Al Harris first picked up a guitar in the late 1960s and despite friends’ pleas, he absolutely refused to put it down.  He began performing at Worksop Folk Club, a centre of tolerance, and formed the group Widdershins, featuring Clive Heenan, 6 foot 8 inches tall and with a voice to match.  This was followed by Six Hands in Tempo, with Steve Bailey and Dave Proctor, playing songs from the 30s and 40s, together with such immortal creations as the Western Medley and Songs from Science Fiction TV Programmes.  Amazingly, with a repertoire like that, Six Hands played at Folk Clubs and Festivals all over the UK and in Europe and Canada, appeared on radio and TV, and made three albums.  They also played at some spectacularly unsuitable venues, the true stories of which will be told in the fullness of time…



Photograph by David Walston - see www.pr-photography.org


At the same time, Al was learning bass, having joined the Ken Eatch Jazzmen in Nottingham when their bass player moved on, selling his bass to Al as he left.  Al also took up double bass and recorded albums with Tufty Swift, the Excelsior Band (with John Tams), Judy Dunlop and Umps and Dumps, with John Kirkpatrick, Sue Harris, Tufty Swift and Derek Pearce. He played with Umps and Dumps for some years, then occasionally with the John Kirkpatrick Bumper Ceilidh Band (or whatever it was called on the night!) and also with Five Go Off and Dance Cupola for ceilidhs around the East Midlands. Since 2000, he has played bass and added harmonies in Jigabit, playing for weddings, parties and anywhere people want to have a dance!
Al has depped with anyone who has ‘phoned needing a bass player, banjo player or guitarist in both ceilidh and traditional jazz bands, especially with The Footwarmers, which is the resident band on Sundays \at the Bell Inn, Nottingham Market Square.. His latest project, much to the joy of all around him, is to learn the euphonium.
Now he has settled very happily into the life of Jigabit, and lives with Fiona and a zillion cats.

Photo ©2012 Philip Williams, PWConsultants.co.uk

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Barn dance bands, ceilidh bands, hoe down bands UK