Between the Lines formed around 2006, while Phil and Mark were, as now, playing together in Akmeds Camel, the South-Lincolnshire ceilidh band. They had decided to form a duo outside the band, mainly to play local folk clubs, and thereafter “to see how far we could get”. Meantime, Mark had written the song “The Fallen of Fulstow” with John Blanks, following an introduction in John’s home town of Gainsborough.
John was, and remains, a much respected solo singer and guitarist. He sang the song as an entry in the “Write a Lincolnshire Folk Song” competition. Mark had past form, having written winning entries with Katie Abbot and The Old Parrot Band. The song had the good fortune to win the competition, and later caught the ear of the late Vin Garbutt, who included it on his final CD, Synthetic Hues.
Phil and Mark had another chance meeting with John at a booking at a Belton House concert. From thereon, the formation of a trio was obvious.
Originally going under the name of “Better Late than Naked”, purloined from the title of one of John’s solo CD’s, they changed their name when John took a short break from the band, and Phil and Mark continued as a duo. When John returned, they kept the name, Between the Lines.
The band then took another direction. Phil and Mark also play in the Country/Rock/Americana band Crossing the Tracks, whose lead instrumentalist, Dave Tucker was looking to play more acoustic music.
The Covid Pandemic and the subsequent loss of bookings prompted John to announce his retirement from the band in 2023. Phil's wife Kim, already a member of Akmeds camel and Crossing the Tracks joined Phil, Dave and Mark in the rebranded band, "THE ACOUSTIC ITCH"