The Rum Dogs are led by the dynamic duo of Mike Crome and Paul Meek. You'll occasionally see them busking in Norwich city centre, but more often they will be found gigging in one of Norwich and Norfolk's many pubs.
The other Rum Dogs
Depending on serendipity and other commitments, the Rum Dogs often perform as a trio or a four-piece. Look out for Pablo Cook (drums/percussion), Katie Black (whistle, Sax), Brian Korteling (Drums), Hugh Stanners (Accordion, Trumpet), Tom Wilson (accordion, double bass), Maddi Cassell (violin).
Whatever format and venue you see them in, you'll see that they are a breed apart.
"We're always lookin' for the Groove"
The Rum Dogs -
A pack of rovers squeezing musical
joy out of double bass, guitar, harmonica and percussion: a funky, folky sound performed with humour and passion. Absolutely crackin'.
Guitar, harmonica and vocals
Mike is probably Norfolk's only Aussie musician who plays Country & Irish music. He's been doing it for years in bands such as Map of Tasmania, Mapotazi, The Rum Brothers, Johnny Jump and The Dog Days of Summer. His musical influences include Bob Dylan, The Pogues, Steve Earle, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Lou Reed & Johnny Cash. He's currently gigging with a Gretsch Electromatic and Hohner Pro-harps - all nice!
Special features: Speaks with an accent, plays guitar left-handed and upside down, has a dog named Floyd and a big red Royal Mail van.
Paul 'Lone Dog' Meek
Double Bass and vocals
Paul is an exciting musician with a captivating voice. He has been influenced by music from all over the world including Africa, France and Germany, all places he has lived in. He also has the dubious distinction of almost suffering "death by function band" which led him to explore alternative genres and instruments such as the Bouzouki and Double Bass. He brings a cool 80s repertoire to the band with songs from The Buzzcocks and the Specials, as well as some self-penned masterpieces sung in that Tom Waits-ish voice.
Special features: Tows his double bass in a bicycle trailer when he goes busking. His second home is his big blue transit van.
Drums and Percussion
Pablo's musical credentials are a bit special - He has played with some of the greats of modern British music including Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, Moby, Pulp and many more.
Special features: He can make serious music with as lowly an instrument as a little triangle. His big yellowvan is a cosy home away from home. He has a Jack Russell call Snatch and a lurcher named Moby.
Saxaphone & Tin Whistles
Katie is a superb musician who has been playing since she was a little girl. She worked with Mike in Map of Tasmania back in 2000 and nowadays compliments the traditional sounds of the penny whistle with cool improvised jazz riffs on the sax.
Special features: Katie also plays electric bass in a punk band and, like Mike, Paul and Pablo, she has a camper van - Almost a Rum Dog prerequisite
Drums and Percussion
Brian is our go to drummer when Pablo is absent. He brings a different, more rock sound the band with some crazy, and unique riffs and rolls.
Special Features: Brian is not only a super drummer but he is also a full time professional artist and a natural Rum Dog.
Tom 'The Cat' Wilson
Tom Cat Wilson is the only Rum Dog that shows cat-like behaviour. A musician of uncanny ability he has his feet under the table of at least four other bands including Inkpot, The Mahatmas, Space Eagle and The Foreign Locals. As well, Tom is an accomplished circus performer, and a serial busker - which is where he originally met the Rum Dogs. A true troubadour in every sense.
Special features: Plays a Roland electro-digital-Accordion, hangs out at circuses and has a big old transit van waiting for TLC.
Accordion & Trumpet
Hugh has only played a few gigs with us but he fits the band like a glove. He's a professional musician who plays with a number of top Norwich bands, primarily the fabulous Vagaband and Klesmer group Moxy Garbanzo. Hugh's trumpet solos are something to behold.
Special features: Hugh is heavily into politics and activism, particularly the Hate Racism Love Music movement and you can often see and hear him on the megaphone during City Centre protests.