Former Diamond Head, UFO, Skunk Anansie drummer dies
Artist biography Robbie France
Robbie France was born in Sheffield, England in 1959 but grew up in Australia. Robbie taught at the Australian Academy of Musi, and then travelled throughout Australia with some of the country´s top musicians, as well as working with international acts. He formed the Carnival - a jazz fusion group - and supported John McLaughlin before taking up studio work in Brisbane. At the age of 22 Robbie moved to London. In 1983 Robbie was asked to join hard rock band Diamond Head.
Robbie France took up the drum stool, replacing initial drummer Duncan Scott and appeared on their album "Canterbury. France stayed until 1985, when Diamond Head dsibanded.
Many years later, the the core of the band formed by Sean Harris and Brian Tatler decided to reform. This line-up featured Karl Wilcox on drums.
After leaving Diamond Head, Robbie accepted an invitation to join UFO, although his time with them was short lived. In 1986 Robbie formed the band One Nation before he joined Ellis Beggs and Howard. During this period Robbie also began holding drum clinics throughout the UK. In 1990, Robbie was invited to tour with Wishbone Ash following the departure of founder Steve Upton. Robbie toured with the band on its Autumn 1990 UK tour and his performances were well received by the bands fanbase. However, the other members of the band felt the chemistry was not right and Robbie was eventually replaced by Ray Weston. Robbie does, however, appear on three tracks of 1991's "Strange Affair" album.
Following his departure from Wishbone Ash, Robbie France returned to Australia and recorded the album "Gift" with his group The Gab. In 1994 he was in London to promote a solo project when he was contacted by Cass Lewis to form group Skunk Anansie. Skunk Anansie recorded "Paranoid & Sunburnt", their debut album, and have since become one of the hottest names in the business. France co-wrote huge international hit "Weak", which was featured on the "Mission Impossible'' soundtrack.
Robbie France was replaced by Mark Richardson in 1995. France joined German mega-group Alphaville. He toured and recorded with Alphaville until a freak accident interrupted his career.
Robbie lived in southern Spain for the last couple of years. He continued to be regarded as one of the industry's leading musical educators, clinicians, recording artists and touring professionals until he died in January 2012.