The Cluster of Nuts Band formed originally in Guildford around 1978 and were a spin-off from Stag Hill Morris. They borrowed their name from an English folk song but were originally entirely dance based and performed mainly for college and other local charity events.

The band was originally made up of students from the Unversity and went through a number of line-ups until they settled on a folk/rock format. This process was started by drummer Graeme Harrison who introduced concertina and keyboard player Jim Shorter and bass guitarist Brian Heywood to the band. With the departure of accordianist Alison Cowley the electric line-up was completed with the guitar of Dave Good.

The band became increasingly more fascinated with performing songs - both rock settings of traditional material and original songs written by Brian Heywood. After working with a number of different female vocalists the band eventually settled on Siobhan. This line up remained stable until the band finally split in 1986.

Onstage at the Farnham Folk Festival - 1985

Performing at Bracknell Folk Fest with special guests Ian A Anderson and Alan Burgess
Click to here find out more The band produced one album in 1983 which was released on the band's own label - POKE Records.

Click on the image to find out more about the album.

*** Now available as a digital download ***

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Where are they now?

After the band split up players went onto new things;
  • Jim Shorter (concertina/keys) gave up music altogether to concentrate on graphic design. The folk dance world has lost a great tune writer as a result.
  • Graeme "Argie" Harrison moved into Pro Audio marketing and relocated to Portland on the west coast of the the USA where he married Twink and settled down. As far as we know he still plays drums occassionally with a local Jazz outfit.
  • Chris (fiddle) and Siobhan (vocals) got married and moved to Southampton where they were both involved in various music and dance projects. The now live in Southport in Lancashire (with two cats) and are working together as a duo. You can find out more from their website
  • Brian Heywood (bass) went on to form a new dance band called Nightwatch with Cluster of Nuts founder member Alison Cowley (accordion). Brian became increasingly interested in guitar and went on to join Rick Christian's 'The Open Road' as well as working in the ceilidh dance arena with Double Vision and more recently MoonDance Ceilidh Band which has now become The Barn Dance Band.

    Brian also released a celtic rock CD in 2002 with his band enQ and an album of contemporary Australian folk song with fellow Australian Toni Wood in WoodworX a CD called Two Short PlanX.

    Brian now works as a professional musician with the function band the Hoedown Band and produces original music with Heywood-Moore and Heywood's Heroes.

    You can find about all Brian's musical activities here.

  • Dave Good (guitar) went on to join Nigthwatch with Brian and Alison and is now playing guitar in two other dance bands - The Jellied Reels and Second Front - as well as playing as a 'dep' with a number of other bands.


Some of the band got together to celebrate the 30th Aniversary of the band and a fragment of video was recorded - part of a song (The Whale Catchers - trad arr B Heywood) and two tunes (Short & Curlies - C Neslon, Kitchen Sink - D Good)