The trio formed in December 2007 and since then have toured their quirky show of songs and tunes around New Zealand, headlining major music festivals from the Bay of Islands south to Dunedin and everywhere in-between. In the two years that they have been together, Forbidden Joe (aka: Frances Dickinson, Emily June Giles and Alex Borwick) have created a storm on the NZ alt-folk scene.
By bringing together their diverse musical backgrounds and influences of jazz, soul, celtic and folk, and their unique instrumentation of Concertina, Banjo, Cello and Trombone, this eclectic line up of musicians has created an unprecedented contemporary folk sound which is attracting rave reviews from around the country.
Lead vocalist Frances brings to the band her European roots and strong influences of British and Irish folk culture. A prominent face on the NZ folk scene, and celebrated songwriter, Frances has garnered acclaim for her sultry, expressive and soulful vocal style in Forbidden Joe, alongside her master concertina playing.
Having performed and recorded with many iconic musicians, Emily brings to Forbidden Joe her experimental approach to the cello, uniting the beautiful with funky, driving and creative sounds that defy the cello’s classical roots.
Renowned for his multi-instrumentalist abilities, Alex is a skilled jazz trombonist, Irish tenor banjo player, percussionist, vocalist and more. With extensive performance experience with top jazz musicians such as the Roger Fox Big Band, and folk bands such as Grada, Alex is in hot demand for guest appearances around New Zealand. His banjo style fuses jazz, rock, swing, pop and reggae sounds and adds the driving force to the band.
“Forbidden Joe is definitely not mainstream, but our music is a fusion of many different styles and cultures and I think this is very typical of NZ music. Also, our collaborative relationships with people like Arthur Baysting and working with recording engineer Steve Garden make it hard not to gain some of that Kiwi essense in our music" says Frances.