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Blog - 1st September 2019

6 influential musicians born in Kingston

The CirKT project is all about fostering new talent and making connections between audiences, venues and artists in Kingston. And the area itself has a rich creative history of its own; many famous artists, actors and musicians were born in the borough. Here is our Kingston-born musician round-up.

Rat Scabies
The drummer for English punk rock band the Damned, Rat Scabies formed the Damned with Brian James, Dave Vanianard and Captain Sensible in 1976. They were the first punk rock band from the UK to tour the US and they have nine singles that charted on the UK Singles Chart Top 40.

Steven Wilson
Described as ‘the most successful British artist you’ve never heard of’, Steven Wilson’s honours include four Grammy Award nominations, and three awards at the Progressive Music Awards in London where he was crowned ‘The king of prog rock’. He is a self-taught composer, producer, audio engineer, guitar and keyboard player, and has worked with everyone from Pendulum to Roxy Music. His career has spanned over 30 years both as a solo-artist and part of the band Porcupine Tree. 

Tom Rowlands
Tom Rowlands is part of electronic music duo the Chemical Brothers with Ed Simons. They are seen as pioneers of the big beat genre, bringing it to the forefront of pop culture, alongside the likes of The Prodigy and Fatboy Slim. Their second album ‘Dig your own hole’ topped the UK charts in 1997. In the UK they have had six number one albums and 13 Top Twenty singles, including two number ones.

Sandy Denny
Bork in 1947, Sandy was lead singer of the British folk-rock group Fairport Convention, followed by a career as a solo artist.  Music publication Mojo called Denny Britain’s finest female singer-songwriter. Her compositions have been recorded by Judy Collins, Eva Cassidy and Nina Simone, to name a few. Sadly, her life was cut short at the age of 31 from alcohol abuse.

Peter John Cox
An English singer-songwriter from the pop due Go West. He was named ‘Best Newcomer’ at the 1986 BRIT awards, and his single ‘We close our eyes’ became a top 5 hit in 1985. In 1990, Go West had a number eight hit in the states with their single ‘King of wishful thinking’ from the film Pretty Woman.

John Martyn
John Martyn (full name Iain David McGeachy OBE) was a British singer-songwriter and guitarist. His career spanned 40 years, during which he released an incredible 22 studio albums, often to critical acclaim.  He has collaborated with artists such as Phil Collins and Lee “Scratch” Perry and was described by The Times as ‘an electrifying guitarist and singer whose music blurred the boundaries between folk, jazz, rock and blues’.


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