About Us

History | Meet the Band > Danny | Polly | Brendan | Phil | Rosie

History:

The Rufus Stone

Rufus Return was formed in 1986 by Andrew Purkiss.

The name of the band came from his surname, "Purkiss", being written on the Rufus Stone (a memorial to William the Conqueror's son, situated on the edge of The New Forest) and "Return" because Andrew had just returned from Avery Hill College in London to Southampton.

The original line-up of the band was Andrew Purkiss on accordion, Phil Wood on drums, Sandy Auber on flute and Peter Atkinson calling.

In 1988 Andrew met his now wife Lisa Reeves, who joined the band playing flute and recorder. In 1992 following the birth of their first child, Lisa's brother Brendan joined the band playing acoustic and bass guitar. In 1994, child number 2 was on its way (who now plays a stand in roll for our drummer - Phil), so Nina Barrell joined the band playing violin.

By this time, Rufus Return were playing regularly with 4 musicians and 1 part time. So Lisa decided to have a try at calling and became the regular caller for the band.

In August 2000, the Purkiss family moved to Qatar in the Middle East, so Andrew was replaced by Danny Harmer on accordion - whom Andrew had taught since the age of 5! This made Phil, our drummer, the only original member of Rufus.

In 2007, Nina left the band and her place was taken by Polly who plays a Bridge Violin.

Rosie is the latest member to join the line up, also playing a Bridge Violin.

Rufus have performed at festivals such as Sidmouth, Towersey, Chippenham, Winchester and The Isle of Wight and also at regional ceilidhs including Cecil Sharp House, Reeling in Ealing and M27 Megabops.

Meet the Band:

Danny Harmer

Danny Harmer


Danny (aka human compass) is the midfield "flair" section and the melody brains in the band. He has written many, many tunes from jigs to reels to hornpipes. Many of which appear on our latest CD.
Polly Cross

Polly Cross


Polly Cross is a classically trained musician with a great feel for ceilidh music. She plays the electric violin up front, alongside Rosie.
Brendan Reeves

Brendan Reeves


Brendan plays mainly midfield between Danny and Phil and gives Rufus its distinctive driving sound.
Phil Wood

Phil Wood


Phil, the very back line of Rufus. Possibly the loudest drummer on the folk scene! Phil is also classically trained and is a founder member of Rufus Return.
Rosie Holden

Rosie Holden


Another classically trained musician, Rosie also plays the electic violin and joins Polly in attack.