Robin Etter-Cleave banner
silken thomas
Silken Thomas the band

The motivation behind our Irish band, Silken Thomas, is because we just love to play music! We have fun on stage, we crack a few jokes, we stir up our audience and get everyone involved in our songs, and we just have good, clean fun!

Brian Brett and I formed Silken Thomas with Ian Evans in 1996. In 2000, Ian took time off from the band to grow his music store business - The Best Music Shop – but he missed us so much that he rejoined us in 2002! We now perform as a four-piece with our percussionist Steve Stiller, who joined us in 2003, and we play mainly Irish folk music, with a few contemporary covers and some of our own compositions thrown in.

I play C flute and/or penny whistles in a lot of our songs and sometimes, alto saxophone in some of the covers. I also do backing vocals and some lead vocal work and in our bigger shows, I also play the keyboard. Oh yes, and I play the tambourine in a few numbers!

Brian is our lead guitarist and sings lead vocals in our Irish numbers, (being from Belfast, he’s got just the right sound!), and in a few contemporary songs as well. He also plays the bodhrán.

Ian plays bass guitar, bodhrán and in a lot of our contemporary numbers, he sings lead vocals. He also plays guitar in a few songs. Ian is our sound expert and tweaks a few dials here and there to make us sound GREAT!

Steve is our percussionist and sings backing vocals. Steve (BA [Music], Grad. Dip. [Teach]), “has worked and studied in Australia and internationally as a percussionist, conductor and teacher. His percussion and drum kit performances contain many international colours and styles, reflecting the influence of the many classical and ethnic instruments studied. This, in turn, has also influenced and enhanced his teaching and composing in the percussion ensemble genre." We call Steve “Happy Feet” - it’s amazing what he can do with his feet. And of course, he’s a fantastic percussionist – I wish I could have learnt how to twirl my majorette baton the way he can twirl his drums sticks!

Silken Thomas plays at a lot of different venues and for private functions in and around Brisbane. Some of our gigs have been in Bundaberg, Toowoomba, (where we were regulars at the Irish Club Hotel there for about eight years) and Surfer’s Paradise. We have put together our own shows at the McLeod Golf Club in Mt. Ommaney and at the Sherwood Services Club in Corinda where we included Irish pipers and Irish dancers and sometimes had a guest act. All of these shows were sold out and we were lavished with fabulous feedback post show! (Not in the sound system, luckily!) We have also played for the Neurum Creek Music Festival held in October each year – this is a great festival. Check it out –

As we all have “day” jobs, we don’t gig more than a few times a month and because of this, we don’t tire of performing. We really enjoy what we do! Check out the Queensland Irish association site for details of our next bookings there.

Check out Silken Thomas, including our Gig Guide, on facebook

Website by MaryB design