Formed in 1983, by Tom McConville (b. 6 November 1950, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England; violin, vocals), and Tom Napper (b. Berkshire, England; banjo, mandolin, cittern, vocals), and Jez Lowe (b. 14 July 1955, County Durham, England; guitar, vocals, cittern, banjo, dulcimer, harmonica), Dab Hand played a combination of Scots, Shetland and Northumbrian music and traditional dance. Despite capturing the imagination of many on the UK folk scene, the group was short-lived, with Lowe leaving in 1984 to pursue a solo career. His place was taken by Gordon Tyrrall (b. Skipton, Yorkshire, England; guitar, vocals). With the departure of McConville, in 1987, Napper and Tyrrall continued for a while as a duo, until Tyrrall also went back to performing in a solo capacity.
In the new millennium Napper teamed up with Tom Bliss (b. Guildford, Surrey, England; fiddle, whistles, flute, accordion, vocals) to form a songwriting and performing duo. Their debut, Silverlode, was released in 2002, followed by The Kelping in 2005.