Chris is a singer and acoustic guitar player from South London. He has been songwriting and gigging for 30 years playing many gigs at many venues. His music has been played on BBC Radio 2 and he is often compared to the likes of James Taylor, John Martyn & Jim Croce.
He has released four albums of self-penned songs - ‘Haunt Me’ in 1993, In A Melody in 1997, ‘Sky Turn Blue’ in 2001 and 'Be Myself' in 2013.
He is also a writer of historical non-fiction and has written two books. The first, published 2017, was 'The Beulah Spa 1831-1856 A New History'.
His second book is a journey through his varied and unusual family tree. Tales of Romanies - the Northamptonshire Smiths, the Loveridges and the Scarrotts and the discovery of Charlie Chaplin’s birth on the Black Patch. The Bakers of Eastbourne. Seaside concert parties – Fred Austin’s Merrie Middies. The Snells of Mortimer. The Shields of Peckham – The Twilights and the Star Club, Hamburg. Also published in 2017, it is called 'Putting My Past Behind Me'.
Chris started his musical career back in 1986, playing bass and singing with his Dad's country/rock'n'roll band, working the pubs & clubs of South East England.
In 1990, he started writing his own songs achieving a rarity in the music business by having his 4 track home demo 'Talking 'bout That Feeling' played on national radio (John Dunne Show, BBC Radio 2). He release a 4 track tape on his own label, set up with brother Dal, called 'Go Crazy Music'.
In 1992 Chris appeared playing acoustic guitar for sister Sandra Shields' Beanos Record Store competition winning single 'This Woman Breathes'.
In 1993 he released his first studio album 'Haunt Me', recorded at Moon Studio, Croydon, Surrey and was interviewed by Gloria Hunniford on her BBC Radio 2 show. His song 'The Fool' featured on the ‘Beanos’ Record Store Christmas 12 inch.
In 1994 he appeared on backing vocals for Irish folk singer Christie Hennessy, working with producer Paul Samwell Smith (Cat Stevens/Carly Simon) on Christie’s Warner Brothers album 'Lord Of Your Eyes', singing alongside Beverley Craven, Tanita Tikaram, Hermione Hennessy and drummer Russ Kunkel.
In November 1994 he toured extensively in Ireland playing & singing support for Christie, as well as appearing on guitar & vocals in Christie’s band, appearing at 18 major venues including The Point, Dublin & Opera House, Cork.
In 1997 he released his second studio album 'In A Melody' recorded at Moon Studio & RMS Studios, South London.
That same year he appeared on acoustic guitar on sister Sandra Shields' album 'In Solitary Splendour'.
In 2000 he played acoustic guitar for singer Kezi Silverstone at The Borderline, London and recorded with her.
In 2001 Chris released his third studio album 'Sky Turn Blue' on his new Taciturn record label, mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Chris Blair. He released a single from this album 'Gently Fade Away'.
He played 3 sell out shows at the Croydon Clocktower and made 21 appearances at The Original Songwriters at the Orange, London also playing the Mean Fiddler Acoustic Room, Kashmir Klub and Marquee Cafe.
In 2005 & 2015 he performed on harmonica with the CSMA choir at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, for conductor Claire Slade.
In 2006 he appeared on Christie Hennessy’s ‘Platinum Collection’ singing on the opening track 'Love's Great Pretender', appearing that same year on Kezi Silverstone's album 'Whatever It Takes'.
In 2010 he played acoustic guitar for the Stephen Savage 'Legacy' Hollywood film soundtrack.
His fourth album 'Be Myself' was released in 2013 featuring Brendan Power on harmonica, Dylan Howe on drums, Scott Firth on bass, Shanks Putwain on percussion, Alle Pearse on keyboards, Chris Newland on lead guitar, Dal Shields & Sandra Shields on backing vocals, engineered by Andy Le Vien at RMS Studios.
A track from that album called 'Daddy I Know What You Mean', received lots of airplay including the Dave Cash BBC Show.
Chris also remixed & remastered his old live favourite 'But The Neighbours Ain't' featuring BJ Cole on pedal steel, Mark Feltham (Nine Below Zero) on harmonica, Liam Grundy (Scotty Moore Band/Billy Swan Band) on piano & Dylan Howe (Wilko Johnson) on drums.
He released a Christmas single in 2015 called 'My Christmas Party (Elvis is Coming)'.
Over the years Chris' band has included:-
Harmonica- Mark Feltham, Alan Glen, Brendan Power. Saxophone- Frank Mead, Pete Thomas, Steve Buckley. Lead Guitar- Chris Newland, Brian Shields, Alex Broadway. Bass Guitar - Scott Firth, Geraint Roberts, Steve Lamb, Graeme Eve, Peter Evans. Pedal Steel - BJ Cole. Piano - Peter Mayne, Alle Pearse, Liam Grundy, Holly Manktelow. Drums - Dylan Howe, Dal Shields, Greg Leppard, James Chapman, John Brook. Violin - Sara-Jo Izzett, Garry Blakeley. Mandolin - Pete Fyfe. Flute - Sue McCarthy. Percussion - Shanks Putwain.