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Steve Phillips & The Rough Diamonds / Blues, Live Music

Thu 6Jun
8:00 PM

Note: This event has finished


“Steve Phillips is, without doubt, one of the greatest blues guitarists Europe has ever produced, and is currently one of the finest anywhere in the world.

His involvement with MARK KNOPFLER (of Dire Straits) in the NOTTING HILLBILLIES briefly turned Phillips into a kind of rock star.” Blueprint Magazine

WHEN performing with his band Rough Diamonds Steve Phillips proves his enduring status as one of the best British blues guitarists you are likely to hear.

During the 1968 ‘British Blues Boom’ he met up with a young guitarist named Mark Knopfler. Mark was then working as a junior reporter on the Yorkshire Evening Post. Steve and Mark found that musically they had much in common and they went on to form a duo called The Duolian String Pickers. By day Mark continued working as a reporter and Steve took a job restoring paintings and furniture atLeedsCityArtGallery and Temple Newsam House. They played together off and on over the next five years during which time Steve introduced Mark to the majestic lead style of black blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson and the technical styles of country blues guitar playing, – which Mark eventually evolved into his own unique style of guitar picking.

In the mid-1980s interest in “roots” music revived and Mark turned up almost unexpectedly at ‘The Grove’ pub in Leedsin May 1986 and sat in with Steve and Brendan Croker for a blues session and talk of a reunion. Steve had released his wryly entitled debut album The Best of Steve Phillips, and Mark offered to produce his next album. It would also feature Brendon, and Guy Fletcher and from this evolved the collaboration known as the Notting Hillbillies. This was chronicled by an extensive tour and the release in 1990 of the multi-platinum selling album ‘Missing……Presumed having A Good Time.’

Chris Parkinson (accordion)

Originally from Haslingden in Lancashire, now living inWhitbyand possibly the second greatest accordionist in the world, Chris has been in the band from its inception around 1993. Chris has recently recorded and performed alongside many of the folk world’s greats …. Ralph McTell, The Carthy’s, John Kirkpatrick, Steve Tilston, Maggie Boyle and Martin Simpson just to name a few. Chris is also known around here as ’The Pie’, a soubriquet I believe he gave himself.

Phil Moore (piano)

Another founder member of the band, Phil moved to Robin Hood’s Bay in 1988 coming fromLondonwhere he had been playing with bands based in the northLondonarea and extensively with Ian Cutler and Colin Reece from the Bully Wee Band, Ian now playing with The Feast of Fiddles. Playing both in the folk idiom and in rock and blues bands the transition to playing in the Rough Diamonds was a natural development, and in the last twenty years he has played with the principal that sometimes ”less is more” or in his caseMoore!!!

Jack Gibson (drums)

Possessed of a cheerful disposition, unless his beloved hometown team, Middlesbrough F.C are having a hard time in the league, Jack is a resident of Grosmont in theEskValley, nearWhitby. He is of indeterminate age and started off his musical career as a dance band singer moving on to playing the vibes in the house band at the famous ’Club Fiesta ’, Stockton-on-Tees, for many years.  After taking up the drums , Jack played with various groups in many different styles before joining the Diamonds in 1997.He is a keen fly fisherman and an avid hispanophile. Whenever he can, Jack indulges himself by playing jazz with other members of the Diamonds who show their versatility by playing different instruments: Jack on keyboard, Phil on double bass , Burt on guitar and Parky on drums.



Burt Sawdon (bass)


Robert (Burt) Sawdon is originally from Burythorpe East Yorkshire. Burt started playing music at a tender age with Gin Saw, the Diamonds’ guestNew Orleansstyle pianist.  Burt plays electric and double bass, guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and occasional blues harp. A life long lover of the blues and R&B Burt is the former leader of Burt’s Band a successful York R&B combo.  Burt spent three summers playing inAppalachiawhere he developed his passion for Hillbilly and Old-Time music. Together with his close friend Frank Pallister, he is responsible for initiating the Old-Timey sessions inYork. Away from music Burt is a Professional Engineer, cricket lover and passionate salmon angler

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