The Fluffy Jackets
The original line-up (L-R): Jerry Bessent, Helge Rognstad, Ian Robinson. (Photo: J.Cumpsty, 2016).
Formed in 2006 London as a duo by guitarist & vocalist Helge Rognstad and drummer Ian Robinson, The Fluffy Jackets gained some favorable live reviews, performing in central London-venues over a 3 year period.
The first Fluffy Jackets EP was recorded in June 2007 at Cowshed Studio in North London with the assistance of renowned producer Teo Miller (Blur, Happy Mondays). This EP is notable for featuring a special guest appearance by Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Black Sabbath). The bass player Jerry Bessent would later join the band for live performances.
The Fluffy Jackets signed a recording contract with Cargo Records in 2013. By this time, drummer Nick Rhodes had taken over the drum stool while some very special guests were recruited to complete their first album at the 1950’s birthplace of rock’n’roll - Sun Studio in Memphis TN.
Manny Charlton, Robert Hall, Helge Rognstad and Neil Murray recording at Sun Studio, Memphis TN (USA) (Photo: M. Trobee 2011).
The debut album 'Fighting Demons' was released in 2014 and featured special guests Neil Murray (Whitesnake), Manny Charlton (Nazareth), and Robert Hall (Jerry Lee Lewis). Other guests on the Fighting Demons record included the renowned UK blues-harmonica player Steve "West" Weston and Swedish vocalist Emil Gammeltoft.
Engineered by Grammy-winner Matt Ross Spang (Rival Sons, Jason Isbell) and co-produced by guitarist Manny Charlton (Nazareth), the 'Fighting Demons' album became a critical success, winning the "Best Studio Album of the Year" award, voted by the listeners of The Blues Hour radio show (UK and France). The first single "Why Don't You Smile" was distributed inside Classic Rock Magazine issue #194 on a CD compilation called "Sharp Shooters" and subsequently received major airplay in Europe and USA.
In Cordoba (Spain) recording "Something from Nothing" (L-R) Helge Rognstad, Nick Rhodes, Jerry Bessent (photo: M. Charlton, 2016).
In 2016, The Fluffy Jackets announced their intention to release a sophomore album with Manny Charlton on board as the producer and co-writer. The proceeds of the first single '44 Blues' was released in support of the staff at Metal Hammer and Classic Rock Magazine who were made redundant without pay in December 2016.
After three years in the making (at Madmento Studio in Spain), 'Something from Nothing' was released in August 2019. The album included a tribute to Glen Campbell with the song “Better Place”, featuring Alison Cooper on duet vocals. The accompanying Making-Of documentary DVD celebrated the band's decade long history with retrospective interviews with band members, including the special guests Neil Murray (Whitesnake) and Manny Charlton (Nazareth).
Notably, the second single from the album “Everything Must Change” was picked by Classic Rock Magazine for a compilation CD called "Bring it Home" and distributed in the August 2019 edition (Classic Rock #265). The song also featured in a "Battle of the Bands" competition around this time.
Leif Knashaug, vocalist with The Halloween Project and Helge Rognstad, vocalist with The Fluffy Jackets. (Photo: K. Gyenese, 2021)
In 2021, The Fluffy Jackets joined forces with fellow Norwegian band The Halloween Project to record a tribute to Manny Charlton on his 80th birthday on 25 July 2021. Special guests on the tribute included Ronni Le Tekrø (TNT) and Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Black Sabbath). The effort resulted in big-label attention with a subsequent album being picked for worldwide release by Cargo Records.