Original songs written, performed and recorded by John Illingworth Smith and Jolyon Dixon.

Illingworth are John Illingworth Smith and Jolyon Dixon.  The duo met back in 1993 in Salisbury when a mutual friend suggested they collaborated and they have played together ever since.  Between them they have played with some of the biggest names in the industry, toured around the world and performed at famous venues.  Recorded and produced numerous chart-topping hits and written for television, whilst also writing their own material.

Their light-hearted and energetic sets are  a mix of all-time classic covers and their own material which has earned them a reputation for a fantastic and memorable night.

To book please contact Eddie Prestidge as below.

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February 25, 2021

Another New…Normal after Mondays announcement.

Illingworth are now taking bookings again, we want to ‘SING IT’ as soon as we can.  We have all spent the past car crash of a year fending for ourselves and it has left the music industry hurting.  I am sure you have all missed some live music in your life.  Let’s start planning and getting excited!

Where would you like to see us play? Let us know and we will run rabbit run and you will be able to learn more about me (and him)! 

To book please contact Eddie Prestidge:

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Jolyon Dixon

Jolyon Dixon was born in SalisburyWiltshire, and began playing guitar at the age of nine. He has been a professional guitarist since 1993, recording and touring with such diverse artists as Toyah WillcoxVoice of the BeehiveScarletJudie Tzuke and Mark Owen.

Jolyon was a founding member of President Records and in 2004, he began working with Rachel Fuller,  Through Fuller, Dixon met Pete Townshend, and since then he has played on numerous recordings with both Townshend and Fuller. As a session guitarist Jolyon has worked alongside producers such as John LeckieChris ThomasVic Coppersmith-HeavenCraig LeonNeil Perry and Pete Townshend. Dixon was guitarist with Melodramatic Records/Vertigo artist Amy Macdonald, contributing to her 2007 platinum selling the UK number one album This is the Life.  As well as playing guitar, Dixon mixed the bonus live disc on the deluxe edition of Amy Macdonald's chart topping album A Curious Thing and toured regularly with her until the end of 2009. 

Jolyon was also a member of The Last 55's, along with twins Christie and Louise Miller and Stuart Ross

Jolyon now lives in Salisbury Wiltshire and he still plays guitar with Pete Townshend and Rachel Fuller , and has recently joined the remaining members of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich on guitar for their 2019 concerts.

John Illingworth Smith

John Illingworth Smith has been a working musician and singer/songwriter for most of his life and has composed a varied repertoire of rock, pop and folk songs including some heartfelt ballads.

Born in Australia, he moved to England aged 10 and that's when he first started experimenting writing his own songs!

After leaving home and moving to Salisbury he was lucky enough to be introduced to a local and magically gifted musician, Jolyon Dixon in 1993 and they have remained firm friends ever since, co-writing and recording a multitude of songs over the years.

In 2014 the duo moved to Cardiff to become part of the successful music service, where they taught in Primary and Special Educational Needs settings. It was during this period that John discovered his natural ability to write children's educational songs and he was continually amazed at the benefit this had on the children's learning capability.

 "We applied the same process as with all our songs and made them good to listen to for kids and adults alike"

They have also appeared on Cbeebies performing one of their songs with Justin Fletcher, Mr Tumble.



The duo have been writing and producing music together for 28 years. They decided, to create a brand-new album during the months of lockdown.  'New...Normal' was released in September 2020.  

Heart to rule your head
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New... Normal

The debut album from Wiltshire based band Illingworth is indeed an auspicious debut with 9 heartfelt songs about love & loss that will immediately have you thinking that you recognise them which is simply a testament to how good they are!  “Fending For Ourselves”, “Try” and my personal favourite “More About Me” stand out in this quality collection. If you are,  or ever have been, a fan of Del Amitri or The Gin Blossoms then you need to get this album now. It’s THAT good.


Live Performance


Illingworth have played at both our venues, The Kings Arms in Amesbury and The Packhorse in Larkhill.  Great band, easy to deal with and very reliable.  Performing under the strange restrictions of 2020- that meant reduced capacity, and social distancing requirements .  The boys adapted and put on a great set, easy going and engaging with the audience.  We can’t wait for the next time where we can have a dance too.  All booked for next year.  Thanks guys.


Mike Dobie

'Well one of the best examples of this for me happened with listening to this very song. It's proper uplifting and my song of the year. Lovely story behind it too. I was uploading a new song I had written to Soundcloud and soon as it finished the auto cue played this track by a band called Illingworth...So after loving the song and then listening to everything they had uploaded to Soundcloud and commenting in a positive way how I loved the songs and sound cos it is fantastic ..I got a reply from John the singer and he said cheers man for commenting..
Nice one I thought of him to reply..
Couple of days later got a message from one seriously great guitarist (and I mean seriously great) called Jolyon Dixon whom I  had previously met twice when I was supporting Steve 'Smiley' Barnard at his ace “Smileys friends” shows in Ascot at Jagz ,and Jolyon was his guitarist...
He said on FB online thanks Mike for liking the song ..I thought how does he know I liked that song. Chances of him seeing my comments are nearly nil...Well surprise, surprise he was the  cowriter/producer...BOOMSHANKA... Now it all made total Karmic sense, cos when I met him it was instant... 'I like this dude vibes'.  Fanbloodytastic...Now I had a connection to this wonderful music and I was chuffed and buzzed up...
Since then we have become friends with a billion things in common and I just look back and think such a simple thing like a mistake can develop into something so, so cool, must be a sign that good vibes are round the corner no matter what..
Me and Pauline have since met up with John and his son and Jolyon and his family and it was mega brilliant ...Smiley ended up singing on the track to..Amazing.. which is without a doubt my personal favourite of the year and I love the video to. I even got to SING IT at one of my online FB gigs. Honoured...So go for your life and thank God for the lovely people that we meet on our little visit to Fraggle Rock.
Ladies and Gentlemen....The absolute power of music and its healing powers....SING IT
Mike Dobie feeling better 2020


'Don't really listen to music these days. well, for maybe 5/6 years everything seems to sound shite or something's missing... mechanical nose with auto tuning. rap shite & throw away pop. I know that there is real music & musicians out there but, many simply don't have a "real" song or something "real" to say. Listening to your songs with "real" lyrics, melodies, arrangements... It simply great to hear'


Kevin Gostelow

A strong classy debut from the boys. They put their own spin on folk music with melodic swirling melodies which complement the lyrics of singer John's voice seamlessly. Jolyon hits the nail on the head with his arrangements. All in all a strong debut in their chosen sphere. 4 1/2 out of five here. Keep it live boys.

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Childrens Songs

Spring to Life is a writing and production duo specialising in songs for children.
John I Smith and Jolyon Dixon, write, perform and produce music aimed at combining educational and fun themes with a musical sensibility that appeals to not only kids, but their parents and teachers too.

Their song "Jump Jump Jump" is featured in an episode of Bafta award winning childrens TV show "Something Special" (series 10, episode "Happy" ) aired on January 28th 2016 on the BBC Cbeebies channel- with John and Jolyon performing the song live with presenter Justin Fletcher. In 2017, Justin Fletcher selected 5 Spring to life songs for inclusion in his "Justins Party" live U.K. tour. In 2018, Spring to Life provided the music and production for the cbeebies house song "Shape up with the hippy, hippy shapes " which has been shown multiple times daily on the Cbeebies channel, and has been viewed over 210,000 times in under three months on the Cbeebies YouTube channel.


Tunnel Rat Studio is an excellent place to bring your musical ideas to life.

Located in the peaceful rural village of Haxton, Wiltshire, we are fully set up for socially distanced recording, with separate performance and engineering rooms, with full line of sight between the two.  Our comfortable live room is plenty big enough for up to 4 people to play together.

We can offer a full production service. With decades of engineering, mixing, session playing and touring experience on our side, we are confident we can bring the music in your head to life exactly as you hear it.

We look forward to welcoming you to Tunnel Rat Studios soon!



07799 606513

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