PHOENIX - Rising again from the ashes of ARGENT...

John Verity, Bob Henrit and Jim Rodford formed PHOENIX from the ashes of 70's super group ARGENT in 1976.

The nucleus of the latest line-up is John Verity on guitar and vocals and Bob Henrit on drums ably supported by a selection of Guest artists.

John Verity and Bob Henrit
Mark Grifiths

Guitarist - bassist Mark Haydn-Griffiths was born and educated in Northampton. Mark's professional career began as lead guitarist, in Matthew's Southern Comfort. Their MCA recording of Joni Mitchell's 'Woodstock' became a worldwide hit, reaching number one in the U.K.

Some of the artists Mark has recorded and toured with include: Al Stewart, The Everly Brothers, Sonny Curtis, Duane Eddy, Mark Knopfler, Zoot Money, David Essex, Sherman Robertson, Tom Hall, Steve Gibbons, Bonnie Tyler, Mike Berry, Billy Connolly, Deniece Williams, Jeff Lynne, Neil Innes, The Rutles, John Verity, Debbie Davis, Dobie Gray, Willy Russell, Gallagher and Lyle, Nina Hagen, Iain Matthews, Plainsong, Dennis Loccoriere and Peter Frampton. Mark spent ten years with Cliff Richard's band and has been guitar legend Hank Marvin, and The Shadows regular bassist for the past fifteen years.

2008 finds Mark still on the road with JV, and will be playing bass on the CLIFF AND THE SHADOWS - 50th Anniversary Tour

Mark Griffiths
Bob Skeat

Bob Skeat comes from a musical family, his father was a jazz saxophone player who graduated to TV and sound studios to become one of the most in demand session players, his uncle was a bass player.

Inevitably Bob started on piano but decided to take up the bass and went about it properly by following a classical route on double-bass. This music didn't do it for him and he soon acquired an electric bass and before you could say 'Jack the Ripper' he was playing with Screaming Lord Sutch. In no time at all he was learning all there was to know about low-paid gigs, unending motorways, dodgy promoters and greasy spoons. This was the late seventies but mercifully an opportunity to escape turned up in the form of Wildlife, a stylish outfit from the early eighties.

From there he played with solo artists like Colin Blunstone, Hazel O'Connor and Chris Farlowe. Gilbert O'Sullivan came along a little later closely followed by the luxury of extremely opulent gigs with Princess Stephanie of Monaco. It's a leap of faith from the Monster Raving Loony Party to Monte Carlo but 'Skeaty' happily made the jump!

Bob was next to be found playing in Toyah's band before hitting the road with Wishbone Ash halfway through the nineties. He's still with them but in between times he plays on sessions, TV jingles and even had a stint in the West End with Queen's musical 'We Will Rock You'.

Bob Skeat
Jim Rodford

Jim truly deserves the title of the hardest working man in show-business. He began playing tea-chest bass in a St Albans skiffle group called The Bluetones which swiftly became a rock 'n' roll group whereupon he got himself a bass guitar.

He joined what really was the UK's hardest working soul band in 1964 - traipsing up and down the motorway in The Mike Cotton Sound. As highly accomplished musicians these guys also backed other artists too like Gene Pitney and PJ Proby - Jim was behind Proby the night his trousers split and he was banned from UK theatres. Mike's band played at the Beatles Christmas Show at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1964.

Jim was co-founder of Argent and remained there through numerous hit singles and albums until the mid seventies.

In 1975 he helped form Phoenix with Bob and John, enthusiastically joining in the fun until lured away by the Kinks where he remained until Ray Davies decided to concentrate on his one-man show.. Jim then began to play with The Animals and Friends band in the late nineties until throwing his lot in with The Zombies with Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent. He still finds time to fill his spare time by acting as guest bass player with The Swinging Blue Jeans.

Jim Rodford
Ian Gibbons

Ian Gibbons was always meant to be in Phoenix he even played on some of the tracks like 'Time of the Season' but it wasn't to be. Instead he too joined the Kinks so the band with John and Bob never happened. Since then he's played with everybody who was anybody.

'Gibbo' started out as an accordionist and was once the English champion before graduating to an infinitely less portable instrument - the keyboards. He began with a school band called the Cents before moving on to Pig Iron in the late sixties.

In 1974 he joined Life, who were produced by Chris White of Argent fame and a couple of years later started work with the English Assassins. In 1980 he was involved briefly with Ken Hensley's Shotgun.

There is an entity, known to musicians from outside the Thames Delta as the Southend Mafia which consists of most of the major artists from the seaside town with the longest pier in the world. Ian has played with lots of these guys in various bands: The Kurzaal Flyers, On the Bench, the Canvey Island Allstars, and Dr Feelgood. Other artists he's played with include: Andy Scott's Sweet, Suzie Quatro, Chris Farlowe, Maggie Bell, Love affair, the Nashville Teens, Tonight, The Records and various Mike Vernon projects.

Ian Hunter decided to come out of retirement and Gibbo joined him for five years from 1997.

His Kinks stint began in 1979 with a brief break in his tenure in the nineties. He's made up for this absence though because he still plays on special projects with Ray Davies and he's recently played and sung with the much-loved Kast-Off Kinks.

Otherwise he's been keeping his hand in since 1990 with Roger Chapman and Shortlist, whenever they need him, as well as a playing his specialty: raw 'R n B' in a touring version of the Chicago Blues Brothers.

Ian Gibbons

2009 Phoenix Rocks You