Robb Johnson performing in Faversham in November 2007.
|Birth name||Robb Jenner Johnson|
|Born||December 25, 1955|
Robb Jenner Johnson (born Isleworth, Hounslow, 25 December 1955) is a British musician and songwriter, who has been called "one of the last genuinely political songwriters", and is known for his mix of political satire and wit. He has his own record label, Irregular Records, and has released more than 30 albums either solo or in several collaborations.
Johnson began his musical career playing in folk clubs in the 1970s and ran a folk club at the University of Sussex, before forming a band called Grubstreet, which split up in 1983. Two years later he made his first solo album, setting up his own label on which to release it, before forming an agitprop group, The Ministry of Humour, with Mark Shilcock and Graham Barnes. After the break-up of this act and a failed attempt at forming a new electric band, he returned to performing solo and also formed a duo with female singer Pip Collings.
In 1997 he composed the song cycle Gentle Men, based on the experiences of his grandfathers in the First World War. The song cycle was recorded by Johnson in collaboration with Roy Bailey, and performed at the commemorative Passchendaele Peace Concert. He remains active and has released at least one album each year since 2000 as well as playing regular gigs, benefits and political events. In 2006 he was a special guest at the BBC's "Folk Britannia" concert at the Barbican Centre, ending the night with a rendition of World War I song "Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire".
- In Amongst The Rain (1985)
- Songs for the New Jerusalem (1987)
- Skewed, Slewed, Stewed & Awkward (1987)
- Small Town World (1989)
- Overnight (1991) (Robb Johnson and Pip Collings)
- Tourists and Casualties (1993) (The Johnson-Collings Band)
- This Is the UK Talking (1994)
- Heart's Desire (1994) (Robb Johnson and Pip Collings)
- 1-2-3 (1994) (The Johnson-Collings Band)
- Lack of Jolly Ploughboy (1995) (Robb Johnson and Pip Collings)
- Lavender Blues (1995, six-track mini-album)
- Interesting Times (1995) (The Robb Johnson Band)
- The Night Café (1995)
- Hell’s Kitchen (1996) (The Robb Johnson Roots Band)
- Overnight (1996, solo re-recording of tracks from the 1991 album of the same name and Tourists and Casualties)
- Ugly Town (1997)
- Invisible People (1997)
- Gentle Men (1997) (Roy Bailey, Vera Coomans, Robb Johnson, & Koen De Cauter & The Golden Serenaders)
- Yeah Yeah Yeah: So Far So Good 1991-1998 (1998) (The Robb Johnson Band)
- The Big Wheel (1999)
- The Big Wheel - The Second XI and Alternative Versions (1999, live recordings and tracks omitted from the above album)
- Margaret Thatcher: My Part in Her Downfall (2000)
- 21st Century Blues (2001) (Robb Johnson, Miranda Sykes and Saskia Tomkins)
- The Triumph of Hope Over Experience (2002)
- Maximum Respect (2002)
- Clockwork Music (2003)
- Friday Night in Brentford (2003)
- Tony Blair: My Part in His Downfall (2004)
- A Beginner's Guide (2005)
- Metro (2005)
- Saturday Night at The Fire Station (2006) (Robb Johnson & The Irregulars)
- All That Way For This (2007) (Robb Johnson & The Irregulars)
- Love & Death & Politics (2008) (Robb Johnson & The Irregulars)
- Margaret Thatcher: My Part in Her Downfall - Deluxe (2009, box set comprising third and fourth albums plus other rare and unreleased material)
- The Liberty Tree (2009) (Leon Rosselson and Robb Johnson)
- The Ghost of Love (2009) (Robb Johnson & The Irregulars)
- Man Walks Into a Pub (2010)
- Some Recent Protest Songs (2011)
- Once Upon a Time (2011)
- Happily Ever After (2012)
- Bring Down the Moon (2013)
- The Animals Song (1986)
- The Herald of Free Enterprise (1988)
- Wasted Years (1991)
- Living in the Rubbish (1991) (Robb Johnson and Pip Collings)
- Saturday Afternoon Red Army (1995)
- "When the People Rise Again" - track on the charity album That Eastern Wind - Songs and Poems of Geoff Parry, vol 8 (2008)
- "A Fine Career" - Johnson contributes lead vocals on this track from Chumbawamba's 2008 album, The Boy Bands Have Won
- "Permanent Free Zone" - track on the compilation album Return of the Read Menace, 1999.
Johnson married Meeta Kanabar on 22 August 1992. The couple have two sons, Hari (born 1998) and Arvin (born 1999). Johnson worked as a teacher at various schools in London, but relocated to Hove in around 2006. He is a supporter of Brentford F.C. and has performed fund-raising concerts for the club.
- Gregory, Andy (2002). The International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002. Routledge. pp. 261–262. ISBN 1-85743-161-8.
- "Robb Johnson : Biography". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- Cumber, Robert (3 December 2009). "Teacher-turned-musician's festive ode to Hounslow". Hounslow Chronicle. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- "Songs from the European Urban Experience: Robb Johnson and the Irregular Records Label". FolkWorld. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- Broughton, Simon; Mark Ellingham, Richard Trillo (1999). World Music: The Rough Guide. Rough Guides. p. 29. ISBN 1-85828-635-2.
- "Roy Bailey". The Living Tradition. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "Robb Johnson – Catalogue". Irregular Records. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "Folk Britannia". BBC. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "Latest news". Irregular Records. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "The Irregular World of ROBB JOHNSON". Folk on Tap. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "Robb Johnson returns". Brentford F.C. 2004-11-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17.