Chris

Chris
Chris

1962 Born London, England

1970 Began my musical career with violin lessons at primary school. Also joined the local church choir. Our duties were to rehearse on Wednesdays and Fridays and then to sing for two services every Sunday. On Saturdays there would sometimes be a wedding and we were actually paid to sing for the happy couple – my first professional engagements !

1971 Joined the choir of the Royal School of Church Music – we had a pretty good sound but more importantly, played much ping-pong, ate many jam sandwiches and had a laugh. Music was becoming fun.

1972 Won the music scholarship at the local posh school. This meant my music was funding my education, so, no giving up now.
1974 Sang in a real production of ‘Parcival’ at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. I was an angel, some things never change ...

Cara 1974 – 1978 Continued with most of the above but my interest in classical music was beginning to wane ...

1978 Rosie recruited me for her group Cara. So it was that I discovered Irish music, motorbikes and vodka all in the same year.

1979 Went to Ireland for the first time - with Cara – and played in a series of great bars. Back at school, became leader of the orchestra and started a Barbershop Quartet ... What was I thinking of ?

1980 My first visit to Australia, where I teamed up with folk singer Rhonda Mawer and the group Mid-life Crisis, with whom I appeared on 2MBS-FM radio’s Ryder Round Folk album.


Chris and Anthony in Germany1981 Returned home and met Anthony McCartan, the biggest influence of my musical life. We immediately set off on a quick tour or Germany together, after which I interrupted my gap year for a brief (two week) spell at Exeter University. Then back to London for more Irish music with the likes of Bruce Hunter from Cara, Pete Fyfe and Noel Murphy.

Cara on stage 1981 – 1985 Well over a thousand gigs in the pubs and clubs of London and elsewhere in England. Also supported Christy Moore on his ‘Ride On’ tour and appeared on the well known Buttons and Bows album (vol. 2), a celebration of British tunes.
1985 - 1986 Back to Australia, where I joined The Gingermen – a great name and a great group who took no prisoners. Our idea of a musical arrangement was to decide what pub we would play in next !

Churchfitters trio1986 - 1990 Returned to London and founded The Sons of Roisin, a more refined group who were almost too musical to get work on the pub circuit. We made two albums under this name. Then the repertoire expanded to include music from Eastern Europe and America and we changed our name to The Rest of the World for the third album. The final line up of the band included Geoff Coombs, founder of The Churchfitters.

Festival Voix de Pays 20021990 The final result proved to be : The Rest of the World 1 - Chris Short 0 and my colleagues awarded me my musical freedom. I made full use of it, simultaneously joining a whole host of London based bands including:
Sack the Bouzouki and Pigtown Fling with Cormac Doyle; powerful Irish trad and original music in duo and five piece formations respectively.
The Hairy Lizards with Vincent Cross, a great young Bluegrass singer/songwriter and guitarist.
Psycho Ceilidh with Steve Daley, Fiach McHugh and Willie..? Undoubtedly the most insane group on the Irish circuit at the time. I loved it.
Reels on Wheels was the busking version of the psychos. We would jump onto a railway carriage on the London underground and Steve would shout “Nobody move; this is a Polka!”. Surprisingly, I was arrested only once.
Also guested with more groups than I can remember, including The Shanachies, Beyond the Pale, Billy-Joe Speed and Schooner’s Rig. An interesting and very diverse period of activity - but the best was yet to come ...

1993 - 2006 Moved to France and Joined Churchfitters ... Bliss! Five albums later I still love the band and can’t wait to cut the next one. Also formed Gwazigan with former Manigance and La bottine souriante member, Bernard Simard. We were soon joined by Raphael Chevalier and made the album Dessus la Fougères. Rosie took over from Raphael in 1998 but our success with The Churchfitters meant we soon had to stop playing with Gwazigan.

Churchfitters today live

Chris's instruments

Fiddle
Fiddle
Percussion
Percussion
Mandolin
Mandolin
tin whistle
Tin Whistle
Musical Saws
Musical Saws
biographie
discographie
stage
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rosie
chris
boris
anthony

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