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Brass Monkey


The history of Brass Monkey begins in 1973 with John Kirkpatrick playing with Martin Carthy in the Albion Country Band, one of Ashley Hutchings’ many creations. (Carthy played with Hutchings before that in 1970-71 in Steeleye Span – another one – and again later in 1977-78.) Martin Brinsford joined Carthy and Kirkpatrick for Plain Capers (1976), a recording of Morris Dance Tunes From the Cotswolds. Howard Evans, who was with the Albion Band in 1978, joined the other three, together with Roger Williams, to form Brass Monkey in 1979. At some stage the band was briefly called the Martin Carthy Band. (see the short YouTube video of Jolly Tinker at the 1982 Cambridge Folk Festival).

Brass Monkey produced two LPs, Brass Monkey in 1983 and See How It Runs in 1986. On the latter, Roger Williams was replaced by Richard Cheetham. Both LPs were re-released on a CD, Brass Monkey, in 1993.

After a long break due to problems finding gigs for such a large band, they reformed in 1997 and recorded three more CDs with either Richard Cheetham and/or Roger Williams. Howard Evans died in 2006. In 2008, Brass Monkey recruited Paul Archibald as trumpet player and they started recording a new CD for Topic Records.


Brass Monkey are
Martin Carthy: vocals, guitar, mandolin;
John Kirkpatrick, vocals, button accordion, melodeon, treble, baritone and bass Anglo concertinas;
Howard Evans, trumpets (1979-2006†);
Paul Archibald, trumpets (2008-);
Martin Brinsford, mouth-organ, C-melody saxophone, drums, percussion;
Richard Cheetham, tenor trombone, sackbut;
Roger Williams, bass trombone, tuba



Martin Carthy Band at the 18th Cambridge Folk Festival


Brass Monkey (Topic 12TS431) Brass Monkey, Brass Monkey, LP, Topic 12TS431, 1983


See How It Runs (Topic 12TS442) Brass Monkey, See How It Runs, LP, Topic 12TS442, 1986

Loudon Wainwright III: More Love Songs (Demon FIEND 79) Loudon Wainwright III, More Love Songs, LP, Demon FIEND 79, 1986


The Derby Tub Presents… (BBC Radio Derby DTP-01) Various Artists, The Derby Tup Presents…, cassette, BBC Radio Derby DTP-01, 1988


The Complete Brass Monkey (Topic TSCD467) Brass Monkey, The Complete Brass Monkey, CD, Topic TSCD467, 1993


The Voice of Folk (TSCD705) Various Artists, The Voice of Folk, CD, Topic TSCD705, 1996


New Electric Muse II (Castle ESB CD 517) Various Artists, New Electric Muse, Volume 2, 3 CD, Castle Music ESB CD 517, 1997


Brass Monkey: Sound & Rumour (Topic TSCD501) Brass Monkey, Sound & Rumour, CD, Topic TSCD501, 1998


English Originals (Topic TSCD706) Various Artists, English Originals: A Defining Collection of English Folk Song, CD, Topic TSCD706, 1999

The Folk Collection (Topic TSCD707/8) Various Artists, The Folk Collection, 2 CD, Topic TSCD707/8, 1999


And We'll All Have Tea (Proper / Retro R2CD 40-106) Various Artists, And We'll All Have Tea… English Folk Anthology, 2 CD, Proper / Retro R2CD 40-106, 2000


Brass Monkey: Going & Staying (Topic TSCD531) Brass Monkey, Going & Staying, CD, Topic TSCD531, 2001


The Acoustic Folk Box (Topic TSFCD 4001) Various Artists, The Acoustic Folk Box, 4 CD, Topic TSFCD4001, 2002


Brass Monkey: Flame of Fire (Topic TSCD550) Brass Monkey, Flame of Fire, CD, Topic TSCD550, 2004

The English Collection (Highpoint HPO6010) Various Artists, The English Collection, CD, Highpoint HPO6010, 2004


Brass Monkey: The Definitive Collection (Highpoint HPO6011) Brass Monkey, The Definitive Collection, CD, Highpoint HPO6011, 2005

Folk Awards 2011 (Proper PROPERFOLK11) Various Artists, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2005, 2 CD, Proper PROPERFOLK01, 2005


Huntingdon Folk 4 (SVL14CD) Various Artists, Huntingdon Folk 4, CD, Speaking Volumes SVL 14CD, 2008


Brass Monkey: Head of Steam (Topic TSCD575) Brass Monkey, Head of Steam, CD, Topic TSCD575, 2009


Brass Monkey: The Best of Live (Park PRKCD 125) Brass Monkey, The Best of Live: 30th Anniversary Celebration, CD, Park PRKCD 125, 2013

See also