Tributes paid to Bedford music legend, Chris Robinson, who has died after contracting COVID-19

Chris Robinson
Photo: Will Coster

Moving tributes have been paid to Chris Robinson, who sadly died yesterday (8 April) after contracting coronavirus.

Chris, 58, was a fixture on Bedford’s live music scene, running jam nights and playing in bands.

The Bedford Independent is grateful to all the people who have generously shared their wonderful memories of Chris.

Chris Robinson
Chris with his daughters, Carrie and Serena

Chris’ daughters Carrie and Serena said, “Dad is our best friend, our hero, our world and the best Grandad to his seven grandchildren.

“We would like to show huge gratitude to the NHS, in particular the staff in Critical Care at Bedford Hosptial who were outstanding at such a difficult time.

“Special thanks to Michelle and his many, many friends that sent messages, music videos and well wishes.

“They’ve all been really supportive while we are isolated.

“Dad enjoyed helping people, this showed in his contribution to Bedford Sparkle Club, Living it up and his many charity gigs.

“Dad is popular and loved in Torquay and Bedford and is well known for being in bands such as Makin Bacon, May contain Nuts, Los the Plot, Toyz in the Attic, Tippex and C2 with the lovely Caroline.

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“Only our Dad could round up a band in a minutes notice, pull off a brilliant night and call it by the name of a correction fluid. He leaves a huge hole in many hearts.”

Musician, Mat Roberts, runs jam nights and first met Chris in 1992.

“This week we have lost a Bedford music scene icon. But more than that, one of the kindest humans you could hope to meet.

“I first met Chris in 1992 at Mulligans on Midland Road. Right from the off, Chris was supportive of me. In fact, Chris was supportive of anyone who was trying to have a go.

“Chris himself had run jam nights from 1988 to 1990 at The Crown and had fronted many a Bedford band. He was the glue that brought all together.

Mat Roberts & Chris Robinson

“From the first times to the pros, everyone and anyone in Bedford has played with him over the last 40 years or so.

“Chris was a supporter of everyone in music and was loved by all.  And he loved us all back. I know I speak for everyone when I say it won’t be the same now, but his kindness and love and music will live on in us all. The fact is that after this his love will make us all closer.

Esquires’ Pete Burridge said, “Chris has always been an integral part of the Bedford music scene in the 30 years that I’ve known him – not just performing, but attending gigs too.

“He would be the main ingredient in any of the open mic nights in town, encouraging, playing and laughing and joking.

“His enthusiasm for the tribute afternoons we run at Esquires (Beatles, Bowie and Pink Floyd) was second to none.

“The Bedford music scene has lost a big team player. And we’ve all lost a friend.”

Matt Bedford, 22, said, “Chris was a staple part of our treasured local music scene. Never again will we hear his voice with our ears, but we’ll hear it loud and clear in our hearts.”

Local artist Eleesha Prothero local artist, “Chris Robinson was a kind, loving friend of mine who when I started singing at jam nights last August would always encourage me.

“He was a real asset to the Bedford music scene and a hugely talented and humble man. He was beautiful in everything he did. Jam nights will never be the same. He always told me “never change” and I promise I won’t.

“Love you Chris and thank you (and I will wear something sexy next time – that’s what he always said).”

Long-time friend, Martin Gregory said, “Chris and I go back to the 80’s when we used to jam in the Putnoe scout hut.

“I used to smash my guitars up and Chris was always amazed that next week I’d have put it back together again.

“Later on in our friendship I’d message Chris on a Tuesday saying “let’s try this song”, then we went away and rehearsed our separate parts and only play it on the jam night. Chris would get it right and I would always mess up and get that Robinson glare!”

Bruce Murray of Bedford Music Centre said, “It is a very, very sad day and he will be sorely missed by all of us.

“Every time we played he would come up and say how much he loved our band, especially when we used to get him to sing Sid’s song.

“I think he was the only one who knew all the words. I and a whole load of us locals are going to miss him terribly. RIP Chris Robinson.”

Clare Taalab organised the Oxjam music festival in Bedford. She said, “Chris went out of his way to help with equipment, connections and his own musical talents when I was running the Oxjam Bedford charity music festival.

“Years later he stopped me in the street to say how much he’d enjoyed being part of it and to thank me for bringing it to Bedford.

“It should have been me thanking him! People like Chris help make things possible and I’ll always be grateful for his support.”

Chris’ bes pal, Jez Welsh sent us this tribute, “I first met Chris around 2011/12 at one of Mat Roberts’ jam nights at the Flower Pot. We played Bring It On Home and Whisky in the Jar.

“We immediately became good friends and a few months later he asked if I’d start a band with him. I suggested the name and he added the ‘z’ so the idea of May Contain Nutz was born.

“Our first gig was in March 2014. Some 100+ gigs later, today is hard to come to terms with.

“It was never a high-art muso band, Chris liked to entertain with a mix of cheesy crowd-pleasers, Pink Floyd and anything the audience suggested. As long as he knew some words and I knew some chords we’d have a go and I enjoyed it because I just loved being in a band with Chris and gigs were always fun.

“Last year he needed somewhere to stay so he moved in here in June ‘for a few weeks’ and remained here till the ambulance took him away two weeks ago today.

“We had a lot of laughs over those nine months and he was just on the point of getting a new home.

“When Covid-19 started spreading he said, “Well if I get it, It’ll hit me hard as I’ve got asthma. Never mind I’ve had a good life”.

“He remains one of the warmest, kindest people I’ve ever known, always willing to shake hands with any drunk or misfit that came up after a gig, always ready to encourage other artists especially at jam nights and countless other acts of random kindness.

“Yes he was grumpy at times, OCD about anyone touching his gear, always ready to play the fool, obsessed with lights, snow machines, lasers. But he was without a doubt one of the best frontmen in town and his fooling around sometimes obscured that he had a really good voice.

“So it’s with very great sadness that we say goodbye to this lover of music, Pink Floyd, boobs, performing, jamming, women in general and Harvester cooked breakfasts – he will be very much missed by a large number of people and that says it all.

“Goodbye Chris mate.”

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