Mick Bisiker (b. 3 July 1958, Redhill, Surrey, England; guitar, vocals) and Al Romanov (b. Ralph Allin, 29 February 1964, Halesowen, Birmingham, England; fiddle) began working as a duo in the summer of 1987. Trained on classical guitar and piano, Bisiker had started singing in folk clubs during the late 70s, and ran the university folk club in Birmingham for three years until 1983. From playing in a duo, Cogglers Awl, with Roger Huckle (guitar), they then added Clair Davenport (flute) and John Davis (bass), and formed Falstaff, which produced an independent release in 1982. Bisiker and Romanov were well received when they started to play regularly at festivals and in clubs on the folk circuit, and the attendant release of Bisiker And Romanov, on Fellside, was equally appreciated. The album won the Music Retailers Association Award in 1988 for the Best Folk Album Of The Year.
Eventually the two parted, as Romanov wished to pursue a classical music path. Bisiker continued in a solo capacity until 1995 when he formed the Band Of Rack And Ruin recruiting Keith Butterfield, John Davis, Phil Wright, and John Large. After several personal changes through the years the line-up in the mid-00s comprise Bisiker, Nigel Ward (fiddle/guitar), Chris Radley (bass), and Duncan Arrow (drums). The band have released Hard Times, Both Ends Of The Street, and Ball & Chain.