John Corlett (known to his friends as Cat) dislikes the sound of his own voice, so instead of singing has worked his way through a number of instruments. Beginning with piano at the age of five, he moved on to violin in his early teens, then classical guitar, folk guitar and mandolin. For a stay in the mountains of Ethiopia in the 1970s he needed something that was compact, robust and self-contained, and found himself captivated by the English concertina; an instrument that has stayed with him ever since.
Moving to Leicester he came across a ceilidh band that needed a bassist, so he borrowed a double bass from the university music department for gigs on Saturday nights. The sheer inconvenience of lugging around an upright led naturally on to the electric bass, which has also been a mainstay since those days, and has led to a long-standing relationship with blues band kingB, and occasional forays with classic soul maestros Soul Traders. His latest instrument is an electric upright bass which was a much appreciated birthday present from folk band Free and Easy.
Cutting his teeth with Rolling Stones covers, and then joining the folk revival of the 1960s, he has played rock, blues, ‘Americana’, and now rembetiko, the raw music of the 1920s Greek underworld that is often compared to blues. For many years he has been a musician for morris dancing, and has played for various random ensembles and events that have come along.
As far as he can remember, he has been a member of Jack’s Maggot since about 1979.