Alistair began playing folk music in South Wales with 'The Carbolic Smokeball Company' which developed quite a following with an idiosyncratic mix of original material, folk and music hall. After moving to Shropshire he played ceilidhs with 'Devious Roots' and in a local blues band 'Out of the Blue'.
He is at present the band leadeer of the The Ironmen and Severn Gilders morris dance teams with whom he has played all over this country and in Europe.
Alistair joined Ironmasters in 1988 after meeting most of the band playing for the Ironmen and Severn Gilders and he was first invited on stage with them at Chippenham Folk Festival. Nowdays Alistair has the role of fitting the music to the dances.
When the band provides the PA for dances Alistair also has the dubious pleasure of running it from the stage. The economics of ceilidh clubs and the folk circuit make this desirable but he is always overjoyed when the band has gigs with PA provided!
Alistair also plays in his own smaller outfits [Fidget Pie, Rogues March etc] for local gigs, weddings and other functions. Alistair runs a recording studio specialising in folk and acoustic music [www.agpstudio.co.uk.] and when he has the energy puts on ceilidhs ander the banner of 'Broseley Ceilidhs'.
Alistair has released two 'solo' CD's exploring trad music from the view of a sax player [available on iTunes - see below] as well as a joint CD with the late Jon Hayward exploring the music of Turloch O'Carolan on saxophone and fiddle. He has run 'Playing Wind Instruments for Dance' workshops at folk festivals and been a solo festival guest on the hammered dulcimer.
Alistair plays soprano and tenor saxophones made by the Japanese family firm of Yanagisawa, hammered dulcimer by Oakwood and various recorders and whistles. Alistair is proud to have performed [almost certainly] the first vuvuzela solo in an English ceilidh band [at Middlewich Folk Festival 2010] though he is not so sure the dancers were as amused. The vuvuzela in question has since been an invited guest at a folk festival without Alistair, which was probably for the best. Alistair is also in possession of various wind instruments that he doesn't dare play in public including a bombarde in low D, a tixtu - the Basque 3 holed pipe - and one of the early Casio Midi saxophones which needs a new capaciter if anyone cares.
Away from music Alistair makes pots - please visit www.alistairgilliesceramics.co.uk