Folking all over the place
     Folking all over the place

\What do 'Lordshill Road Runners', 'Southampton Ukulele Jam' and 'Ocean Harmony Barbershop Chorus' have in common?  Not a lot but it just happens to be where Steve met Jim, met Ash and met Keith.  What followed was Plaitford Common.

 

To say that the band formed in 2014 is a bit grandiose.  More accurately, it evolved from 2 guys with ukes having a bit of a jam to what it is today.  Early practices took place in the lovely village of Plaitford hence the name,  Plaitford Common.  The ukes have disappeared (thankfully, as ‘The Bad Formbys’ was an early band name consideration.  As was Plaitford Convention, but that whole ‘Convention’ thing has kind of been done already!)

 

 

 

 

The original band line up was:-  L - R

 

 

Keith Johnson –   guitar, stompbox

Steve Paige –         vocals, strange 4 string electric guitar

Jim Shepperd –    mandolin, guitar

Ash Churchill–      ukulele

 

 

 

Their very first public appearance was at an Open Mic night at The Forest Inn, Ashurst, and the first proper gig was  -----  an 80th birthday party ---  

 

---  Rock 'n Roll!

 

The band were keen for their sound to evolve and their first attempt led to the recruitment of a violinist.

This didn't work out as planned, so Ash turned to bass guitar, and that's when things started to click.  

This lead to some well received pub gigs, and then in 2015 they played The Fringe stage at New Forest Folk Festival

 

More pub gigs, and charity do’s followed, and then came an invitation to play main stage at The New Forest Folk Festival in 2016.

 

Slight panic set in when they realized that the voice harmonizer they had been using for backing vocals, good as it was, lacked the stage presence for the main stage of a national festival.

To overcome this, they  ‘borrowed’ old friend Kim from 'The Explorers'.  Kim’s vocals and lively on-stage persona transformed a good band into a very good band.  She never returned to The Explorers (sorry Andy Matheson!).

 

The final piece of the jigsaw was Allan, who replaced Keith (wanderlaust) on guitar, and also provided the band with an extra mandolin player.

Current band line up is:-

 

Steve Paige --           vocals, bouzouki, tenor guitar

Ash Churchill --      bass guitar

Allan Pickett --        guitar, mandolin

Kim Summers --   vocals, percussion

Jim Shepperd --   mandolin, guitar, violin

 

 

Plaitford Common is now an eclectic mix of skilled and journymen musicians.  Jim and Allan are extremely talented and knowledgeable guitarists and mandolin pickers; Kim’s vocals are beautiful and soulful with wonderful supporting harmonies, Steve is a versatile singer and his wit and insights (his words!) add to the band’s appeal; and Ash is a solid bass player somehow managing to keep everyone in time.

 

What you get is a band who are equally at home at Festivals, pubs, clubs, parties, bar mitzvah’s………anywhere.  Their range of songs is enormous, from folk ballads such as ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes’,  to rock songs like, ‘Sweet Child Of Mine’.   Even 'Amy Macdonald' and 'Paolo Nutini' are not beyond our reach!

 

*** Catch them at a venue near you soon. ***    

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© Allan Pickett