THE MRS ACKROYD BAND The band, currently comprising Alison Younger, Hilary Spencer, Chris Harvey and Les Barker perform Les Barker's (mostly) comic songs. Alison is renowned for her fine voice, as well as her skill on the bombarde, a small Breton instrument of torture. Hilary, a temporary escapee from Artisan, has a truly gargantuan voice, more powerful than anything in the world except for Alison's bombarde. Chris Harvey is the musical brains behind the band's insanity. Les Barker is totally unmusical and completely insane in a quiet sort of way. Together, they'll give you an evening you'll never be able to forget. No matter now hard you try. ALISON YOUNGER Alison has sung with many famous names on the British folk scene and has been a member of three very diverse bands. Bryony,an all female group, was formed in 1980.They led the way for future women's bands, arranging, playing and singing mainly traditional music,and making a strong mark on the male dominated scene of the time.First Principles was the next band to form in 1987;consisting of two female vocalists and a 'token'!! male keyboard player.The emphasis of this group was on the blend and harmonisation of the voices and the keyboard. Singing is Alison's first love, and in particular the singing of Scottish traditional songs, some of which she learned as a child being brought up in the small Perthshire town of Comrie, from her grandmother. Her other love is to make people laugh, for which there is plenty of opportunity in the material of Les Barker. Her first solo album, 'Blythe & Bonny' was released in 2001. CHRIS HARVEY Chris Harvey began life in the folk world in 1970 as accordianist to Garstang Morris, then became keyboard player/accordianist with Strawhead, who recently celebrated 30 years as a force on the English folk scene having made 16 albums to date and having performed at every major English folk festival. In 1987 he became the token male member of First Principles, amd in 1988 joined the Mrs Ackroyd Band, being the main source of musical inspiration, excelling with realisations of classical scores, bringing Ravel, Beethoven and Rossini into the folk world. In 1993, Chris released a solo album of accordian music, 'Feeling the Squeeze', having long been a producer of albums for other British musicians. HILARY SPENCER Hilary Spencer is perhaps best-known as the Voice of award-winning British acappella trio Artisan. She is also one of the most versatile singers on the scene today,whether solo, singing with guitarist Grant Baynham or as a member of the awesome Mrs Ackroyd Band . Life is rich . . .Hilary isn't.'I have crossed deserts and mountains and I can still hear her' - Les Barker. LES BARKER Les has been a major figure on the folk scene for at least the last ten minutes. He writes all the words, except where the band have changed them because they don't fit. He's not very good at music. Mr Barker has a particularly powerful stage absence and is noted for his style and elegance. Together the band presents a performance the like of which you have never seen before.....unless you've seen it before. OTHER PEOPLE Oh yes, there's some other people on this to make up for our shortcomings; Pint & Dale from the US, Cloudstreet from Australia, June Tabor, John Tams and Coope, Boyes and Simpson from the UK. They're much better than we are.