Rob Townsend


Joined right after the name change “Family“, and played drums on every album. Townsend also took part in the 2013 reunion shows. Born July 7, 1947, Leicester.


Like the other Manfreds, it was a love of jazz which drew Rob Townsend into music back in the late 60s in his native Leicester.  But Rob’s career took an altogether dramatic turn when he met up with Roger Chapman and Charlie Whitney.  Family were one of Britain’s most creative and original bands, taking the basic blues format down new avenues of almost operatic invention with an instrumental line-up which included flute and violin – unheard of in those early guitar, bass & drums days.

After seven great albums and four hit singles, Family broke up, but Rob went into a varied carer, finding himself back in the charts with Medicine Head and Peter Skellern, and then drumming for the legendary Memphis Slim and Duane Eddy.  When Hughie Flint vacated The Blues Band’s drum stool in 1982, Rob was a natural replacement, and he’s been there ever since, as well as thoroughly enjoying thumping the tubs for the mighty Manfreds.

Before Family, was in Leicester bands The Beatniks, Broodly Hoo, and Legay.

Broodly Hoo had been managed by a local company ran by Charlie Whitney.

A Feb. 1998 Leicester Mercury article describes Legay as “Tamla fans in make-up with songs like Vacuum Cleaner Mother and Steam Driven Banana who released a single on Fontana Records in the heady days of hippy. The band evolved into another called Gypsy, and last year Legay founder member Legay Rogers died of asbestosis just before Christmas.”

Medicine HeadThru a Five (1974) also with Tony Ashton
The ScaffoldSold Out (1975) with Zoot Money and others

Kevin Ayers

  • Yes We Have No Mañanas… (June 1976)
  • Rainbow Takeaway (April 1978)
  • BBC In Concert session (10/23/76) with Andy Summers, Zoot Money, Charlie McCracken (later in Axis Point).

Axis Point (1978-1980)
Dance Band – Fancy Footwork (1980)
Eddie Hardin – Circumstantial Evidence (1982) with Ray Fenwick, Roger Glover, Pete York and Ronnie James Dio
The Manfreds

Presently in The Blues Band with ex-Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones (also a part-time actor in the UK).

Also has played with Buzz Ford & The Classics, Duane Eddy, Gary Benson and the Dave Kelly Band.


One response to “Rob Townsend”

  1. Tony Avatar

    I was at school, Ellis Avenue with Rob. A great guy and I became his protege. Late when I had formed Hal C Blake I met up with Rob, he was with Family then.

    A terrific drummer and always a friend.

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