Band Member Profiles
Robbie France - Drums
Robbie France was born in Sheffield, England in 1959 but grew up in Australia. Robbie taught at the Australian Academy of Music, and then travelled throughout Australia with some of the country´s top musicians, as well as working with international acts. He formed the Carnival - a jazz fusion group - and supported John McLaughlin before taking up studio work in Brisbane. At the age of 22 Robbie moved to London. In 1983 Robbie was asked to join hard rock band Diamond Head.
He appeared on their album Canterbury and remained with the band until they split in 1984. Robbie then accepted an invitation to join UFO, although his time with them was short lived. In 1986 Robbie formed the band One Nation before he joined Ellis Beggs and Howard. During this period Robbie also began holding drum clinics throughout the UK. In 1990, Robbie was invited to tour with Wishbone Ash following the departure of founder Steve Upton. Robbie toured with the band on its Autumn 1990 UK tour and his performances were well received by the band's fanbase. However, other members of the band felt the chemistry was not right and Robbie was eventually replaced by Ray Weston. Robbie does, however, appear on three tracks of 1991's Strange Affair album.
Following his departure from Wishbone Ash, Robbie returned to Australia and recorded the album Gift with his group The Gab. In 1994 he was in London to promote a solo project when he was contacted by Cass Lewis to form group Skunk Anansie. Skunk Anansie recorded Paranoid & Sunburnt, their debut album, and have since become one of the hottest names in the business. France co-wrote huge international hit "Weak", which was featured on the Mission Impossible' soundtrack. Robbie left Skunk Anansie in 1995, joining the German mega-group Alphaville. He toured and recorded with Alphaville until a freak accident interrupted his drumming career due to an injured Achilles tendon. Robbie then moved to southern Spain, where he broadcasted a daily radio music show and focussed on writing, eventually publishing his first novel Six Degrees South in 2011.
Sadly Robbie France passed away on January 14 2012.