Flowers and Frolics

Biography by

This UK outfit specialized in English country dance music and music hall songs. Flowers And Frolics formed in 1974, but at the time they had no official name so were credited as the Graeme Smith Band,…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

This UK outfit specialized in English country dance music and music hall songs. Flowers And Frolics formed in 1974, but at the time they had no official name so were credited as the Graeme Smith Band, for a gig announced in Melody Maker. Their moniker was taken from the name of original member Graeme Smith (b. Melbourne, Australia). Smith left to return to Australia before the band recorded its first album. The line-up on 1977’s Bees On Horseback was Mike Bettison (b. 3 June 1951, Chiswick, London, England; melodeon/vocals), Roger Digby (b. 19 April 1949, Colchester, Essex, England; concertina, piano, vocals), Bob King (b. 27 March 1952, Eastbourne, Sussex, England; banjo/guitar), Dan Quinn (b. 11 October 1949, Grimsby, South Humberside, England; melodeon/vocals), Ted Stevens (b. 27 September 1952, Redruth, Cornwall, England; percussion) and Alex West (b. 8 November 1954, England; tuba), with guest vocals from June Tabor and Bob Davenport. By the time a second album was released, 1984’s Sold Out, King and West had been replaced by Trevor Bennett (b. 4 August 1945, Grantham, Lincolnshire, England; trombones, flügelhorn, helicon), Rob Gifford (b. 1 March 1955, Wanstead, London, England; percussion), and Nick Havell (b. Nicholas George Havell, 7 January 1951, Stratford, London, England; bass trombone).

Flowers And Frolics achieved a good deal of popularity on the folk circuit, not least for keeping many traditional dances alive. Playing a variety of jigs, hornpipes, polkas and waltzes, they performed at festivals all over Britain, and were in demand at ceilidhs and barn dances alike. The band split up in February 1985, having decided they had done enough. That same year, Quinn, Havell, Bennett and Gifford formed the dance band Gas Mark 5. Stevens joined the Old Hat Band, while King played with jazz and rock bands. The original line-up of Flowers And Frolics reunited at the end of the 90s to record Reformed Characters, a re-recording of Bees On Horseback that also featured several new tracks. Founding member Graeme Smith was on hand to help out this time around, with Bob Davenport and Peta Webb also providing guest vocals.