Bob Fox it appears is shaping up up to be one of the busiest individuals on the folk scene in 2023. Hot on the heels of his tour extension with Billy Mitchell comes the bombshell that he’s joined one of the most brilliant/relevant bands ever to emerge from the Albion slipstream, the mighty Home Service. John Tams it seems has stepped down once more and Bob jumped at the chance to front the group when guitarist and quiet driving force Graham Taylor mentioned the vacancy. Be in no doubt Mr. Fox is a worthy replacement for John Tams as he has north east roots and has worked with industrial sources, particularly the songs of the mining and colliery communities in Durham and Tyneside. Nor is he a stranger to blending folk with rock, John Tams producing his album ‘The Blast’ and Bob Fox playing the part of The Songman in Tams music for ‘Warhorse.’ After working with Fairport Convention, Bob was also part of folk rock band the Hush with ex Hedgehog Pie guitarist Jed Grimes, whose sole album was a thing of wonder, shame they never delivered a follow up.
The news was broken by Home Service themselves with this announcement as they also revealed they’d be headlining at The Braodstairs Folk Festival in mid August……
“Home Service is pleased to announce that we have secured the services of Bob Fox as our new lead singer, following the news that John Tams has decided to step down.
Long regarded as one of the great voices of British folk song, singer and guitarist Bob Fox has been deeply influenced by the working class culture and industrial folk song of his native County Durham and has become a first rate exponent of storytelling through song –Home Service is delighted to have him on board.
Bob worked alongside John Tams and Graeme Taylor, taking the role of “Songman” in the National Theatre’s highly successful West End production of War Horse, and is looking forward to a brand new role alongside Taylor’s fiery lead guitar and Home Service’s stirring brass and rock-solid rhythm sections.
Home Service was originally formed in 1981 from the creative nucleus of the Albion Band line-up that produced the classic Rise Up Like the Sun album, with Tams and Taylor feeling the need to explore more contemporary themes in the songs and musical interpretation.
During its relatively short life in the mid-eighties, Home Service produced three albums (all still available from Fledg’ling Records) and headlined at major festivals including Cambridge, Cropredy and Dranouter. They toured extensively, but found arguably their biggest audience when they provided music for Bill Bryden’s ground-breaking production of The Mysteries trilogy, which ran for many years at the National Theatre.
Cut to 2011 and the band made a dramatic return to prominence with the best-selling Live 86 album and a string of major festival appearances, followed swiftly by further success in 2012 when they won Best Live Act at the Radio 2 Folk Awards.
After a period of inactivity, Home Service made a triumphant return to the stage with a powerful and emotional performance at Fairport Convention’s Cropredy Festival in 2022, stunning an audience of 20,000 – now, the band is back to full strength and raring to tread the boards once more.
Bob Fox (vocals, acoustic guitar), Graeme Taylor (guitar), Andy Findon (saxes, flute, piccolo), Michael Gregory (drums), Rob Levy (bass), Steve King (keyboards, sax), Shane Brennan (trumpet), Andrew Lester (trombone).
The Broadstairs Festival performance below is Bob Fox’s debut.”
More at https://www.facebook.com/homeserviceband/Queens Road Baptist Centre Queens Road, Broadstairs, Kent, United Kingdom.