WINDY GYLE BAND

ALICE ROBINSON (NEE BURN) – has played pipes for 16 years. For seven of those she was tutored by Anthony. In great demand as a solo performer she joined Emily Hoile as a finalist in 2008 Young Folk Musician of the Year. More recently she gained a 1st class degree in music from York and a masters from Durham where she is currently studying for her PhD. She plays a 17 key F chanter (Clough pattern) by Colin Ross, a 15 key G chanter by Mike Nelson and a 13 key F# chanter by David Burleigh. Her right thumb and left little finger are dazzlingly dextrous!!

PAUL KNOX – is also a graduate of the Folk Degree course in Newcastle where he used the pipes he made himself under the guidance of Robbie Greensitt and Ann Sessoms as his main instrument. A member of “King Cole” fiddle trio and beautifully talented piper he took over from Anthony as pipes tutor at The Sage Gateshead. He delights in a great tune played thoughtfully and steadily giving time for ornamentation and musicality to shine through. This dedication to, and understanding of the Northumbrian tradition has given him a well-deserved reputation. here and abroad. He currently plays a 16 key G set by Heriot & Allen and an F# set by David Burleigh and borrows Heather's 7 key set in F by Mike Nelson when needed!

NIKKI LAWSON – is a graduate of the Folk Degree course. Vastly experienced and knowledgeable, she is a first-rate tune-smith and plays with that extra touch of magic which separates her from the crowd and ensures that three different bands are often in competition for her talents. Now building up a growing reputation as fiddle teacher both privately and in Sunderland Schools she is becoming an important figure in the music of the region. Her knowledge of, and commitment to, the repertoire of Northumberland and the Borders gives her the perfect springboard to bring that extra touch of sparkle and lift to the band.

HEATHER ROBB – became hooked on traditional music in 2000 and studied in Stewart Hardy's workshops for 5 years. She has focused on music of the North East and developed an amazingly discerning ear for this music. She began playing duets with Anthony in early 2006 and joined him in New Zealand in January 2007 where she ran Northumbrian fiddle and dance workshops. She married Anthony in April 2007, has taken up the smallpipes and joined Anthony on the "Cool Breath Tour" of New Zealand in2009. Now a member of "The Castle Band" she worked with Anthony as fiddle tutor with "Border Box" for the acclaimed album 'Up The Berwick Road'..

ANTHONY ROBB – has been a leading light in piping circles for over 40 years. Involved with the “Cut & Dry” albums on Topic Records in the 70s. He then obtained a set of pipes for a young fiddler (Kathryn Tickell) who joined his pipes classes at Wallsend Arts Centre and has done rather well over the years! His teaching and performing has taken him to America, Austria, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand. Three times co-director of Folkworks Adult Summer School he has taught pipes on the Folk Degree and was the first pipes tutor at The Sage Gateshead His main musical influences were Will Atkinson and Willie Taylor who shared music nights and tunes so generously during the years he lived in north Northumberland. He plays 7 key sets by Philip Gruar in F and F# and a 12 key G set by Bill Hedworth who also made the famous 'Primitives' single octave set.

GED LAWSON - has been on the Durham folk scene for over 30 years. His 'drone-friendly' guitar style was first showcased with Border-piper Paul Martin in 'Horseplay' and 'Roughshod'. Having married Nikki he is now truly enmeshed in Windy Gyle Band but has taken up Rapper and Morris dancing with Benfieldside to ease the pain!

From Richard Heard's review of the Band's first gig at The Chantry Morpeth (Nortnumbrian Pipers Society Newsletter Nov.2007)
"The music was indeed stunning.  Starting with Alistair Anderson’s “Windy Gyle” itself (played in unison, then with harmonies, and then as a slip jig combined with the original tune), the band brought to effervescent life several of the tunes on their CD, as well as tunes they are currently working on.  The introductions to the tunes revealed a deep respect for our rich Northumbrian musical tradition, as well as the sound underlying research and some delightful anecdotes about players and incidents associated with them.....the concert was superb..."


© 2017 Email Anthony Robb