About Us

Read about our musical paths which have culminated in the creation of Offalog - a quartet of multi-intrumentalists playing live early music for any occasion.

Ian Slipper

Ian SlipperIan has been playing guitar since he nagged his parents into buying him one at the age of 13 - the "nine day wonder" still hasn't worn off, some 40 years later.

He has ventured through many styles of acoustic guitar from folk, country-blues, ragtime and classical to the point of going electric in the mid 1980s, wielding a Strat in many University bands playing the rock canon. The addition of a MIDI pickup and Roland synth then opened up a whole new world of sounds.

Teaming up with Caroline Frost as "Cold Feet", he played pubs and clubs around Kent and eventually became one of the resident musicians at Dartford Folk Club. Other instruments then began to beckon, beginning with the mandolin, then saxophone, cello, bouzouki, fiddle, lute, bass recorder and 5-string banjo. He now performs regularly at Dartford Folk Club with Lorraine.

Ian has written original music for productions of Riverside Players, Sevenoaks Shakespeare Society and the Geoffrey Whitworth Theatre, where he performs both on stage as actor and singer and in the band pit or as strolling musician depending on the needs of the show. More about Ian's theatre work can be found here.

Offalog is a natural extension of the strolling minstrel role, and he is pleased to be part of it.

 

Rob Mitchell

Rob MitchellRob’s a woodwind man – not a stringed instrument to his name!

Fifty years ago, his first forays into woodwind were made, at junior school, with the descant recorder. Early public performances with this (and song) involved pantomime, revues and Old Time Music Hall. Five years on, the clarinet was added to the stable, with all Grade exams completed by his mid teens and with continued local  "showbiz" appearances together with extensive School Symphony Orchestra work.

After University, the Folk world beckoned, so all manner of flutes and whistles came into service, as he took up residency work at the Dartford Folk Club. Folk band work with String Whistle, covering Folk, Contemporary, Jazz and Blues music, led to the tenor sax and harmonicas being added to the instrument bag.

Over the last 20 years or so, he’s been regularly seen performing medieval musick (!) with his recorders, with several Kentish Theatre groups… and so, to Offalog!

 

Lorraine Slipper

Lorraine SlipperLike many people I expect, my first brush with live music and musical instruments was when I learned to play descant recorder at primary school. It went a bit further than that, as we formed a recorder "orchestra" and I was promoted to alto recorder. We were so good, they had a professional recording made of us! I left that behind when I moved to secondary school and took up the piano.

My interest in early music and folk music began in my mid teens (thanks to Steeleye Span) and I found myself particularly drawn to the songs of the troubadours and trouvères. After leaving school I had a short dalliance with the lute, but time and finances decreed this would be a very temporary relationship.

I had put all ideas of performing live any early music out of my head - and then I met Ian. Within two months he had me signed up to play recorder at a medieval banquet, somewhat disconcertingly since it had been around 30 years since I had picked one up. Other gigs followed and metamorphosed into what is now Offalog.

My other musical interests include musical theatre (mostly for Riverside Players) and singing at Dartford Folk Club with Ian. Now that Ian has bought a lute, I feel I should rekindle that relationship. Then, of course, there's the "How to play the bodhran" DVD waiting for me to investigate. And I'd really like to get my hands on a crumhorn or a hurdy-gurdy ...

With Offalog, the possibilities could be endless!

Karen Friett

Karen FriettMusic has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember – like my fellow Offalogees I began on the descant recorder while still a wee infant school lass. Ever one to be different, I soon took to the tenor recorder, which was as big as me in those long distant days. The violin followed and I played with the Young Bexley Orchestra for many years, including two concerts at the Royal Festival Hall and even an LP!

After mild flirtations with the piano and various other things you strum and blow, I eventually settled on the guitar as a much more socially acceptable instrument than the fiddle.

My first instrument is my voice and I can be found most weekends singing somewhere. I have played or sung in productions as varied as Shakespeare to Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and many others along the way. I enjoy music of all kinds from across the globe and really value the opportunity of introducing traditional English music to others in the excellent musical company of Rob, Ian and Lorraine.