Uptown Traffic
on Facebook


Please use the
Contact button
to contact us

or call Kev on

07796 796 802


About Uptown Traffic

Uptown Traffic is a 6 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 Trumpet 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 and entertaining 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, Rich 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 so he 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 Rich 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 Rich 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 Rich 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 previously 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 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 Carter who was the instigator of the band's reunion, suddenly and inexplicably gave up.

Later in the year and during a period of rehabilitation following Rich New's heart operation, drummer and trumpet player John Skates 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.

The now seven-strong team played 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.

John stayed with the band for nearly 4 years but had to leave for personal reasons which was a great shame as his influence had pulled Uptown Traffic's brass section together into a really tight unit. John is missed terribly, but on the positive side Ken and Richard learned much during John's presence and they now carry on as a very competent two piece section.

Uptown Traffic trawled through local musicians to try and find a replacement trumpet player but no-one could be found that could commit to the busy schedule. They haven't entirlely given up searching for a replacement but will be carrying on as a six piece.

Martin Dixon recently discovered he had a half-brother - John Brakspear. John started to follow, help and support the band at all of their gigs, and so he became a commited member. His invaluable help on the logistics side of things is greatly appreciated!

Coronavirus hit the world in 2019 and by March Uptown Traffic had cancelled all of the gigs in the diary. Lockdown followed for the forseeable future and the band had no social contact for the next year and a half.

Finally at the end of 2021 Uptown Traffic were able to resume live performances but gigs were slow to materialise due to the current situation of the economy. By May 2022 there were some gigs at long last in the diary and an offer to appear at the Newbury Retro Festival once again which was eagerly grasped.

But on June 1st the shock of Ken Saunders suddenly passing and this set the band once more into turmoil and uncertainty

It was an invitation to play at the Newbury Retro Festival again in August 2022 which rekindled the spiirit of the band and rehearsals started for this forthcoming important gig.

Mark Tanner who had previously depped with the Uptown Traffic became a permanent member on bass.

We were lucky to find trumpet player andy Townsend to replace Ken Saunders for the Retro Festival after his sudden passing. After doing sessions for a few subsequent gigs, Andy also became a full member of the band and Uptown Traffic became a six-piece once again

Uptown Traffic Timeline

Uptown Traffic Mk1

Chris Robinson (Guitar/Vocals)


Tony Locke (Drums)


Richard New (Tenor Sax)


Paul Carter (C Melody Sax)


Richard Pounds (Bass Guitar)


Ken Saunders (Trumpet)


Richard Pounds leaves


Ken Saunders leaves

Uptown Traffic Disbands
Uptown Traffic Mk2 (The Reformation)

Chris Robinson (Guitar/Vocals) returns


Tony Locke (Drums) returns


Richard New (Tenor Sax) returns


Paul Carter (C Melody Sax) returns


Dave Benson (Guitar/Vocals) joins


Jed Waters (Bass Guitar) joins


Graham Hayes (Trumpet) joins

Uptown Traffic Mk3

Dave Benson leaves


Kev Dyson (Guitar/Vocals) joins

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

Uptown Traffic Disbands
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

Uptown Traffic Mk5

Chris Robinson dies


Martin Dixon (Vocals) joins


Dave Benson (Guitar/Vocals) returns

Uptown Traffic Mk6

Graham Hayes leaves


Tony Locke leaves


 Keith Guster (Drums) joins

Uptown Traffic Mk7

Dave Benson leaves again


Paul Carter leaves

Uptown Traffic Mk8

 John Skates (Trumpet) joins

Uptown Traffic Mk9

 John Skates leaves


 John Brakspear (Roadie) joins

Uptown Traffic Mk10

 Jed Waters  leaves

2022 Uptown Traffic Mk11
  Ken Saunders dies

 Mark Tanner (Bass) joins


 Andy Townsend (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

Ken Saunders

John Smith

Kev Dyson
Lead Guitar
/Guitar Synth

Chris Robinson

Chris was THE founder member and guitarist/vocalist of the original 1969 Uptown Traffic. He was the leader thoughout the band's history.

Sadly, Chris died of cancer in 2011 and left a huge empty gulf in the band's capability and moral, with which the band struggled greatly.

He is sadly missed.



Graham Hayes

Graham joined
Uptown Traffic in 1973 as trumpet player having been involved with various local brass bands previously.

He was instrumental in bringing together the original members in 2010 for its reunion but left in early 2011.

Graham sadly died of cancer in 2016 after a short illness.

He is sadly missed.



Updated 04 Feb 2023