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Robb Johnson, A Break in the Clouds

A Break in the Clouds
Robb Johnson’s Official Website

Site last updated (Gigs page): 19th January 2019

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"The real deal when it comes to songwriting" - Mike Harding, BBC Radio2

"An English original" - Robin Denselow, The Guardian

“One of this country’s most important songwriters (no argument!) … a powerfully literate emotional sensitivity at work … this is one real essential purchase” (fRoots)

"There is no songwriter to compare with Robb Johnson operating in the UK" - R2

"One of the best" - Maverick


ORDINARY GIANTS (IRR223) is a triple CD to be released in November 2018, distribution by Discovery.

Ordinary Giants is a song suite by acclaimed songwriter Robb Johnson based on the life and times of his father, Ron Johnson. It’s a family history of the 1930s, the Second World War and the Welfare State, performed by over 30 people, from well-known names like Tom Robinson, Claire Martin, Boff Whalley, Roy Bailey, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady, MP Dennis Skinner, FBU activist Steve White, Joe Solo, Tracey Curtis, Alan Clayson, Matthew Crampton, to children from the school where Robb taught. Robb’s parents are sung by Phil Odgers (from The Men They Couldn't Hang) and Miranda Sykes (currently playing bass with Show of Hands). Musicians include Rory McLeod, Bobby Valentino, Jenny Carr, and Robb’s longstanding rhythm section, John Forrester on bass and son Arvin Johnson on drums.

Read about its inspiration, and the backstories to the individual tracks. (Added 11th September 2018)

And read the glowing reviews of Ordinary Giants! (Added 19th November 2018)


Watch this excellent video of Robb's concert at Trefpunt, Gent in November 2016. (Added 27th November 2016)


 Photograph by Summer Dean My Best Regards, a new album of 13 songs, was released on September 29th 2016. It features pianist Jenny Carr and bassist John Forrester, who worked together on 2013’s recording of Gentle Men, and Robb’s son Arvin on drums and percussion.

The songs cover a wide spectrum of subjects; from the personal to the political, and the shared points in between; from birthdays to migrations; from late night bus stops to the Sidmouth promenade; from Babbacombe Model Village to Franz Kafka and Prague; and involve among others new babies in Hollingdean,  MPs’ 10% pay rises, and Turkish red wine and charity shops in Broadstairs.

The album also contains different versions of three of the songs – two recorded with Brighton’s Hullabaloo Quire, and one song, When the Tide Comes in, recorded with the Palestinian singer Reem Kelani.

Robb says: “It is always difficult to be objective about a new album, but I think this one may well turn out to be particularly good. And - catalogue number IRR100 - who'd have thought we'd ever get this far? Being Irregular, IRR103 and IRR104 (by John Forrester & Philip Jeays respectively) will have already been released by the time IRR100 comes out, and  I am pretty sure we haven't actually managed 100 releases - sometimes catalogue numbers have been given to albums that never happened or to demo recordings. Nonetheless, still pretty good going for what is essentially a disorganisation consisting largely of me, whichever hamster or cat is available at the time, and the long-suffering Molly Romanov doing pro-bono work on the website."

Read the review of My Best Regards on the Living Tradition web site.


Please read this article from the Hastings Online Times, supporting the appeal by this young man against deportation. He has been in this country for nearly ten years, since he was a child orphaned by an Iranian earthquake, and dreads the idea of returning to a country he barely remembers, and where he knows nobody. You can help him by signing the petition.

Read the article:

Sign the petition:

Listen to Robb's song in support of Javad:

(Updated 21st September 2016)


A five-CD career retrospective box set, plus a 64-page booklet, entitled "A Reasonable History of Impossible Demands", released by PM Press, distribution by Discovery Records, is now available in this country.

Loads of free downloads are available from the MP3s Page, and new ones are added regularly. Latest addition is "Goodnight Jerusalem", a reflection on "the condition of Albion", Spring 2011.

A list of some of the quality videos of Robb, solo or with the Irregulars, which are available on YouTube, appears on the Videos Page (new in January 2011).

Don't miss out on a live gig near you! Keep the Gigs Page bookmarked for future reference.

Baby Bio
For full background information on Robb, see the Biography Page. Essential reading for hard-working journalists seeking a feature article!

See photos of Robb and the Irregulars on the News Page.

Robb at Myspace
See also for gig dates & new recordings.

For all UK bookings, Robb's mailing list or occasional items for direct sale, see the Contact Page.

For additional information on Robb Johnson and Irregular Records see