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Fiona John Doug Sarah and Ian

Doug Allen – Guitar and mandolin

Doug has played a variety of fretted instruments including guitar, mandolin and banjo for many years. Largely, self-taught, he identifies early blues and ragtime as one strong influence and in particular, Reverend Gary Davies and big Bill Broonzy.

Doug plays a Washburn D28 guitar and a Fylde mandolin. He is particularly fond of the finger picking style of playing and exploring a wide variety of different guitar tunings.

Performances have been far and wide and Doug can often be seen and heard at local folk sessions and guesting with various bands.

Doug is the most recent addition to The Scarthin Band and besides collaborating on new material and arrangements, his carefully crafted mandolin playing has added a new ‘flavour’ to the band’s sound.

Ian Bevan – Guitars, vocals and baggy trousers!

Ian started playing folk music as a teenager, in the days of Pentangle, in the Boathouse folk club in Matlock. His early influences include John Renbourne, Roy Harper and Mike Chapman, The Strawbs, Gordon Giltrap, and many others!

Funk/Rock took over  in the seventies, in a band called Somebody Else with John Biddulph. After recovering from this experience, Ian played in a Rhythm & Blues in the nineties. He returned to folk/blues guitar after moving back to Derbyshire in 1994, with regular sessions in the Jug & Glass!  He was a founder member of the band Flying by Night in ‘98, and continues to enjoy gigging around the Midlands, opening the OTT festival two years running.

Ian prefers the finger picking guitar style, and plays a hand-made Northworthy guitar, made in Derbyshire!  He finds that playing live music with friends is a really important part of his life.

John Biddulph – Saxophones, vocals, whistles, synthesisers and potato pipe.

John was born in Cromford and educated there and in Matlock. He left Matlock to study music fulltime and subsequently entered the music profession. He has worked in schools, universities and other institutions as an educator, musician and composer-in-residence. He has worked on music for BBC programmes, for Classic FM and composed music for the theatre.

John has performed at many major UK venues in bands, orchestras and as a soloist. He has directed choirs, instrumental groups and a jazz orchestra that performed in the opening series of concerts at Symphony Hall in Birmingham in 1990. One of his favourite musical experiences was in a series of concerts and workshops with The Grand Union Orchestra whose membership included performers such as Courtney Pine on saxophone and Talvin Singh on tabla.

He has published several pieces of music and played as a session musician on recordings for a number of bands. Having left a position as Director of Music Technology in a university, John has moved into computer related work in recent times.

He has composed the High Peak Suite with his relatively new found interest in folk music to the fore.  The Suite, premiered at The Cromford Festival, explores sounds, ideas and memories of the Cromford area and his childhood there.

Fiona Biddulph – Oboe, Cor Anglais and Flute

Fiona studied music at Birmingham Conservatoire where she was principal oboe in the Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra. She has played in orchestras, chamber ensembles and as a soloist in many major concert venues throughout the UK and in mainland Europe. She has worked in studios as a session musician on recordings and has been a recitalist on BBC Radio 3.

Fiona has played reed instruments in theatre orchestras and been engaged as a player in many touring productions such as Oklahoma! and Jesus Christ Superstar. Her musical tastes and activities are extremely varied ranging from recitals of Baroque music to playing in the orchestra for performances of Rick Wakeman’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth!

Fiona plays on a Kreul oboe, a Ward and Winterbourn Cor Anglais and a Yamaha body flute with a hand-made solid silver headpiece.

Sarah Watson - Vocals and whistles

Sarah adds an additional vocal dimension to the music of The Scarthin Band and also appears in her own right as vocalist in Flying By Night along with Ian, Doug and John. She has appeared in folk festivals and clubs the length and breadth of the country and has even appeared on the Island of Eigg! Sarah brings her own unique vocal talents and qualities to the traditional folk fayre the band play through subtle music interpretations of many folk 'classics' as well as original materials penned by the band.

The Scarthin Band and Flying By Night can be booked separately or together as part of a Folk Festival's programme building.

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