Frost and Fire

Robin Griggs: Melodeon
John Foreman: guitars, keyboards & percussion
Jayne Bowd: violin (tracks 4 & 8)
You can play or download the tracks:
  1. On The Beach
  2. Running Out
  3. Moving On
  4. Kick in the Cooleys
  5. Summer of '97
  6. Don't Watch
  7. (title unknown)
  8. Cataluna
  9. The Train
  10. The Meeting
  11. Frost and Fire
  12. Down and Out
  13. Moving On
Music by Robin Griggs and John Foreman

See also John Foreman's Soundcloud Playlists for new reworked versions and some extra tracks.


John Foreman's tribute to Rob and the story of how "Frost and Fire" was made.

I joined Yaxley Morris (subsequently morphing into Pig Dyke Molly) just after the New Year in 1992. My then girlfriend was friends with Chris Kempton and we got invited along. It wasn’t long before I was getting up at the crack of dawn on May Days, chasing rolling cheese through the streets of Stilton and helping the side out with their version of Cambridge Footlights, for the next 7 years.

I had played in bands of one sort or another for the best part of 20 odd years and provided PA for the Ely Folk Festival, for 9 years, since its inception in 1985 and the one thing that struck me the most, were the uncommonly inspirational tunes played by Rob, most of which, I was fascinated to find out, were written by Rob himself. As a drummer, I was more than impressed with his ability to keep time without any other “rhythm” section.

It wasn’t long before we got chatting and it was clear I had found a kindred spirit, as Rob was not only in the “Folk” scene but had a passion, equal to mine, for progressive rock music. (myself having been to Newcastle Uni in ’71 and been exposed to everything from Lindisfarne to Yes!). I had played drums in rock bands for years but had always taken my “solo” guitar down to the folk clubs.

During subsequent conversations, Rob told me he really wanted to do some recording, to create a library of the dance tunes and also to work on a project together, to try and fuse melodeon based tunes with a sort of progressive feel. We started jamming together, where I discovered that Rob was entirely self-taught and was unaware of any music “theory” which would often get him into hot water with Morris purists but fitted quite perfectly into what we started to call “Prog Morris” and his feel for what fitted a tune (or mood) I have never heard, on the melodeon, since. It wasn’t until 1996 that I acquired suitable recording tech to make the plan a reality and over the next couple of years, we tried out various things and sometimes, like a lot of “studio” sessions, a jam session resulted in something worth “putting down”. We had several sessions with Jayne Bowd (on fiddle) and occasionally Jon Fox on recorders (he could make them really sing!). Eventually we had enough work down for an album and the concept of Frost & Fire was born. Sadly, I personally had gone through a bit of a rough patch and had to leave Peterborough for work, so the tunes never got mastered and some not even finished, so Rob was left with some mixed down tapes and not the digitally mastered finals we had envisioned.

Undeterred, Rob pressed on and digitally processed the tapes and produced fantastic artwork (as was his wont). The result was “Frost and Fire”. He sent me a couple of copies of the CD in 2003 and little did I know he would leave us just 5 short years later. Something I didn’t actually find out until 2020, in the middle of the COVID pandemic. At the same time as finding out Rob had passed, Tony got in touch to tell me he had found a couple of CDs of Rob playing short snippets of some of his dance tunes (Well 25 to be factual!). Clearly the “library” Rob was hoping to create. When Tony sent them up to me, strangely they had only been recorded on the left-hand side. After sorting out the sidedness, I was inspired to write some arrangements and the result is “Shorts” another CD. I also remastered the Frost & Fire album and was able to finish it the way Rob and I had intended. I wonder if 20 years to finish an album is some kind of record? It will be to my lasting regret that Rob will not hear them. It has been an absolute privilege to have known such an outstanding “natural” musician and to have been able to do something to preserve his legacy. I will miss my friend and tunesmith.

John Foreman

Pig Dyke Molly