Chalktown are an innovative dance band, with English folk meeting indie rock with a twist of modern jazz, producing music that is great for listening and irresistible for dancing. The band has a wealth of dance music experience with three ex-members of the legendary Gas Mark 5.
Paul Scourfield provides world class melodeon lead whilst Dave Blackmore weaves strong harmonies on clarinet and provides a touch of the exotic on bass clarinet. In the rhythm section Michael Davidson lays down fluid bass lines and subtle guitar textures and Rob Gifford’s rock solid grooves show why he’s the drummer of choice for so many dance bands.
In recent years Chalktown have appeared at a number of major festivals including Sidmouth, Towersey and Bromyard as well as the major ceilidh series up and down the country, building a strong following. The band works with some of the best callers in the country including Sheena Masson, Gordon Potts, Nick Walden and Adam Hughes.
Gordon Potts described the band as being "Elegant and good to listen to as well as being a fine dance outfit" and as Folk Roots magazine said, Chalktown are "Good for the Feet!!"
Chalktown was formed in 1997 by former Gas Mark Five members guitarist Michael Davidson, drummer Rob Gifford and reed player Dave Blackmore, to build a dance set that fuses British traditional and original tunes with World and contemporary rhythms. The line up was completed by melodeon player Paul Scourfield and bass player Trevor Lines, who left the band in 2006. Chalktown has just released a much-anticipated first album, ‘You Never See the One’.
Rob Gifford (Drums and Percussion)
The original folk drummer, Rob played with Flowers And Frolics, recording 'Sold Out', before becoming a founder member of the groundbreaking Gas Mark Five and playing on all their albums ('In The Kitchen', 'The Red Album', 'Jump' and 'Guizers'). Rob is also currently working with The Committee Band (CDs 'Dancemusic', 'It’s about time', 'Marvellous') and Stomp ('Machines Without Horses' and 'I Claim My Five Pounds')
Paul Scourfield (Melodeon)
Paul was inspired to take up the melodeon after going to see John Kirkpatrick at the local folk club and has since spent a year being mentored by the great man himself. He is a keen dancer, playing and dancing with many Morris sides over the years. He also works as a solo artist performing songs and tunes from the English tradition (see www.paulscourfield.co.uk), is a popular workshop leader, and has recently released his debut solo album 'Freshly Squeezed'.
Dave Blackmore (Clarinet and Bass Clarinet)
Dave works as a jazz saxophonist and clarinet player, appearing on TV and radio, has released a CD with his own quartet ('Fields Of Fire') and won the MCPS Best Original Composition Award in the BBC Radio 2 Big Band Competition. He has also written music for radio and worked in theatre. In 1993 Dave joined Gas Mark Five and played on the 'Guizers' CD. In 1996 Dave formed Saxophony, a folk saxophone quartet, with Terry Mann, writing much of the material and recording a CD ('Saxophony').
Michael Davidson (Bass, Guitars)
Composer and songwriter, Michael joined Gas Mark Five in 1992 and wrote much of both the acclaimed ‘Guizers’ album and the current Chalktown set. His tunes can be recognized by their strange loops and oblique titles. He has the ambition of playing every village hall in East Anglia. Michael also plays in a trio with Dave Shepherd, with whom he is working on a slow gestating project of ‘Sad tunes to help you dance’.