Biography

Kris was born in Barking on 29th of September 1952 and first became interested in the guitar when he saw The Beatles on TV and wanted to be just like John Lennon. Despite the opposition of his parents, particularly his father, he eventually bought a Rossetti acoustic guitar from a neighbour for £3 given to him by his uncle and taught himself some chords. A boy in his class at school, Ben Coupe, could play the drums so together they formed his first band with two others whom Kris also taught to play. They played a few youth clubs in the area with some line-up changes but Kris and Ben always at the core, they named themselves ‘D-Series Truck’. However when Kris left school he left home not long afterwards to join a band based in Earls Court, they didn’t have a drummer and the plan was to bring Ben over as well. Sadly Ben was killed in a road traffic accident whilst riding his motor bike.

The Earls Court band didn’t last long but Kris continued to work with the lead guitar player, Cecil Roberts’ with Kris being rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist. However in 1971 his music career was interrupted by a short holiday at Her Majesty’s pleasure, for more on that go to www.twos-up.com.

When he returned to Earls Court Kris hooked up with Cecil again and they formed Grobbert and Duff with an Irish singer/songwriter by the name of Mick Duffy. This line up recorded one single ‘I Am I Think’ b/w ‘The Man From Naz’ the latter being a tongue in cheek slant on the sermon on the mount being joints he gave out rather than loaves and fishes. Today ‘I Am I Think’ has become a Psych cult classic with original copies changing hands for up to 400 Euros! It can also be found on a couple of Psych compilation albums. Needless to say it didn’t make any dent on the charts of the day but it did bring Kris to the attention of the organisers of the Windsor Free Festival.

This was where he first met The Edgar Broughton Band who Kris was already a big fan of; it would be another ten years before they crossed paths again.

Due to the lack success with G&D Cecil and Kris parted company. They had been running a folk club in the basement of the Troubadour coffee bar in Earls Court’s Brompton Road. It was there that Kris met folk singer Mike Absalom whom he initially became a roadie for but later progressed to playing bass for him. Mike wasn’t comfortable with someone else on stage, so Kris was sacked.

He decided to go solo playing guitar, bass, ukulele, mandolin and anything else he could get a tune out off. It was whilst doing solo shows that Mick Duffy contacted him again asking if he would play bass in his new band. Kris joined, initially as a bass player but also singing a lot of the lead vocals. It was then decided to get a bass player and Kris would switch to playing second lead guitar to Kevin, the other guitarist. The band was named Elastic Cat but sadly Mick and Kris couldn’t agree on what direction they should be going so they split with Kevin and Kris keeping the name and trying to continue. They found a manager, Brian Morely, who had been working with Mud, they made some demo recordings and played a few gigs. However, Brian wanted them to be more disco and Kris wanted Led Zeppelin so the band folded. In 1975 Kris met a guitar player, John Spencer, who agreed with him that Peter Green was the best white blues guitarist ever. So when Elastic Cat folded John and Kris formed Hard Road with Heanor Hucknall on bass and Rory O’Carroll on drums. The original idea was to form a hard-core blues band but as Kris wrote most of the material it moved far from that. One album was recorded in 1980 with the title of ‘No Problem’ which was the answer the record company gave to every question asked! John was unhappy with the direction of the band and left, Kris was devastated that his friend and co-founder was gone and felt he couldn’t replace him so it was decided to carry on as a three piece. Rory left to be a roadie for Secret Affair and in came Bill Collis. A second album was recorded for another record company but it never saw the light of day and left Kris extremely depressed with the way they had been treated as a band and this caused them to split.

Kris had been looking for a publisher for the Hard Road songs he’d written and was introduced to Mike Green, brother of Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green. Being a huge fan of Peter he signed with Mike and became good friends with Peter as well who would come and live with him for six months.

Recording with Peter Green

Not long after the band split Kris met a script writer for BBC TV who heard some of the unreleased Hard Road material. She thought one track, ‘Riot’ would suit the children’s programme ‘After Four’ she was scripting as the main theme. This was recorded with Peter on bass (!) Peter Bardens from Camel on keyboards and Troy Blakely on drums. During this time at a party for Peter Green’s record company PVK, Kris met Brian Knight who was having problems with his bass player. Kris went to see the band play and told him that he could do a better job, Brian called his bluff and Kris went on the road with Brian for over two years.

When Brian eventually broke up the band, Kris was finding juggling a music career and being a single parent family difficult so now out of a band he decided to go on the other side of the music business, retail. He eventually opened a record store in Barkingside, Essex, Vinyl Village, in 1984. Over the next six years Kris experimented with local musicians but was mainly focused on raising his son. Then he did a session with Glen Miller’s brother Herb Miller but not much else until he met a local heavy metal band, Elixir, who asked him to manage them. They formed a publishing company for their songs as there was a new album being released. Kris thought it would be a good idea to find some more artists to manage and record, someone suggested Chris Farlowe who he approached in 1990. From that early meeting Kris would go on to spend the next 18 years of his life steering Farlowe’s career from obscurity to the success he is today.

Over the next 15 years Kris also toured with and managed, amongst others, Cliff BennettThe SweetSonja Kristina, Maggie Bell, John Fiddler, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Roger ChapmanIan Hunter and The Edgar Broughton Band. Whilst managing the Edgar Broughton Band their bass player left and Kris stepped in. It was great to play again, although they didn’t do a lot of touring Kris had the performing bug again and formed a duo with good friend Dave Carol, called The Fabulous Gigging Guitar Brothers which was a lot of fun.

In 2003 he was contacted by Dexy’s Midnight Runners manager Laurie Jay, who also managed Billy Ocean, they were about to undertake a comeback tour to promote a best of CD, although only Kevin Rowland and Pete Williams remained from the original band. With only a few weeks to go before their tour manager quit so Laurie asked if Kris could take over, the money was good so why not. The first show was in Dubai where the sea water was 36 degrees!! The tour was reasonably successful but Kevin didn’t take it any further.

Kris first met Miller Anderson in 1992 whilst touring with Chris Farlowe and Maggie Bell. Their paths crossed many times over the next few years until eventually Kris co-produced his 2003 album ‘Bluesheart’ for his then record label Delicious. Kris also released a number of albums on this label including titles by Chris Farlowe, The Sweet, Darryl Bath, Ian Hunter, Cliff BennettNorman Beaker and Steve Diggle. Some of which were recorded in a studio in West London, that Kris co-owned for a while with his then fully grown son Dylan.

In 2008 Kris produced, for the last time, an album in Germany with Chris Farlowe entitled Hotel Eingang which featured Miller on guitar, Frank Tischer on keyboards, Paul Burgess (from every band under the sun and currently with 10CC) on drums and Kris on bass. Although the sessions were more than a little traumatic the band, without Mr Farlowe, agreed to make a new album with Miller. This would become Chameleon and was released on Kris’s new label Rokoko along with Hotel Eingang. The Miller Anderson Band worked constantly for the next three years with only one change in line up, featuring Tommy Fischer, or Klaus Schenk on drums. They recorded a live double CD entitled From Lizard Rock as well as appearing on the high profile German TV rock music programme Rockpalast.

Kris has also produced two albums by Exeter guitar virtuoso Jay Tamkin,  ‘Sorted’ and ‘Alibi’ and toured Germany in 2012 playing bass for him. Unfortunately Kris couldn’t cope with Jay’s domineering Mother so stopped working with him.

In 2012 Kris was contacted by old friend Tim Wyatt who had sung back-up vocals on the Grobbert & Duff single back in 1973. The Record Collector magazine were doing a feature on ‘I Am, I Think’ and wanted to speak to Kris about it. This re-kindled their friendship and they decided to work together on an album and live performances. They co-wrote the album ‘Naming the Darkness’ and released a single from it ‘Deutsche Girls’ a number of gigs were planned but after two shows Tim was unable to do anymore so Kris was left alone to finish the dates booked with Miller Anderson Band drummer Klaus Schenk on percussion.

In 2014 Kris wrote a Christmas song that he recorded with Den Hegarty the singer from the 70’s hit band Darts called ‘Welcome to My Christmas’ still available for downloading from iTunes etc. He intends to revive the song with a choir for a charity recording for AgeUK for Christmas 2020

In 2017 Kris was approached by Stephen M. Smith of Greenway Entertainment to make a film of ‘Two’s Up’, Krishad already written a script which Smith took it and changed almost beyond recognition and renaming it ‘Borstal’. It was always known to be going directly to DVD but the incorrect depiction of the subject matter on the cover annoyed Kris and most of the cast who had worked hard to make a decent job. It is currently available on DVD and to download for a modest fee from Amazon, Google and YouTube.

Kris wrote and recorded the music for the film which is available on CD. In 2019 he wrote and recorded some music for a short film ‘All My Love’, which was directed by Alex Harrison who had been the cameraman on ‘Borstal’.

This year Kris is planning to make a documentary on the Borstal system with Alex. He is also hoping to do some gigs and recording with his good friend guitarist Jerry Spitzer, whilst he still can!