b. 28 October 1953, Audenshaw, Lancashire, England. Hancock started his musical life playing for Morris Dance sides while his father was the lead banjo player with the Manchester Kentucky Minstrels. After moving from his native north west to the east coast, Hancock joined the Grimsby Morris Men in 1975. He later returned to Manchester and played with various folk bands until forming a duo with his wife Janet. Hancock became a full-time performer in 1983. His debut, This World We Live In included ‘Chase The Dragon’, a Hancock original about drug addiction. The song was made popular by Clive Gregson who also produced the album. Hancock was able to combine a solo career with playing for the Electropathic Battery Band, later to become the Electropathics, but left in 1987 after the band had recorded Batteries Not Included. In 1988 Madhouse was released, again produced by Gregson, who played on the record. The track ‘Headline News’ took a swipe at the UK gutter press, and the Gregson production style is evident.
On record, Hancock borders on the edge of rock music in style without losing sight of his folk roots. In 1990, he assembled the Keith Hancock Band, comprising Martin Carthy, Dave Swarbrick, and Rauri McFarlane (b. Rory McFarlane, 24 September 1959, Taplow, Slough, Buckinghamshire, England; bass).