The Hot Rats are Doug Hudson on guitar and vocals, Ian Cutler on electric violins and Mike Peters on electric bass and vocals.
Doug HudsonDoug started playing folk music at Gillingham Grammar School with a bunch of friends in the late 60s. He went to college in Bradford and met two other musicians who were staying in the same digs. Nigel Martin, a cornet player with the Irwell Forge Brass Band and Pete Carr, a drummer. They formed a band, and because two of them were studying Russian, called it Tundra.
They played at many folk clubs in the north of England before Doug moved back south and formed Tundra mark 2 with Pete Learmouth and Mick Peters. Pete Learmouth had already played with the first line up in Bradford and after a while they looked for a girl singer. Her name was Sue Carroll and the band became a four piece before Doug and Sue decided to get married and also to go in a different musical direction as a duo.
They went professional in 1978 and were one of the top folk duos in the country before splitting up both professionally and maritally in 1984. Doug pursued a solo career in comedy touring around the world with no less than nine separate tours to Hong Kong, three to New Zealand and others to various parts of the globe including Botswana, Dubai, UAE, Oman, Russia, Australia, Japan, the Philippines and most European countries.
He formed the Hot Rats to back a comedy show at the Brook Theatre in 1992. Doug is also the PA announcer for Gillingham Football Club and has twice appeared before 70,000 at Wembley stadium.
SUN SHAME FOR DOUGIEDougie was slammed in the Sun newspaper for his comments over referee Mark Halsey at Gillingham.
Hot Rats fans may not know but Dougie is the PA announcer for Gillingham Football Club and has been known to be controversial in the past.
Gills played Burnley and the referee was the same one who mysteriously added 5 minutes of injury time at Wembley when Gills were leading Manchester CIty 2-0 in the play off final. No trainer had come on the pitch but in the additional time, Man City scored twice to equalise and then won on penalties.
Referee Halsey has been something of a 'hate figure' since then! However, it's all water under the bridge and Dougie made some light hearted comments about time keeping which the Sun journalist took as being intimidatory.
Branding him as the 'tubby tub thumper', Dougie looked like losing his job as matchday announcer!!!
However, common sense prevails and after many, many emails of support from Gills fans, Dougie's position seems secure for the time being.
Ian CutlerIan was told by his violin tutor that if he kept on practising he would never be short of the ability to earn money. Given the chance to go professional in 1972 with the contract for providing the music to the Wicker Man, he worked for three months on the film, giving up the chance of going to college. He played in a folk/rock band called Hockett and later joined the Bully Wee Band with the Yardley Brothers and a guitarist. Colin Reece joined the band as singer/guitarist and the personnel went on to include Martin Alcock (later to join Jethro Tull and Fairport Convention and to change his name to Maartin Alcock) and Fergus Feeley. This was the most successful line up and the band played in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Holland and Austria as well as the USA (where, incidentally they met up with a certain 'Tundra' who were also touring). Despite good album sales and a great reputation, the band could not maintain four working musicians and sadly they decided to call it a day in the late eighties.
Ian retrained as a computer programmer and carried on playing gigs with Colin Reece as a duo and also with his own barn dance outfit, the Chingford Ceilidh Band. When approached to rehearse for the comedy show, Ian's ideas and flamboyancy ensured the supergroup would be something special..and indeed it was!
Ian also tours once a year with the prestigioius 'Feast of Fiddles' show and enjoys dining in France with his fiancee, S.J.His new album, 'Slaughterhouse' is selling well. See the home page for details.
Mike PetersHis dad told him once 'You'll never earn anything from music' and Mike has spent his whole life proving him wrong. At Gillingham Grammar School, he was in the same year as Doug but when they left and went separate ways Mike was involved in the pop scene before Doug's return and the second Tundra variation. When that split Mike joined a covers band called Impact who had a blue and yellow suit as stage gear. Glam rock at it's best. The band was extremely successful, though and provided a show in addition to just playing the music.
Mike also joined the Jezreels Ceilidh Band in the eighties as the bass player and has toured Hungary and France with the line up that also includes Doug as 'caller'. In addition to the Rats, Mike often plays with Colin Reece when he comes to town and hosts some foreign student singalongs in Broadstairs. He has a duo that goes out and plays covers and is currently running a successful agency called 'Muzikman' putting live acts into pubs around Kent.
Away from music, Mike's passion is water ski-ing and he can often be seen zooming around Whitstable in his speed boat.
Anbody else?In addition to the fab four above, you might be surprised at the number of other musicians who have played with the Hot Rats.
Tony RicoTony first played with Doug, Mick and Ian as a seventeen year old boosting the numbers of musicians at a barn dance. He was a natural choice to join The Hot Rats at it's inception because his style of playing, and the fact that he played saxophone, gave the band a different dimension from the normal four piece folk/rock bands. Still only in his twenties, Tony's reputation as a supreme musician has seen him play with various and diverse artists apart from the Hot Rats. He toured for some time with New Mexico's Pierre Le Rue who's cajun band became a big name in Europe during the nineties before Pierre virtually retired from full time performing. He has also appeared on the Jamaican football team's World Cup song in 1998 and has played with reggae giants Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker.
Apart from playing Celtic music and reggae, Tony is in demand for jazz groups and frequently plays all over Europe and the USA with a jazz group that has a reputation for enjoying itself. Ask Tony about Rats'photographer Steve Crispe who was sent on assignment to New York to cover the jazz group. As well as playing tenor, alto and baritone saxes, Tony is an exceptional guitarist, percussionist and plays a mean flute and didgeridoo.
He now leads the brass section in BAD MANNERS.
Away from music, Tony has a love of travelling and you could bump into him anywhere from Cuba to India, from Ireland to Vietnam.
Steve ShoreyGreat lead guitarist.
Val CutlerIn the original line up playing keyboards and fiddle. Ian's younger sister.
James AbsolomBass player who replaced Mike when he temporarily left the band to pursue the lovely Barbara.
Tim ConstableBrilliant lead guitarist who left to play with 'Five Legged Horse'.
Davey HuntAnother super guitarist who eventually moved to Ireland.
Carlton HuntDrummer with Bad Manners who occasionally plays with the rats on bigger gigs.
Dave MattacksThe supreme percussionist who played with the Hot Rats at the Woodville Halls last year.
Alan WhettonSession sax player who has also played a couple of top gigs with the Rats, including 2000 Paddy's Night in Redhill.
Ricardo GuerreroYoung sax player who came to France with the band on tour. Plays with Jello & Guero as a sexy jazz duo.
Gren BrownUbiquitous bodhran player and exponent of 'Billy's Egg', Gren used to run the Ledge music promotion project.
He now lives in Perth, Australia.
Back to HOT RATS