Follow
Uptown Traffic
on Facebook

 

Please use the
Contact button
to contact us

.

 


About Uptown Traffic

Uptown Traffic are a 7 piece 60's and 70's rock and soul band playing the best hits from that era - many that you may have forgotten about completely!

Comprising of a very strong rhythm section, a fantastic bass player and a superb drummer with a great and versatile guitarist using the very latest in guitar and synthesizer technology. Complimenting this power-house is a dedicated brass secion with 2 Trumpets and Tenor Sax who never fail to kick off every evening with a swing!

On the vocal front, our legendary main vocalist is joined by other singers within the band, who all perform great vocal harmonies.

The whole show is an exciting trip down memory lane with great music to dance to!

Come along to watch and listen to us at one of our gigs where everyone is welcome. If you would like to book us come and talk to us or contact us through our websiote or just give us a ring

 

The Uptown Traffic Story

Uptown Traffic's founder was Chris Robinson.

Chris Robinson

Back in 1968 Chris (guitar and vocals) was playing with his school mates Andy Benson (guitar and vocals), Dave Thorn (drums) and Richard Pounds (bass and vocals) in their school-band Homburg.

When Kevin Bartholomew joined them on Sax along with Tony Locke (drums) and Ken Saunders (trumpet) they reformed as The Phallic Symbols. Kevin Bartholomew then left and two new sax players, Richard New and Paul Carter auditioned as replacement sax players. They got the job!

Around this time they were looking for a second guitarist and vocalist. A young 14 year-old Kev Dyson auditioned but was told to go away and practice and was subsequently turned down!

After the Phallic Symbols broke up, a new band was formed by Chris which included Richard Pounds on bass and vocals, Paul Carter and Richard New on saxes and they were joined by Ken Saunders on Trumpet, and Tony Locke on drums.

Uptown Traffic 1969
Paul Carter (front), Richard Pounds, Ken saunders, Chris Robinson (front), Tony Locke and Richard New

The band was to be called Downlown Traffic but for some reason Chris had mis-heard (really?) and told the booking agent the name was Uptown Traffic. The band's name was officially changed after their first gig. They went on to play many more.

Uptown Traffic disbanded for the first time in 1971 with Chris, Richard Pounds and Tony Locke leaving to form their new band Brute Force, but this never really got off the ground so a while later Tony Locke called up Richard New, and Paul Carter and Uptown Traffic was reformed with Jed Waters on bass, Dave Benson on guitar and vocals. and Graham Hayes on Trumpet replacing Ken Saunders.

The guys were accepted onto the books of the reknown Bob Potter who sent them on some very good gigs and the band - now well established, started to enjoy a very popular reputation.

Dave Benson stayed with the band for a while but then left to join his brother Andy to form their new band Ebony.

Meanwhile Kev Dyson had practiced! His own band Final Decision had turned professional and had toured England, Germany and played a residency in the Channel Islands. But in August 1974 his band had just broken up.

Kev noticed an advert in the local paper for a singer/guitarist and applied. He was very surprised when he answered a knock at the door to find the familiar face of Chris Robinson standing there coming to check him out! Chris had not realised that it was 'young Kev' who had answered the newspaper ad and it was an ironic moment much laughed about!

Uptown Traffic 1975
Kev Dyson, Tony Locke, Paul Carter, Richard New, Graham Hayes, Jed Waters and Chris Robinson

Kev joined the band and took on the extra role as musical arranger. The band grew in popularity even more so and in 1975 visited The Sunn studios in Kingston-upon-Thames to cut their first record 'Thinking'/'Thats The Way'. 'Thinking' had been written by Kev and Kate Sloan who was the female vocalist in Final Decision - Kev's very first band. That's The Way' was one of Kev's own songs. The band sold their records at gigs to suppliment their proceeds.

Towards the end of 1975 some members of the band - Tony Locke, Jed Waters and Graham Hayes split from Uptown Traffic to join Ebony with Dave and Andy Benson. They were replaced by Derek Perris on Bass, Ricky Hicks (of Ricky and The Gambler's fame) on vocals, Barry Keene on Drums and Stuart Briggs on 3rd guitar. Uptown Traffic were now an 8 piece, but after several gigs and the pull of work from other musical projects to some of the band members, the band disbanded for the second time and would not play together again for many years!

Then in November 2009, Paul Carter received a phone call from Ken Saunder's partner Denise, asking if it was possible to get the old band back together to perform and surprise Ken for his 60th birthday the following year. Paul rang round the lads some of who had not played since the last disbandment, and to his delight, everyone agreed to a reunion for him. So later that month everyone met up for the first time in 36 years at The Craven Arms pub at Enbourne for a drink and a chat about the future prospects for the band.

Meeting up for the first time in 36 years - Uptown Traffic 2009
Richard New, Kev Dyson, Paul (-The Legend-) Carter, Tony Locke, Jed Waters, Chris Robinson and Graham Hayes

They planned the reunion gig and started to rehearse under Kev Dyson's direction as the band's new Musical Director. Somehow wind of what was going on reached the ears of Ken who really wanted to be involved and included, and so with Ken on board as well, rehearsals continued with 8 members of Uptown Traffic. Everyone was euphoric to have the old band back together - especially Paul Carter!

The gig went down extremely well at Ken's birthday party in Christchurch and the band found themselves starting to be booked by local clubs and pubs. Reforming to do just that one gig had been the intention, but due to the success of the evening the band decided to stay together.

On stage 2010 at Ken's 60th birthday bash

Suddenly and tragically in June 2011 Chris Robinson died of cancer and left the band in a state of shock and with the dilemma of whether or not to to try to carry on without him.

But everyone agreed that the band should carry on because this was what Chris would have wanted. It took two new talented guys and many months of work to fill Chris's legacy and bridge the huge gulf that he had left behind.

Martin Dixon from Kev's other band Quartz joined as vocalist and front man, and a little later Dave Benson returned as singer/guitarist.

The guys performed a special tribute for Chris in February 2012 which saw Uptown Traffic performing with Ricky Hicks' current band Stealer and also a band put together by Chris's old friend Andy Benson especially for the night called The Sadows - a Shadows tribute band.

 

 

Diane Robinson presents the cheque for £2400.00 to Stuart from the West Berkshire Community Hospital's League of Friends on The Chris Robinson Tribute Night 2011

More Pictures from this event here

Over £2400 was raised for The West Berkshire Community Hospital's League of Friends who the band have now adopted as their official charity.

In early 2012 Graham Hayes left the band but the trumpet vacancy was not filled. A little later Tony Locke also left and was replaced by ex-Fleur de Lys' drummer Keith Guster who played in Quartz with Kev and Martin too.

The eight musicians were joined by Uptown Traffic's old roadie Dickie Revell-Reynolds who returned as sound engineer and tour manager. During late 2013, Dickie took on a new opportunity of being a landlord of a number of local pubs and so had to give up helping the band who are very much in debt for what Dickie did to help Uptown Traffic reunion tour get off the ground

In 2014, Dave Benson left the band to pursue a new project band 'First Light' and
Paul (The Legend) Carter who was the instigator of the band's reunion, suddenly gave up.

Later in the year and during a period of rehabilitation following Richard New's heart operation, drummer and trumpet player John Smith stood in at short notice and Uptown Traffic continued to function with two trumpets.

In December the band decided that an offer should be made to John to join the band permanently and John accepted, so the band became a seven-piece once more with a much stronger brass sound.

The now seven-strong team are playing with even more determination to make an impact on the music scene and thrill their audiences with the great songs of the 60s and 70s.

Uptown Traffic Timeline

1969
Uptown Traffic Mk1
 

Chris Robinson (Guitar/Vocals)

 

Tony Locke (Drums)

 

Richard New (Tenor Sax)

 

Paul (-The Legend-) Carter (C Melody Sax)

 

Richard Pounds (Bass Guitar)

 

Ken Saunders (Trumpet)

 
1971

Richard Pounds leaves

 

Ken Saunders leaves

Uptown Traffic Disbands
 
1973
Uptown Traffic Mk2 (The Reformation)
 

Chris Robinson (Guitar/Vocals) returns

 

Tony Locke (Drums) returns

 

Richard New (Tenor Sax) returns

 

Paul (-The Legend-) Carter (C Melody Sax) returns

 

Dave Benson (Guitar/Vocals) joins

 

Jed Waters (Bass Guitar) joins

 

Graham Hayes (Trumpet) joins

 
1974
Uptown Traffic Mk3
 

Dave Benson leaves

 

Kev Dyson (Guitar/Vocals) joins

 
1976
Uptown Traffic Mk4
 

Tony Locke leaves

 

Jed Waters leaves

 

Graham Hayes leaves

 

Derek Perris (Bass Guitar) joins

 

Ricky Hicks (Vocals) joins

 

Barry Keene (Drums) joins

 

Stuart Briggs (Guitar) joins

 
1976
 
Uptown Traffic Disbands
 
2010
Uptown Traffic Mk4 (The Reunion)
 

Chris Robinson (Guitar/Vocals) returns

 

Tony Locke (Drums) returns

 

Richard New (Tenor Sax) returns

 

Paul Carter (Baritone Sax) returns

 

Jed Waters (Bass Guitar) returns

 

Graham Hayes (Trumpet) returns

 

Ken Saunders (Trumpet) returns

 

Kev Dyson (Guitar/Vocals) returns

 
2011
Uptown Traffic Mk5
 

Chris Robinson dies

 

Martin Dixon (Vocals) joins

 

Dave Benson (Guitar/Vocals) returns

 
2012
Uptown Traffic Mk6
 

Graham Hayes leaves

 

Tony Locke leaves

 

 Keith Guster (Drums) joins

2014
Uptown Traffic Mk7
 

Dave Benson leaves again

 

Paul Carter leaves

2014
Uptown Traffic Mk8
 

John Smith (Trumpet) joins



Our Current Playlist
 
Band Profiles

Find out more about Uptown Traffic's Musicians

----------

Keith Guster
Drums/Backing Vocals

Richard New
Tenor Sax

Jed Waters
Bass Guitar

Dave Benson
Lead Guitar/Vocals

Martin Dixon
Vocals/Percussion
/Guitar

Ken Saunders
Trumpet/Drums

John Smith
Trumpet

Kev Dyson
Lead Guitar
/Guitar Synth
/Vocals



 

 

Updated 28-Nov-2016