Chris was born into an artistic, bohemian and left-wing familiy in Hertfordshire and began to play folk music on guitar at the age of four. At fourteen he gave his first paid concert in a folk club.
He met the great swing guitarist and humourist Diz Disley in his late teens and played with him in folk clubs the length and breadth of the UK for a number of years. Diz was responsible for re-launching Stéphane Grappelli onto the world stage after a period of relative obscurity, and through him Chris had the good fortune to play with Grappelli’s band for a short while.
In the midst of all this, he started working with folk comedian Fred Wedlock. Spotting the commercial potential of Fred’s material, he applied his compositional, production and arrangement talents to it, thus launching Fred’s career into the mainstream. Chris received a silver disc for producing Fred’s 1981 hit The Oldest Swinger in Town - to which he also composed the tune and which reached No 4 in the charts in the UK and No 1 in several other countries. A six-month stint with Fred on Noel Edmonds’ Sunday morning BBC Radio 1 show followed - as composer-in-residence of tunes to topical ditties!
In addition to his work with his wife Máire, Chris toured for three years until August 1997 as a member of Celtic band Boys of the Lough in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Denmark, China and Italy. The Scotsman said of his performance with them: 'His fluid, wonderfully assured expansiveness produced a burst of quick-picked harmony here, some dense, resonant undercurrents there and flashes of snazzy, jazzy syncopation all over the place'; 'His brilliant grasp of the idiom and swingy, authoritative playing give a tremendous rhythmic and dynamic lift.'