Singer and songwriter Robb Johnson returns to the live stage in Belper this week with a gig at the Queen’s Head.
Regarded as one of the UK’s finest songwriters, Robb has been called ‘one of the last genuinely political songwriters’, and is known for his mix of political satire and wit.
He is one of the few artists to have gained plaudits from sources as diverse as The Daily Telegraph and the late Tony Benn.
In fact Benn was frequently fond of describing Robb’s song When Winter Turns to Spring as his favourite song.
In a career spanning some 30-odd years since he started playing in folk clubs in the 1970s, Robb has played the clubs and festivals (he comperes The Tolpuddle Festival) whilst touring worldwide from Germany to Nicaragua.
He also featured strongly at The Barbican’s Folk Britannia celebration where he led a rousing encore of Hanging On The Old Barbed Wire.
Indeed, it is his long-term interest in World War One which led to his much revered song cycle The Gentle Men, skilfully intertwining family history with a broader historical vision.
The song cycle was recorded by Robb in collaboration with folk singer Roy Bailey and performed at the commemorative Passchendaele Peace Concert
Still possessed of a youthful – some would say almost punk-like – energy, Robb continues to write prolifically and tour regularly whilst finding time to co-write a biography of Yoko Ono and use his own label, Irregular Records, to revive the music of Jacques Brel.
He released his 32nd album, Here Goes Nothing, last year.
For his latest appearance in Belper, he will be support the town’s own Chris Butler.
An evening of fine songs and performances awaits and it all takes place on Friday, February 19.
Admission is £7 with doors open from 8pm.