Robin Hood’s Bay

Steve Phillips and the Rough Diamonds


CHRIS PARKINSON (Accordion and organ)

Originally from Haslingden in Lancashire, now living in Whitby and possibly the second greatest accordionist in the world. He 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. He was also a founder member of the much loved ’House Band’ with whom he toured worldwide. He is currently touring with ’The John Wright Band’ and also with Alistair Russell so it can be quite tricky pinning him down for our ’Rough Diamonds’ gigs. Chris is also known around here as ’The Pie’, a soubriquet I believe he gave himself.


Another founder member of the band and affectionately known as ’Florid Phil’ for his dexterity on the ivories. Phil originally hails from Chingford in Essex and now manages a successful bespoke carpentry company in Whitby. He is also like me, a fellow resident of Robin Hood’s Bay and plays piano with our local ceilidh band ’ Widdershins’ when not playing with ’The Rough Diamonds’.

In his younger days he toured with ’The Bully Wee Band’, tuned piano’s, became an art student and then a used car salesman ....... I’ll say no more!

KEVIN BUTLER (Bass guitar)

I met Kevin in Lincoln during the 1980’s whilst playing at a festival there. Back then he was a milkman in the early mornings and played bass with the ’Bamboo Beat Band’ late at night, a Lincoln based R’n’B outfit.Kevin moved to Whitby just after the band formed to run a popular bed and breakfast business. In recent years he has had to pack in the business due to having Multiple Sclerosis, though it has not stopped him from playing bass guitar! Kevin is also very fond of a good pint of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, not a bad drop of tackle ..... eh Kevin!

JACK GIBSON (Percussion)

Possibly the loudest ’brushes’ style drummer in the universe! Possessed of a cheerful disposition unless his beloved hometown team, Middlesbrough F.C are having a hard time in the league. Now a resident of Grosmont in the Esk Valley near Whitby. 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 ’Fiesta Club’, Stockton-on-Tees for many years. Jack took up the drums in desperation when no one else would give him a job on the vibes. He is a keen fly fisherman and a fellow member of ’Widdershins’ with Phil Moore.


GIN SAW (Boogie pianist)

Originally hailing from Sheffield I first met Gin when he lived in the York area. In recent years he has migrated to Whitby and I still have not plucked up the courage to ask him whether he was actually christened Gin! He has been guesting with the band for some time now at our Tuesday night residency at The Grosvenor. Gin is a notable exponent of the New Orleans boogie style of R’n’B and usually makes an annual pilgrimage to ’The New Orleans Heritage Jazz and Blues Festival’ when his commitments to his removals firm allow. He is renowned for always sporting a beret – we think he has a full head of hair underneath it ...... but we are not certain!

MICK WHEELER (Double bass)

Mick has been brilliant helping out with the bass duties when Kevin Butler has to go for physiotherapy treatment. Mick grew up in Fulham, London, becoming a professional singer at a very tender age with ’The Jaywalkers’ in 1961. He toured with the likes of Billy Fury and Eden Kane, later on in the sixties he sang with the soul band ’Jo Jo Gunne’, a very popular act on the London club scene. Mick eventually moved north to become a sheep farmer at Ravenscar, Robin Hood’s Bay. In more recent years he has taken up playing the double bass at which he excels in the rockabilly style of slapping the strings. He currently plays with ’The Inferno’s’ rockabilly band and a hillbilly outfit called ’The Red River Wranglers”.


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Steve Phillips and the Rough Diamonds
Steve Phillips and the Rough Diamonds
North Yorkshire