The Manchester area has nurtured thousands of musical acts, ranging in styles as diverse as Freddie and The Dreamers and Oasis.
Although many have been adopted on a national scale, others have managed to stir only local interest before their eventual demise. Despite their lack of national commercial success, they were part of the tremendous Manchester area music scene that played such a major part in our lives.
Proudly based in the sixties, these pages salute the groups, disc jockeys and clubs in the Manchester area that gave us all such
a great time!
Beatles in Urmston
Always good to see sixties groups reforming and still sounding sharp. Catch this vido from The Vincents, who played at the recent Beatles in Urmston weekend.
Just do a YouTube search for 'Beatles in Urmston The Vincents' and there's lots more.
Some nice new additions to the Free Trade Hall page
Great Christmas night out!
On Saturday December 21st live on stage at the Lightbowne Sports and Social, Kenyon Lane, Moston - Stockport's very own The Casino Allstars plus soul and motown dj Frank.
Tickets only 5.00 each from Frank on 0161.740.7965 or the club on 0161.205.1342.
Get out your 2014 Diary and add:
The Pressmen reunion will take place on Saturday 22nd March 2014 at Leigh Masonic Hall along with DJ Bobby Dee who will host the show. Bobby was resident DJ at Manchester's famous Twisted Wheel Club. All proceeds form this event will go to The Macmillan Nurses.
Had this request the other day from a lady who sadly didn't put her email address (or name)
Hope you don't mind me enquiring with regards to 'Frankie Vaughn's top town talent contest'. My mum was in these finals at North Pier in 63. I would love any info/pics .ive searched a lot and hope you may have any info. Her 'stage' name was 'Kristine Collier' Halifax, West Yorkshire Thank you
Finally found some time for manchesterbeat. Been a busy week work-wise - just trying to earn a living to keep the love of my life draped in furs and dripping diamons and gold! Let's hope the Mrs doesn't find out, though.
Finally sold the last of the books! Now, time for the new one!
Nice little story on the Stamford Hall page about the Stones (even the Beatles get a mention)
More sad news. Vince Perrelli (Ronnie) the drummer with Deek Rivers and the Big Sound has passed away.
More sad news, though - Singer of the 70's bands Pollution & Speed, Garry Hey sadly passed away on 16th October 2013, aged 59.
Phil Quigley of Middleton sadly lost his battle with Cancer on October 12th, and was cremated at Manchester Crematorium on Wednesday October 23rd.
A celebration of his life was organised by his partner of 28 years Dolly Noone at the Fiddlers Green in Levenshulme.
Phil was a drummer with The Nevadas, Chosen Few and Hush back in the sixties, and will be remembered by many old rockers who drink at The Old Boars Head, Middleton.
He will be sadly missed by Family & Friends both in the UK and in Australia.
Sad to also hear that John Hall from The Cymerons passed away last Friday
Hot off the press!
On Friday 29th November 1963, The Rolling Stones played in Urmston – at Urmston baths – a venue that was regularly used for concerts in the early 1960’s.
Recently, Urmston celebrated the Beatles playing in Abbotsfield Park, in August 1963. This 50th Anniversary Concert was a huge success. In the wake of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles playing in Urmston, plans are now advancing for a similar celebration of the Rolling Stones events some 50 years hence.
As the original venue for this event was demolished in the 1970’s the natural venue for the 50th anniversary concert is the now Flixton Academy of Performing Arts (FAPA) building – the ex Curzon cinema – which is adjacent to the site of the former Urmston baths – which is literally a ‘Stones throw’ away.
Headlining the 50th Anniversary event will be ‘The Stones’ – arguably the premier Rolling Stones tribute band. They will be playing a 2 hour show in two, one hour sets.
Opening the event will be The Vincents, who opened the 50th Anniversary Concert of The Beatles in Urmston and, who received rave reviews following their opening set. The Vincents were around in the early 1960’s playing clubs, theatres and ballrooms across the country at the height of the 1960’s pop and rock revolution. It is the same group of guys who were original members of The Vincents who have recently re-formed and who are producing the music they performed 50 years ago.
Tickets are £16.50 and are currently on sale at the Urmston Men’s Club and Institute, Higher Road, Urmston and also from the FAPA (Curzon) venue.
More details will be available shortly - but be quick! Tickets are limited in number.
The date: Friday 29th November – the exact day/date when, 50 years previously, the Rolling Stones played in Urmston.
CAN YOU ASSIST? If you can, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will passon the info
"I am trying to locate 3 band members from the 60's group Nottingham Green. They are Steve Collins, Bob Lee and Graham Braddock. Would you know an e-mail address or any way of contacting these people. I would be grateful if you could help me. It is to pass on some information on the lead singer of the group John Kitchen, as I feel they may wish to know."
Any info on the French Brothers? With two torsos, two heads but only one set of legs, shouldn't they be called the Siamese Twins and not the French Brothers?
Even GREATERERERER news - trying to find some time to catch up will all the "stuff" I had got behind on.
Just added The Curly Tops (thanks Alan) - great pictures of the era. But who are the mosos behind the girls?
Sad to hear of the passing of Phil Quigley (Chosen Few, etc). Manchester Crematorium on Wednesday 23 Oct at 10.55am.
Great NEWS!!! I will be starting on a new volume of MANCHESTERBEAT in coming days. So ... if you haven't featured in other volumes, send in your stuff asap. Particularly looking for MY STORIES.
And the answer is .... Allan Clarke of The Hollies. Apparently, that was his group whilst they were all at youth clubs in Higher Broughton.
Peter Wrigley asks "I have a postcard sized picture of Gerry Storme with a Nelson tel no. Any info on him?"
Luke James asks "I am the gradson of Stan Wardle. I'm a musician myslef. He told me there was a record made by Little John and his Foresters and I really want to track it down. Does anyone have a copy?"
Dave Anderton poses a question:
“Which well known lead singer from which top 60’s onwards, worldwide known group was lead singer in a Salford group called THE RIVERSIDE ROCKETS when he was about 13 or 14 years old, possibly in the late 50’s?”
He started his career trying to play like Elvis Presley's guitarist James Burton and closed it playing alongside the guitar legend. In between, Jeff became an agent, artiste manager and promoter - often all three at once. He's worked with BB King, Chuck Berry, Everley Brothers, Diana Ross, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rod Stewart, Little Richard, Roy Orbison and others!
Don't be as daft as me - go and read his great story in the online Audience magazine - go to page 30. Its an excellent magazine and online format is spot on. Read the rest.
I've been a bit quiet lately but still adding stuff to the site - still behind! Spent the weekend watching United in Sydney. Amazingly, they got 20,000 there to watch a training session - at 15 quid a seat!
Did you see the article on BOBBY DELL AND THE DELLSTARS in the recent MEN? If you did, you will want to know more about one of Manchester's finest groups. If you didn't, not to worry, check this out!
Chalice, Manchester area lads (Tiger Fog and partly Pink Engine), who were deported to the colonies for stealing a loaf of bread (and the odd riff or two) have some nice info on their page - here. But - if you are too lazy to click, have a butchers at the newsletter below.
Interesting reading and look at their list of bookings! Sorry - the $3 T-shirts (a bit over a pound) have sold out!
Looking for dj Pete Roscoe - anyone have a contact? Email email@example.com if you know of a contact for Pete. Thanks.
Sadly, Dennis Rimmer writes:
I am very sad to report that Ken Shelmedine my lifelong friend and lead guitarist in the Rangers, Klix and many other groups since has died from that dreaded disease cancer.
Ken was a very good lead guitarist and in the early sixties there was not that many talented musicians around compared with nowadays. He could play Shadows music with ease and that led to a lot of success for the band.
He will be missed by a lot of people.
Rick Henshaw has provided great info on his group Big Wheel (some great pics there, Rick ... thanks)
Just released on Charley Records in the UK – ‘Club Soul Volume 2 – The Twisted Wheel, Brazennose Street / Whitworth Street, Manchester 1963-1971, The Original Sound Of Northern Soul, Popcorn and R&B’ (Charly 653 X)
Originally born in a coffee bar in the city's Brazennose Street in 1963, before later moving to a converted warehouse on Whitworth Street, it quickly developed a reputation as one of the country's finest venues for obscure, imported soul, R&B and Ska. Music fans would flock from all around the country to the weekly all-nighters to hear live sets from some of the finest soul artists of the time.
The term 'Northern Soul' was first coined by the journalist Dave Godin following a visit to the Twisted Wheel to describe the distinctive brand of music played there which couldn't be found in London clubs at the time.
This new compilation collects some of the classic tracks that would have been played at the time. The 28 tracks include gems from Little Richard, Bo Did dley, Benny Spellman, Ernie K Doe, Solomon Burke, Gene Chandler, Betty Everett, The Dells, Fats Domino , Alvin Cash, Big Sambo, Bobby Bland etc.
The cover features a classic photo of the late Roger Eagle and Wheel memorabilia.
Really is "Something you don't see every day" - great on stage shots taken at the Twisted Wheel - courtesy of the excellent Blues & Rhythm Magazine.
On May 25th, BBC4 aired the made for TV documentary 'Smokey Dives' - which focused on how the drab post-war Britain was enlivened by the trad-jazz scene in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Fronted by George Melly, who died in 2007, the documentary was made in 2001 and revisited some the pubs, clubs and concert halls he once played in.
The programme features Melly entering a then derelict Free Trade Hall, sitting on stage and in the dressing room reminiscing about jazz gigs at the famous venue (now a plush city centre hotel). Thankfully the promotional clip contains the whole of Melly's visit to the FTH.
Info courtesy Tony Burke
Robert Heywood asks " Anybody any information on two great groups from Bolton circa 19664 /66.
As far as I can recollect The Detours played at Bolton Palais, corner of St. Georges Road, on Thursday nights?
Another great group was The Viceroys. Remember seeing them playing over the top of the Burtons Shop off Deansgate. Think they played white Bison Guitars when all thge others used the Fender Stratcaster in pink."
Just added new trio Gypsy with lots of pics (thanks Baz) and a real newbie, Food (and as expected, thanks to, yes you guessed, John). Any info on Food greatly appreciated - but no recipes please.
Sandra Olive, one of our newer contributors, asks if anyone has any info on the Bo Rayners from Bury.
Bolton's Invictors are celebrating their fiftieth! Great pics by the dozen - courtesy Paul Shaw.
Peter Cowap Music Festival
Images here - thanks to the guys for what I understand was an excellent show!!
Phil Nadin asks "Does anyone remember a pub in the city called The Great American Disaster ? I think it was just off Deansgate and next door to / opposite Mr Smiths ? In the early 70's the pub was run by a remarkable couple Mr and Mrs Phillips. Danny and Barry must remember it ? and the girls Barbara and Dianne ? Perhaps I imagined it !"
Quick as a flash, Harry proctor replies "THE GREAT AMERICAN DISASTER BAR was above the Bodega/Top of the Town on Cross St. I went there for a management interview early 70s."
"If there's a more obscure Manchester band that actually played a live gig, I'll eat my Rickenbacker 325 Capri.
Hailing from Whalley Range, guitarists Graham Porter, John Gill and Lalith "Fitness" de Mel (vocalist and drummer names now lost in the mists of time), played a local church hall 1962.
The dance floor was packed and the girls were as enthusiastic as if Stockport's Hollies had showed up."
The last sentence really sums up the time and totally reflects what Manchesterbeat is all about.
Local groups were a part of our lives - whether we played in a group or went to see them. They didn't have to be national stars - they were our stars. They inspired budding musos just as much as Chuck, Bo, Elvis and The Beatles. In my case, more.
Fond memories of The Starlites, The Dyleks and Focal Points. Thanks!
So, go through your memories and remember those early groups. Send them in. Would love a pic of Jack eating his Rickenbacker.
To start the ball rolling, here's a pic of the Sphinx Trio that Scene 68 (a short-lived Northern music paper) informs us was playing at Woodhouse Park CA on NYE 1968. Always wondered who they are. Any ideas?
If you can do better (and I am sure you can), send one in! Everyone that is put on the site gets a free Manchesterbeat book. Hows that for generosity!
Ken Porter asks if anyone remembers THE DICERS (or it could have been DICES). They were from the Blackley/Harpurhey area & played a very American rock style of music rather than the "Cliff & The Shadows" style. Love some info.
Ever striving to be original and push our great archive along - we have now introduced a new section called CLUBLAND BEAT. You can find it on the top menu under FEATURES. Not much there but its a start - thanks mainly to Steve Hutch and Alan Wilkinson (plus others).
Many of our great 60's groups kept on plying their music into the now forgotten and much missed northern cabaret circuit. Who can forget such great groups as Sweet Chariot, Reg Coates and The Royal Variety Show - all seen as part of the cabaret scene. They've been with manchesterbeat for years, so now we can add some of the thousands of entertainers to our pages.
My personal favourite - without doubt - Sweet Chariot.
Don't be shy! We really need some more My STORYs. They are a great read and enjoyed by so many.
Great list of events at the ABC Ardwick, courtesy Richard Lysons. He used the term Gigography, which I love and will use on the site! Interesting list.
I thoroughly enjoyed my night with Hermans Hermits. Sat right at the front! A spot-on show and the sound was perfect. Could not fault it - even enjoyed the drum solo and that is a first! Even the Mrs liked them and she normally only likes Robbie Williams. Barry Whitwam is superb and fronts an impressive band including, of course, the very talented Salfordian Geoff Foot (Rogues, Sunshine).
Go and see them if you want to see what a quality, crowd pleasing act is all about.
And speaking of Barrow (below), Alan has also provided a superb listing of groups who played at the Public Hall (later named Maxims, Rafters, then finally Scorpio). Great! Also 99 Club and The Tornados - click either to see a stunning picture of an early 60s nightclub. Wow - memories.
Looking for info on Wythenshawe (?) group Free Speech circa 1970
Great new band info Frankie and The Trendsetters - from Barrow but based in Manchester and resident at the Plaza. Well worth a read. Thanks Alan.
Also, John Needham has taken a break from supplying great stuff for JC Heavy and has added Oldham group Treacle.
Has anyone any pics of NATIONAL GRID?
Great to read about Stuart and the memories of all his friends from 60s and 70s. Myself and Stuart had thirty-five happy years together, two pubs, two lovely daughters and we are missing him like crazy.
His mate Baz is organising a tribute night to Stuart soon in the Prestwich area. All welcome for a catch up.
Just added a great pic of The Dynachords - thanks Alan. Plus lots of othere stuff - more info in our next newsletter, which may (or may not) be out tomorrow. Also added Altitude - courtesy Colin Sumner (nice pics).
I’ve just found out that the BBC radio 2 Peoples Songs is streamed live at www.bbcco.uk/radio2 (22.00 gmt ) on Wednesdays, every episode
is also available to hear again on the same website until the end of the series in December.
David Lees has sent in this great/sad link for those of you who remember Hill Stores in Oldham
David was also very involved with Leigh Casino and writes:
In 1972 I was a trainee architect in central Manchester. The firm got the job of providing drawings for the builder re-fitting after it burned out. It was a very large hall with balconies all round and
a full proscenium stage at one end.
I was left to my own devices and went crazy and it got built. A huge space frame hauled up to the roof with smooth shiny aluminium foil covered panels on top (milk-bottle top foil), and several rows of hung scaffolding the full length with door blanks covered in the foil spinning along them. All full of lights. I never saw it finished but it did all go in.
Anyone remember it?
A couple of great Karl Denver pics sent in by Brian Smith.
Name this group!
Great New Manchesterbeat Competition! Win a FREE Manchesterbeat book (Vol 5)
Check out the new series of articles on our music in the Manchester Evening News every Saturday. Paul Wilde (the writer) is son of Manchester muso Geoff Wilde, who has played trumpet for many of Manchester's leading jazz outfits, plus became a trainee pop star with Phoenix City Smash for a time
Some great Free Trade Hall tickets from Brian Stephenson. They are a great reminder of some of the major acts that played the venue and have the added interest of being dated and priced.
Also check out Brian's excellent Gig Diary, which reflects the wealth of live music around at the time.
What a great photo (thanks Phil) but what are these two gun toting strangers doing in these parts? Mean critters the pair of them and both out to grab your cash.
Needed to make it easier for me to send out the latest news, so a new method is being trialled, simple to join. Even simpler and quicker for me. The old one would only send out 100 an hour so it took all night to send them - over 1100 members.
Our local club books lots of the tribute acts and recently the poor receptionist had a major drama when a drunken couple demanded their money back as they suspected that the act they had seen was not the real PINK. When you pay a tenner for a show you expect the real thing don't you! They never mentioned the other act on the same bill BON JOVI, so I suspect they they thought him to be the real deal.
I can undertand how excited people got to finally read the story of one of Manchester's top groups Albert Hilton and The Hotels but our office staff are getting a little fed up of you lot sending in your underwear to pass on to the group. Please stop it ... that goes for the ladies as well. Or at least wash them first.
Great pics of Mike Sax and The Idols just added plus lots of NEW stuff. Take a week off work and browse the site. Its bigger than Ben Hur ... its as far out as the tide at Southport ... its as high as an elephant's eye, an' it looks like its climbin' clear up to the sky.
Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day, sold another 2 books, now only a handful left (if you have big hands).
Should we go for a VOLUME 6? I will do a list of possible groups and venues in next day or so.
Who would feature on the front? How exciting!
Just added The Incas
(wonder if the Mayans predicted that!)
Have a read of the Vincents page. As well as some great pics and newspaper ads, their story is well worth a read, especially the exciting Firty Years On ... at the bottom of the page.
Groups that try to recreate the 60s today will grab a refurbished AC30, get a bank loan for an early 60s Strat and don clothes tailored to replicate the fashions of the 60s. Does it work? Not so sure.
Take a look at one of my all-time favourite pics donated by readers - The Travellers, the one at the top of their page. You can't replicate those poses.
Another that came in fairly recently was The Blues Vendors - not on stage but on their scooters.
The stret scene is just so real. Love it.
New pics arrived recently from long-time Manchesterbeater Dave Bowker of The Drifting Hearts. Great. Swap the heads and it culd be anyone of hundreds of local groups at the time - just so typical. What I like best are ... the un-cool socks on the guy with the slipons (Stu Wilde).
Look at the pic of Seans Image at the top of the page. You can't replicate that! Wonderful.
More stuff being added now ...
Just got rid of the Christmas "stuff" - for a minute I had forgotten where I had added the Christmas background and dreaded that it would have to stay for another couple of weeks. Luckily I found it.
Should I follow Supermarket policy and give the site an Easter feel already? They do it here in Aus as well - Easter stuff in some shops already.
First group to be added in the new year: Oldham's THE NATIONAL GRID Sadly, John Needham writes that all photos have gone missing and wonders if anyone who may have any to get in touch with Manchester beat so they could be included.
New Year Resolutions
NY Resolution 1
You will all listen to The People’s Songs - a series that begins on Wednesday 2nd January at 10pm on BBC Radio 2.
Of particular interest to many of you will be the episode about skiffle - broadcast on Wednesday 23rd January at 10pm. A little bird has told me it features our very own Butch Mepham and Brian Higham.
If you haven't got Volume 5, buy one before they all go. I frequently get tear stained letters from people who want the earlier Volumes but left it too late. Three people have left their wives over this, two have attempted suicide because they haven't got the complete set and one person has threatened to move to Yorkshire if I didn't sell them a Volume 3. Of course, I couldn't let that happen, so gave them my final copy.
More to come ...
Only one Wise Man this Christmas!
Yes, only one order from the dwindling pile of Manchesterbeat Vol 5 books. Get them before the Mrs throws them out - they are getting in the way of her huge collection of Robbie Wiliams stuff. Guaranteed not to be reprinted (unless I go totally mad).
My dearest brother Stuart passed away just before Xmas ... and I was just wondering whether anyone has any records of this great band THE CHARIOTS, as I have no music of his.
LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM SOMEONE asap
Any assistance to firstname.lastname@example.org
Still around but not sure for how long ...
The Mayans may have got the prediction of the end of the world wrong but its curtains for me if the Mrs catches me working on manchesterbeat today.
Its Christmas Day already in Oz, the family is gathered around the air conditioner, waiting for their beloved father to carve the 28 kilo turkey and dispense the presents to the dear children, who will be expecting far more than they are getting. After all, I was happy with a yo-yo and tangerine, so why does the lad want a blummin 60 inch 3D tv?
I digress. I am sat here in the Manchesterbeat offices, beautifully festooned in Christmas glitter by our secretaries, typing madly to get the Paul Stevens story completed. Being Christmas Day, I have let the secretaries off for a few hours, so have to do it myself. They will be back at work again later today but might as well do it myself in the meantime.
There .. its finished ... finally. Its a good read. After the Queen's Speech is over, roast your chestnuts in front of the fire, gather the family around the ipad and read it out aloud to them.
Very sad to hear of the recent passing of Stuart Grattige.
Where's the Buccaneers? On your Buccan head!
OK its an old joke but would love info on The Buccaneers!
Just added great 45rpm images of The Feminine Touch (who were the Dollies - didn't know that) - courtesy Olaf Owre. Olaf not only spends his time documenting Manchester group histories but also co-wrote our Youtube this month. Honory Mancunian, I reckon. Magic.
Don't miss the Christmas post with your order for the few remaining Manchesterbeat books. At a tenner including postage, its cheaper than ... er, many other more expensive things. Buy now.
PS Look at the Man Chest hair cd ad on the right - another great stocking filler (as is Kylie).
Get a personal letter from Santa. Let bassist Harry "Fwerk" Greene compose a wonderful personalised
letter to your grandchildren. Guaranteed to be original!
Has anyone out there heard of the Dave Landers Trio - DLT SOUND which became Scaramouche?
What were the band members names?
i remember doing gigs with them - especially the day the drummer managed to somehow get a welding torch across his eyesand was in great pain that night during the gig!
Also looking for drummer - Tommy? (ex sewing machine mechanic!) of 'Country Roads' pub band in Moss Side way - Ray Howard or 'Kelly' on bass/vocals
I have really enjoyed producing Manchesterbeat over the years. Its a great "job" and only very occasionally it gets a bit gritty.
I get the occasional narky email related to something that happened 40 years ago and still causes upset. Had one email on a Christmas Eve, threatening me with all sorts. Funny how they always have brothers, friends, etc, who are Chief of Police, High Court lawyers, etc. Silly. Sometimes I get emails from people looking for their birth father - I try to assist but not always possible, which is sad.
However, just very occasionally I get emails that really shakes me up. Got one the other day.
Last week, Trevor Platt, the lead singer with the Con Brios passed away. What is tragic about his death is that on his way to the local newsagent in Radcliffe, he was mugged by a teenage gang on BMXs, and stole what he had on him, 10p. He was taken to hospital but died a little over a week later.
How sad things like this happen - no comment on what should happen to the guilty. Its obvious.
The Vigilantes (from Warrington) who last performed in 1965 have now re-united and Performed their first gig for over 45 years on the 27th October at Blackbrook Rugby Club in St Helens.
The group (comprising of all original members) did a one hour spot to a great reception. Videos of their gig can be viewed on www.youtube.com/thevigilantesukband . They are now up and running, and more gigs are in the pipline.
Bert Ashton writes:
I have another photo of a group from Oldham, the problem is that I don’t know the name of the band.
Maybe you could publish it as a mystery group, the only info I have is the photo was taken about 1958 and shows Ian Fenn piano, Neil Bromley vocals and Norman Penington drums.
I don’t know the names of the two guitar players but
maybe somebody looking at Manchester Beat will recognize them so we can fill in the gaps.
Brian Higham has added two great sections to his story - well worth a read (or re-read!)
More sad news. Luke Moore writes
"Mike Curtis passed away yesturday morning 21/10/12 in Benidorm after an illness. He will be sadly missed and on behalf of all his friends, fans and holiday makers in Benidorm. We would like to send our best wishes to his family during this sad time. x "
A very talented man.
Just added Harry "The Fwuerk" Greene's story - bit brief. It was 45 pages but I took out the swear words and its now down to half a page. Its quite boring - avoid.
Changes/additions to these pages have been made in the last 2 weeks:
Room at the Top reunion 27th Oct 2012 at Wigan Cricket Club - tickets £5
"It is with a sad heart that I have to post the passing in August 2012 of Bob Henshaw totally suddenly and unexpectedly. He was a great Bass player and person. He will be sadly missed by his fellow musicians. If reading this any other members of the Jaguars group from the sixties feel like adding to this great site, please do so.
I send my most sincere condolences to his wife and family."
John Firth writes:
Sad to hear today of the death of Big Jim Sullivan at the age of 71. I know he wasn't really involved in the Manchester music scene as such but I'm positive that many of Manchester's top recording bands had the addition of Big Jim's guitar work on their records. I had the pleasure of being in his company very briefly during the 60s and found him to be an absolute gentleman.
Just added great pics of The Vulcans - courtesy Allan Wright plus new group, Hazel Grove's Blues Vendors. Lovely street pic of the group on their scooters.
Dave Miles writes:
"With the sad news of the passing of American singer Andy Williams earlier this week. I can recall during the mid 70's while a member of the Manchester based Vic Lezal's Professionals,
we had the privelege of being the opening act for a special one night appearance by this genuine Superstar at The Free Trade Hall.
Completing the bill was the pop group Brotherhood of Man and comedian Ray Fell.
I have never forgotten watching him arrive for rehearsals wearing a huge Fur Coat and just coasting through a few bars of his various hits superbly accompanied by some of Englands top musicians while waiting for our sound check.
He was without doubt a "Class Act " and will sorely be missed by many older Manchester musicians and fans."
Although not so trendy at the time I had Andy's Solitaire LP, which I played rather a lot. Quality overcomes!
Paul G Shaw answers the question about Blundell Guitars:
Spotted a request for info on Blundell Guitars. I was quite friendly with Dave Blundell in the 70's - a one man operation that produced some really good and playable instruments. He made his own pickups and featured 24 fret necks on some models. Always had great actions and good range of tones.
Dave also did repair/mods for people and he did a few jobs for me - always to the highest standard and well priced.
He moved from Clayton to Colne sometime in the late 70s/early80s and his guitar business
came to and end, mainly because of competition from the Far East I think and I've had no
further contact since that time. Dave Lunt was one of his regular colleagues I think, as was Geoff Muir of Wigwam Music in Rochdale, and they may have more info.
Colin Galley has kindly sent in scans of his old membership cards - which has spurred me on to try and get the Membership Cards page updated.
Just spent all evening adding lots of small things to the site - great comments from you guys. Thanks!
Big thanks to Colin Galley for some great membership cards - adding as I get time.
We now only have Vol 5 of the Manchesterbeat books available - others sold out.
Finally - the last copy of Manchesterbeat Vol 4 has gone. Thanks to Ron Marston of Sheffield. Yes, we do get "readers" from outside Manchester :-) For interest (well, I find it interesting) we have sold books to England, Scotland, Wales, N.Ireland, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, USA and Canada. There may be a couple more but the old brain cells are going.
So, thanks Ron - much appreciated. Now, just need to sell the few remaining Vol 5's and I will have the funds to make Manchesterbeat Towers (our multi-storey office block overlooking Sydney Harbour) more like the Playboy Mansion!
We've started, I am almost as old and ugly as Hugh Heffner - its just the girls and $$ that are missing.
Roger was such an influential player in the Manchester (and beyond) music scene - can you add anything to the article?
Have a look and use the form at the bottom of the page to add your comments, info, etc.
Interesting stuff from Tony Burke of Blues & Rhythm magazine (with originals from Brian Smith and Bob Groom). Free Trade Hall gig with Howlin' Wolf. Sadly HW had to pull out and was replaced with .... You'll have to click here to find out! Not the most logical of replacements :-)
So pleased to receive this excellent image from Terry Irvine,who as well as being one of
Britain's most respected cartoon artists, was a member of The Beat League and
The Good Guys. Very chuffed with it - putting it on the Manchesterbeat office wall, in between the pictures of me and Kylie on holiday at Pontins and the picture of me autographing Dolly Parton's boobs. I ran out of ink half way through and had to borrow a pen from my mate Robbie Wiliams.
Just a private note: when updating Manchesterbeat I always listen to music and my favourite stuff is ... Hermans Hermits. Honest! Easy going stuff, brings back fond memories of earlier times and I know all the words. Something that rarely happened when I was a singer. Mind you, listening to Rod at the moment.
Lots of "stuff" in but the Olympics have got in the way. Working my way through it all
Love the new pics of Phils Swaggers at the Star Club - thanks Griff. Another of those great stories that should be read (or re-read).
Any info on Tuxedo Junction?
Just added some great pics of The Scorpions. If you haven't read their page, do so. Great history of the band by Olaf Owre (so you know its good) and a band most of us would not have known about but have such a great story. Still gigging!
Been busy in last week - with updates to the following pages
Three members of the Cleveland Fox Soul Band are to meet up on Friday June 29th for the first time in 43 years Steve Hargreaves the vocalist Tony Clark Bass Guitarist and Ray Openshaw drums will spend Friday night sharing memories of the great nights and friendship formed in the band and hopefully this will be one of many and you never know other members of the band may yet surface
Brian Higham & Eric Haydock looking for Don Rathbone ... any help appreciated.
Added new group The Deltas - nice pic with The Hollies from '66
Final copy of Vol 4 of the wonderful Manchesterbeat book left. Who is going to be the lucky one?
And that doesn't include The Vulcans, from Leigh/Atherton.
In the past I have had requests for paid advertising on the site and have turned them down. Any ads you see are free. However, due to increased costs for the site, I am now more open to adverts! Please email me if interested.
Does anyone have an old guitar case they no longer need?
Ted Lee is wondering if anyone has an old case they no longer need - must fit his new guitar (pictured below).
Just started a page for Grass Eye Magazine - fondly remembered for its major role in the Manchester music scene of the early 70s.
Sad to hear Robin Gibb has passed away today, aged 62.
The musician died after intestinal surgery and a long battle with cancer. Fears for his health were first raised last year when he appeared looking gaunt on a TV show to promote his single for Poppy Day.
Gibb was hailed as "one of the most important people in the history of British music," by UK TV and radio presenter Paul Gambaccini, who said the brothers were second best UK songwriters ever after the Beatles.
"Everyone should be aware that the Bee Gees are second only to Lennon and McCartney as the most successful songwriting unit in British popular music," Gambaccini said.
“Their accomplishments have been monumental. Not only have they written their own number one hits, but they wrote huge hit records for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Celine Dion, Destiny’s Child, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, the list goes on and on."
My thanks to Dave Ward who points out that the CD Rainy City Blues is not available from Amazon. However, if people live abroad,they can order from Piccadilly Records.
Adding the "stuff" as I find time but need pics, lineups, info on these groups.
And a happy Easter to you all.
But it was like Christmas for me today. After over 10 years of the site, I finally got pictures of Olivers Twist! My thanks to Dave Tommins for these great pix and also for the Boston Sect.
PS Cool cardigan Andy!
SHOCK! HORROR! DEVASTATING NEWS! As well as total sell-outs of Volumes 1, 2 and 3 of the wonderful Manchesterbeat books, we are now down to last 3 Manchesterbeat Volume 4 and only 12 of Volume 5 left.
First in, best dressed, as they say (which is not a cheap dig at Andy's cardigan again)
There will not be reprints of these books, so don't miss the opportunity of a life-time! And, at only 10 quid including postage, packaging, nice little labels and an address written in the best Moss Side scrawl, they will go out the door FAST. Hope so, as my Mrs has been trying to get them out of the house for ages!
Just added great pics of Mummies Darlings! Saw them at New Century Hall and always thought the name was great.
Many would remember the great nights in Manchester clubs (and The Oasis in particular) with The Original Drifters.
Tony Burke from Blues & Rhythm Magazine has very generously supplied a great collage of the Drifters - most shots taken at the Oasis.
Does anyone know the location of the Portland Lodge nightclub that was a big venue in 60’s Manchester, and what it is now? And also the Queen’s Club? (which perhaps might be the same as the Queen’s Hotel on London Road?)
A limited edition vinyl LP titled “Rainy City Blues” with assorted rarities and previously unreleased tracks by Manchester Beat groups from the 60’s was released by Jungfrau Records about a month ago, now available from a number of dealers on eBay.
Olaf Owre put together most of the info about the groups (so it will be good) for the booklet that comes with the high quality LP sleeve with photos of all the groups involved.
Not much info on the page but good pictures (thanks for being so patient Kevin). Links, however, give good info. The second takes you to a Kent based equivalent of manchesterbeat. Obviously not as good as "the original" but if you look, there's some interesting stuff - including me with Arthur Kay's Originals and the Kent based Life n Soul. Worth a click just for that!
Just added posters, MEN article and a pic for Wild Silk
Sad to hear of the passing of Davy Jones, pictured on left from his days as Ena Sharples's grandson.
FINALLY – after languishing undisturbed in various lofts, attics and garages, a record I produced 44 years ago has at last seen the light of day, or at least a release date – 30/01/2012.
The good people at ACE Records heard the track and decided to put it out on their latest Mod Jazz Forever compilation – see the link below – and here’s the background story.
In September 1968, producer Geoff Mullin booked a session at Olympic Studios in London to record three of his most accomplished musical friends, which resulted in a “groovy” club classic version of “Sunshine Superman”. Although never before released, the future career paths of those involved indicate that this was most certainly a musical oversight as the trio never recorded together again.
PETE BOCKING (guitar) – legendary guitarist from Manchester, school friend of Geoff Mullin, and acknowledged jazz guitar master whose early associations included playing in The Fourtones with Allan Clarke and Graham Nash before they formed The Hollies then Crosby, Stills & Nash. He then played lead guitar with local combos The Phantoms and Pete MacLaine and the Clan before forming his own formidable outfit The Pete Bocking Six. Later came periods with Lonnie Donegan and the Victor Brox Blues Band and as a much-respected teacher of jazz guitar until his passing in 2010.
J PETER ROBINSON (organ) – Royal Academy of Music graduate, Pete has more musical credits to his name than can possibly be included here but the highlights would be playing with his first name band Quatermass (Harvest Records)and many as a session player with Jerry Lee Lewis, Carly Simon, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Pete moved to Los Angeles in the 1970’s to concentrate on scoring music for films and television which include “Wayne’s World”, “Cocktail”, “Cadillac Man”, “World’s Fastest Indian”, “Bank Job” and the TV series “Charmed” and “Outer Limits”.
TREVOR MORAIS (drums) – probably the most accomplished drummer, Ringo included, to begin his career in Liverpool, playing with The Cadillacs, Faron’s Flamingos, Rory Storm & The Hurricanes and the classy jazz/soul trio The Peddlars. Later associations include Stealer’s Wheel, Quantum Jump, David Essex, Elkie Brooks, Howard Jones, Tina Turner and Bjork. Now living in Spain where he owns and runs a top-end recording studio.
GEOFF MULLIN (producer) – former DJ (Manchester’s Twisted Wheel), manager of Danny and the Demons and The Hellions, lead vocalist of The Wailers with Ian “Big Wal” Waller and Lek Leckenby and Barry Whitwam, later of Herman’s Hermits, then The Zodiacs and The Yaks. Singer/songwriter (Decca, CBS), music press Record Mirror, Billboard, Music Week, BBC Radio 2 producer for Terry Wogan, Kenny Everett and Michael Aspel among many others. After a brief period as Head of Music at Melody Radio in London Geoff returned to the BBC as Head of Music Policy for the remainder of his radio career.
This is the Sunday Times review. Various artists - Mod Jazz Forever Kent CDKEND368
Fire up the Lambrettas. Long before that dismal hybrid smooth jazz conquered the world, musicians on the cusp of jazz, blues and soul were finding favour with a dancefloor crowd. The latest compilation in the Mod Jazz series is uneven, although any record that finds room for Brother Jack McDuff, Buddy Guy and McDuff’s fellow organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith is worth sampling. First prize in the novelty stakes goes to the cheerful cover of Donovan’s Sunshine Superman by the catchily named Brit combo Bocking, Robinson, Morais. Mark Murphy’s It’s Like Love is hokey fare, but cheerful enough to banish memories of his lacklustre Ronnie Scott’s show last month. CD
Here's a question. Who owned the Top of the Town circa 71. I reckon it was the Rowntrees Group but who were they?
Does the name David Pilling ring a bell with anyone, probably from Winton, Eccles. A guitar player. Possibly drove a sky blue Hillman Imp with black bonnet, a dog called Sandy. He went to Salford Tech and worked at Turners Asbestos in the 70s. He lived on either Breck Rd or Selsby or Bromsgrove Avenue, Winton, Eccles in 1971.
Also just added The Three Aces from Radcliffe/Bury area - need more info. Can anyone come up trumps with more info?
And another question:
I wonder if any of our readers can remember a group of young boy singers who were known as "The Six Lancashire Lads" from the mid-fifties? Yes, a long time ago now! These guys were so good that they were invited to appear on television - no mean feat all those years ago.
When they became teenagers the name of the group was changed to "The Six Lancashire Teenagers" but, although they really were excellent performers, they sadly never caught on and faded into obscurity. One of their group was called Alan Morton, who went to school at Spurley Hey.
Just got back from a few days in Wagga Wagga (honest) and saw this sad news.
Hi, I am Harry Eastham's nephew, unfortunately Harry "the man" has just passed away on the 15/2/12 after a battle with cancer.He always loved to talk about his days in the groups. His funeral will take place on Thursday 23rd at Pleasington Crematoriom 3 pm.
Interesting review of Wayne Fontana and the Mondbenders/Mindbenders music here
The Greatstone Hotel has a motown/soulnight on the second Saturday of every month and a real northern night on the first Saturday. Adrian Dowd will be behind the bar and there is a buffet supper included in the price of the ticket.
"We are always pleased to see anyone from the Browns days. We have some great nights please come. Harry Nightingale and Dennis Campbell both ex Browns will be doing the DJ-ing on the 11th and proceeds go to Christies so its worth coming."
As well as lots of personal memories added to various pages, just added the Rising Five from Burnage. Love the pork pie hat, Brian - we will make you a ska boy yet!
Picture is worth a look for memories of what the front of Picadilly Wollies looked like! Remember the record counter there? Remember records?
Just added a very nice college of images (courtesy Brian Smith) from Blues & Rhythm magazine (266) of T Bone Walker at the Free Trade Hall in 1962.
Just back from a few days away, so catching up. Just added an update to The Sweet Life and a new group from Burnley (thanks Tony), So On and So Forth - interesting line-up! Also an update to Speed and new group Pollution from Rochdale.
Happy Birthday to Brian Higham of Barratts and The Harbour Lights. And, speaking of BH and the recent profusion of plausible Palace performance posters providing publicity/promotional info, here's one gig (on the left) that really did happen!
Would anyone be interested in a Manor Lounge renunion? I have use of a club in Stockport called Replay, only 5 minutes from where The Manor Lounge used to be. It has a perfect private party suite and we'd really like to arrange a night - a live band, dancing to real music, just like it used be!
Not to be outdone by the Barbeque67 gig in the wilds of Lincolnshire (below), Eric Sandiford has sent us this slightly earlier gig - also a quid. Hardly seems worth a pound really, groups ok but no hotdogs! What a swizz.
Eric points out its odd that Floyd got top billing. I personally like the statement "Come and watch the pretty lights". Also, seems odd for The Palace to be open till dawn.
Another great gig I missed (did see Hendrix at NCH though) In a similar act of stupidity, I had the choice of either Floyd in Stockport (fairly sure it was The Tabernacle) or another band with an incredible lights show at St Bernadettes. Being a Moss Side kid, a bit tight and always broke, I could walk home from from Bernies, so thats where I went. Missed the Floyd and instead saw Carl Douglas and the Big Stampede. Carl Douglas didn't turn up and all the band had was an 8mm film of them playing around in a park. I wuz robbed!
Breaking news! Super-sleuth Keith Fairhurst has found that although the event did actually happen, sadly not in Manchester. The event was at The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm in London. Plus it was only 15 bob.
Sadly, the poster is a repro (but a nice poster nevertheless).
Getting very worried about manchesterbeat books. Hardly any left and I know there are many of you out there who still haven't got the set.
Please don't leave it too late - only about a dozen Vol 4 and about the same for Vol 5.
Get in quick - honestly, not a sales ad, when they are gone, thats it.
Increased postage (now about 6 pounds) plus the combination of the weak pound means that they are genuinely below cost at a tenner inclusive. No reprints sadly.
And getting on top of emails! Does anyone remember the 88 Club in Gorton? Love some info.
Just added info on Smile Recording Studios - be good to add any anecdotes of recording there. Oddly, just noticed no info on InterCity/Nield and Hardy and A1. Any help there also?
Finally got a decent replacement for the newsletter. Apologies if you got an email twice but won't happen again.
Been looking for info on the Bee Hive, Swinton info for ages - played there a couple of times but nothing I can remember. On the other hand Chris Bowden - Paul Fenda and the Teenbeats - remembers it well! Have a read.
Seasons Greetings to everyone!
Finally got some time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Thanks for your support over the years - what a tremendous record of the Manchester area's music scene!
Just added Harpo and Mac (Burnage) plus what seems like zillions of small snippets - the ones that really add to pages and bring some great memories. My fav one at the moment is from Steve Povall who comment son Northwich Memorial "Missed the Beatles gig - no dosh." Reminds me so much of the way it was for so many of us!
Keep 'em coming!
For the many of you who have emailed to ask where the newsletter is ... read on (both of you)
Due to the size of the mailing list (now over 1,000) when I last sent out the newsletter, I was branded a spammer and I was refused access to my websites (over 150).
This was obviously a little problematic :-)
It seems if I send over 200 mails per hour, I am possibly a charlatan.
So, I am trying to find time to split the mailing list into smaller lists, which can then be sent out individually.
Need to get back soon, as I am desperately trying to offload my final 32 copies of Vol5 and 7 of Vol4. My wife wants the space for her collection of Smurf figurines.
The newsletter allows me to put in corny ads to push the books on to unsuspecting subscribers. I like one's like "books are currently sold below cost" - which although true, is intended to make me appear altruistic (look it up). Another is "only a few left - will not be reprinted" - again true and intended to put the fear of God into those of you who have not yet secured their copy..
The books are the best thing you will get for a tenner (unless holidaying in parts of SE Asia - I am told).