Friday, 7 February 2020

A Life In Music: Mark Robinson. 40 years at the CBSO

40 Years at the CBSO, the Fiddle in 'Fiddle and Bone', dangerous flirtations with rock ...

I owe a debt of gratitude to a great Birmingham muso, R. John Webb (aka Ryan Webb, late of Rhino and the Ranters), who, when learning that I wanted to find a Classical muso for this series, suggested I talk to Foxy... a pal of his from Moseley, the proudly boho bit of Brum.  

'Foxy who?' I ask.

'Oh, I don't know his real name. But he's Classical' says Ryan.

'That can cover a lot of things. Which orchestra?' say I.

'Oh, the Rattle one' came the reply.

That started my pursuit. In due course we met up in one of Moseley's nicer coffee joints, and talked for hours. Clearly I was being sized up. But in due course, Foxy - Mark Robinson - who will absolutely not tell me why he has that nickname, agreed to be interviewed. 

So now, a detailed and fascinating conversation...

And the result is this podcast episode. You can jump to my podcast host to stream or download here, or you can head down to the bottom of this post to listen now.  

Very precise detail is what Mark goes for.  We covered an enormous range of topics. But as always in this series, if you put forty or fifty years into your craft, then you have the stories and experience.

The conversation gave me a chance to look at the life of a musician in a BIG outfit. Orchestras can run to 90 or more, so touring a band like that is a bit more than assembling a road crew. The logistics must be a nightmare.

The Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales in Moseley, Birmingham has played a considerable part in this podcast episode. The Prince is a Moseley musicians' watering hole, with a long history of live music, and in whose snug we captured most of the conversation. 

Mark made mention of a benefit which took place in 2005. This was for the legendary Steve Ajao, whose podcast episode is here. I am indebted to Reed Alan, who filmed the benefit performance, and who has kindly allowed me to embed this video clip here.

Lives in Music

The Lives in Music podcasts celebrates people who have spent a lifetime in music. They may be famous; they may be people who have spent their lives working in the background for the love of it. But they all have stories. Listen here:

The intro and outro music in this series comes from the great bass player Mike Hatton, who you can hear interviewed in series 1, here. 'Everything Changes' is included in his excellent 2019 album 'Bassic Salvation'. Follow the album link for more :-)


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