Rock, blues, jazz, reggae, soul, funk, pop, country, classics and fresh originals. A freewheeling band for a freewheeling venue.
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
02 Sep 19 Tom Hingley Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
03 Sep 19 Tom Hingley Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Ex-Inspiral Carpets’ frontman & writer of their biggest hit “”This is how it feels”
08 Sep 19 Robin Sunflower’s DNA Stockport, Gtr Manchester Bakers Vaults UK
Time: 3:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Market place. Me- Harmonica & vocals Adrian Ingram- Guitar Darren DutsonBromley – Guitar Nick Lunn- Bass Jazz & laid back blues………………………..
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
09 Sep 19 Adrian Ingram Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
10 Sep 19 Adrian Ingram & Darren Dutson-Bromley Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Jazz & blues guitar
14 Sep 19 Robin Sunflower’s DNA Todmorden, Yorkshire 3 wise monkeys UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 15 Water st. Me- Harmonica & vocals Adrian Ingram- guitar Darren DutsonBromley- guitar Nick Lunn- Bass Jazz & laid back blues…………………………..
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
16 Sep 19 Mia Moon Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
17 Sep 19 Mia Moon Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Vocals & guitar Original songs plus modern covers
21 Sep 19 Baked A-La-Ska manchester Alt Harfest UK
Time: 4:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Altrincham town centre. All weekend town center free festival–open air, outside stage.
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
23 Sep 19 Jasper Wilkinson(guitar-Baked A La Ska) Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
24 Sep 19 Jasper Wilkinson(guitar-Baked A La Ska) Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Guitar plays Reggae, blues, rock, jazz…
30 Sep 19 Churchie & Stevie Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
01 Oct 19 Churchie & Stevie Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Guitar, double bass & vocals plays classic songs from Bill Withers, James Taylor, Bobs Marley&Dylan, etc….
05 Oct 19 Baked A-La-Ska Whitchurch Whitchurch high st, Shropshire. UK
Time: 6:00am. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: high st. Full band playing for blackberry day…no time/details yet Related post.
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
07 Oct 19 Katie O’Malley Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
08 Oct 19 Katie O’Malley Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: freeCountry. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Guitar & vocals deliver Country/blues/folk/rock with a nod to Rumours era Fleetwood Mac.
09 Oct 19 Robin Sunflower- solo Marple, Stockport Samuel Oldknow UK
Time: 7:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 22 Market st. Piano, harmonicas & vocals deliver songs from the last 100 years…some writen by me!
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
14 Oct 19 Phil Middleton Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
15 Oct 19 Phil Middleton Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. vocals & guitar play original songs plus classic soul
21 Oct 19 Gally Canters Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
22 Oct 19 Gally Canters Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Foot stomping folk from Ireland and other islands
28 Oct 19 David Knopov Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
29 Oct 19 David Knopov Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. A cheeky run through some of the Skalloween songs for the Baked a La Ska gigs this week….plus a few of David’s trademark Sinatra songs…
Tour: SKALLOWEEN
30 Oct 19 Baked A-La-Ska Liverpool Liverpool Philharmonic Theatre UK
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: £10?ish. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Hope Street.
31 Oct 19 Baked A-La-Ska Manchester, Manchester Band on the Wall UK
Time: 7:00pm. Admission: £12?. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Swan st.
Tour: Ska of Wonder
19 Dec 19 Baked A-La-Ska Manchester, Manchester Band on the Wall UK
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: £17.30??. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Swan st.
22 Dec 19 Baked A-La-Ska Liverpool Liverpool Philharmonic Theatre UK
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: £10?ish. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Hope Street.
01 Jan 20 PRIVATE PARTIES (weddings, birthdays, etc) ARE NOT SHOWN on above list any town any place UK
Time: 12:00am. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed.

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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!