The origins of The Tildens can be traced back to the late Cretaceous Period of the 1980’s. Neil, Chris and Tom Thompson got together to form 'Hard Times', a band best known for being ‘downbeat and gloomy’ and a ‘darker version of Leonard Cohen’. Unperturbed they produced a CD of songs about the Old North End fishing community in King's Lynn and played the usual folk club gigs in the area.
Although Neil took a sabbatical from music (some say this is a permanent thing) sometime in the early 1990’s he returned to the fold as the band morphed into 'Ramshackle' – a very apt name best summed up by a surreal rendition of some jigs at the King William in Sedgeford. At this point Jotham started to make some appearances on bass – no mean feat for a 3 year old.
With the turn of the century things got a bit more serious. Chris and Neil linked up with fellow Harpley resident Steve Lambert and 'Southbound' were formed. Bass and drums were added but this was short lived with the sad death of Paul Schofield and the strange case of the drummer who walked into a plate glass window.
Gigs were regular and the CD, ‘Music From The Front Porch’, came out selling at least 6 copies. Jotham again made a guest appearance until ‘musical differences’ saw the end of Southbound.
A resurrection of the North End songs in 2009 saw a concert at St Nicholas’s Chapel in Lynn with the original members of 'Hard Times' augmented by double bass, fiddle, accordion, narrator and a string quartet performing all the songs for the North End Trust. The band were called 'The Tilden Smiths' for this performance – in honour of the North End pub of that name.
The name stuck – minus the Smiths just in case anyone thought we were a tribute band! Chris and Neil were then joined by Tony Yates on guitar, banjo and harmonica for a couple of years. Upon Tony’s departure Chris and Neil decided to carry on as a duo until Richard approached us and asked for an audition. Now this was a first!! He slotted in perfectly. Jotham came in as full time member and that is 'The Tildens' story to date.