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The Time Bandits are:

Drawing of Helen de Lemos

Helen de Lemos
Recorders, bagpipes, saxophone
and backing vocals

Photo of Kat

Katrina Turner

Drawing of Helen Armstrong

Helen Armstrong
Violin and
vocal harmonies

Drawing of Ian Jones

Ian Jones
Melodeon, flute
and backing vocals

Drawing of Jamie Matthews

Jamie Matthews
Bouzouki, cittern
and backing vocals

Drawing of Chris Lee

Chris Lee
Electric fretted and fretless bass,
drums and electric guitar

Drawings ©Adele Owen, 2014


The Time Bandits are a Chester-based folk band who came together for the first time in 2001. We are equally at home playing for both concerts and dances. Our repertoire mixes Renaissance and early dance music, particularly tunes from the John Playford collection, with traditional folk tunes and songs and an increasing proportion of music written by ourselves.

Our influences are wide and varied and include Blowzabella, Ashley Hutchings and the Albion Band, The Musicians of the Globe Theatre, Les Witches, Piffaro, Pyewackett, Filarfolket, and not forgetting an obscure and long defunct Chester-based folk band by the name of Mercer’s Daughter.

The band make regular festival appearances at Chester Folk Festival and in recent years we have also appeared at Chippenham, Shrewsbury , Fylde, Bridgnorth, Middlewich and Rhuddlan Folk Festivals and the Chester and Llangollen Fringe Festivals. We have also made a number of appearances on local radio shows, most recently being heard on both BBC Radio Shropshire Sunday Folk programme hosted by Genevieve Tudor and BBC Radio Merseyside Folkscene hosted by Stan Ambrose.

The band has now recorded four albums. Pepper’s Black released in 2006, Cold Air of Morning released in 2009, Selfheal, Foxglove and Feverfew released in 2012 and the latest album Mad Tom of Bedlam and other stories was released in October 2014.

Why the name the Time Bandits? The band chose its name from the Terry Gilliam ‘Pythonesque’ movie of the same title. Similar to the spirit of the movie, the remit of the band is, in essence, to be musical ‘time travellers’ raiding and pilfering over 500 years of musical material to be brought back and performed in an updated setting for a modern audience.

Central to the band’s philosophy is that early music is not for the museum. Whether first played 500 hundred years ago, or perhaps a mere hundred years ago, this is living music that should be played and enjoyed with a passion. We hope you agree.

Click here to view our stage plan