Musically a very sound band - mainly soul but some covers that would be classed as "experimental" at the time. Some Alan Bown stuff, as I remember.
Went out for a time as "Skid Row".
Eventually went "cabaret" with a girl singer.
Saxist "HoraIto" played with Campus, who did a stint backing Jimmy "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" Ruffin.
I played drums as a stand in with the Alan Hare Big Band on New Years Eve 1967. I was aged 14, went on the bus on my own with my kit and got a taxi home.
Art Nouveau were the pop group on the evening and good they were too, the drummer had a brand new black Ludwig Kit. Mine was an old 1930's kit but right for the big band sound.
The acoustics were not clever as the venue was Rochdale Town Hall Ballroom. The Ceiling is about 200' high.
I have a Night out at Fagins club LP here in Vancouver. It features Art Nouveau. They sound very nervous probably because it was at that time a very upmarket venue. They played a Bread song (IF).
I am surprised there is not a great deal of information regarding our band as we had a large band and great success.
I joined the group when I left the Royal Artillery Band due to the death of my father. I remember the van which had antlers on the roof being parked outside of Barratts where we congreated on Saturday and tried out instruments but rarely bought them. I also remember A1 shop that repaired gear that was just off Oxford Road.
The group consisted of (I think) John Murray (drums), Kev Hart? (organ), Terry Welch (guitar), Bert ? (guitar, fender strat) and Pete (bass) who always had his girlfriend called Elaine or E something. Our star singer was Larry Edwards who worked in Kendalls with his mum and grandma. I later saw him in Portsmouth.
We seemed very popular and had great times and it was so exciting to buy the new blue transit long wheel base JYM 556D ? with aircraft seats - we had arrived. With kaftans and makeup we were a scarey lot and my Emo stepson seems to be following the trend.
We had others in the groups that came from Art Nouveau like Skid Row - what a name - possibly described us well. There was Des Tongue, who very much later was in Sad Cafe, a guy on trumpet called Rod who always used Brut.
I later joined some ex St Louis Union guys to work with Jimmy Ruffin. Dave the organist was from Manchester and Faz the guitarist with red hair. Another was very tall and nicknamed the 3 masted schooner!.
Later I became more involved in management and playing working with Jimmy more closely until I left in 1973 to go to the Royal Academy of Music. Here everyone was trying to do gigs and many of the things I had just stopped doing - c'est la vie. We make decisions in life and I must have made many stupid ones - like many others no doubt.
Now at 58 I am still involved in music, managing a multi million business and trying to capture my youth with rock projects. I am taking 1200 young people and their supporters to the Royal Albert Hall on April 4th 2008 with 27 over 40 year old beginners who will do their first Rock gig in the RAH - we hope to perform 'Smoke on the Water'
Best wishes to all of those who provided a great musical scene in Manchester in the 60s and 70s.
David (Horatio) Kenyon
I was in Art Nouveau for a while, I was lead vocals and guitar, I only really remember Terry Walsh on bass guitar and vocals, (I believe Terry died a couple of years ago) he was a really nice guy and I am sure he is sadly missed, the only other guy I remember was a guy called Jess on keyboards, When I was with them they were doing cover stuff, very good harmonies and very tight music.
I remember playing trumpet with Art Noveau in the very earliest days of it's formation. I think the guy who's listed as trumpet player was Rod Dunsford - a very capable guy!
At that time, I had also been playing with a group known as 'The Dreamweavers' and I'm not certain, but I think that same group developed into 'The A Side'. It's all something of a blur now (it was 40 odd years ago !) but, I distinctly remember making a recording in Stockport. The recording engineer was (Ugly) Ray Teret - a really nice guy as I remember.
At that time, I hadn't considered changing my surname (it was Pitt - not very rock'n roll?) but I changed my surname in 1972 and went on to become a music arranger/orchestrator and conductor. In the 1980's I was conducting and arranging for the BBC Radio Orchestras (all of them) and my most recent activities have been writing scores for Hollywood film and conducting some gigs with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and being resident conductor of the National Concert Orchestra.
Anyone who remembers the early days with Art Noveau or either of the other groups I mention - I'd love to hear from you.
Great days which, although a bit cloudy now in my memory (well come on - I'm 62 now !) still evoke very fond memories.
By 1974, Art Nouveau had become a cabaret band , with Terry Welsh on bass the only original member from the early days. They featured a girl called Sue on keyboards and vocals.
In 1974, they appeared on the second series of talent show, New Faces , singing The Lightening Tree (cover of the Settlers song which was also a TV theme tune, I think it was Programme Follyfoot). They won their heat and went through to the All Winners Final where they were on with Showaddywaddy.
By 1975 / 76, they had metamorphasised into a bit of a curious (but decent) Rock / Cabaret band . The line up was Terry Welsh on Bass, Roy Rogers on Drums, Paul Munroe on Guitar and a lad from Keighley, Pete Brook, on keyboards and Lead Vocals.
Their set had an eclectic mix of material e.g. they opened with Happy Together which bizarrely ended with a snatch of screaming guitar playing Bach's Jezu , Joy of Man's Desiring and then segued into cover of Vanilla Fudge's version of You Keep Me Hanging On ! Then came sugary sweet ballad Feelings (Maurice Albert). Other songs in the set included Rudy off Supertramp's Crime of the Century and Life on Mars.
In 1977, aged 18 , I took over from Pete Brook on Keyboards and Phil Platt replaced Paul Munro on guitar and Lead Vocals. Phil left the band around Christmas 1977.
Before we looked for another guitarist, in Feb 1978, we were offered a gig in Dubai but we needed a girl singer and our agent put us together as a trio with Marie Smith from Love Lane and formerly a backing singer with Polly Brown (Picketty Witch and Sweet Dreams).
The agent had taken a flyer and told the Dubai bookers that he had a band called Silver Blue so all the contracts had been drawn up in that name , so that's what we became and the Art Nouveau name pretty much ended at that point.
We got back from Dubai in the summer and did some gigs in the UK for a few weeks but the rest of the band wanted to get back out to the lucrative work in Dubai so we parted company. I wanted to try and get a bit of a name in the UK so I joined Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders and had great fun for the next 3 years with them. The rest of the band carried on under the name Laissez Faire and Pete Brook rejoined them with his wife , Nettie, also singing.
The guy who was there from beginning to end was Terry Welch . A lovely guy . He sadly died about 10 years ago. There were many of the guys who had played in the various incarnations of Art Nouveau at the funeral and in typical fashion we were all smiling as he disappeared through the curtains to the strains of "Always Look in The Bright Side of Life".
In the '90's , a few of the guys who had been in the band in the early days, e.g. Larry Edwards (vocals), Rod Dunford (trumpet), Brian Pearson (great drummer), Pete Taylor (guitar) got back together in a band called Souled As Seen , doing classic Stax / Atlantic soul covers. I played with them for a while in the formation period. I think they are still going , though Brian retired about 10 years ago.
As for me, in the 80's I played with 2 of the other guys in the Mindbenders when I was with them (Ken Anders and Neil Reading) in a band called Baktrak , who are listed elsewhere on here. In the 90's amongst lots of other things , I played with the guitar player from the Mindbenders , Dave Lowarch, in a band called Steve's Garage and these days , now in my '50's, I'm playing keyboards with John Lees Barclay James Harvest.
Final Line up taken in Feb 1978.
Line up is (left to right)
Roy Rogers - Drums & Vocals
Marie Smith - Vocals
Terry Welsh - Bass & Vocals
Jez Smith - Keyboards & Vocals
I was put in touch with the band through the Allan Arnison Agency of Stockport.
I've also read the sad news about Terry and regret missing his funeral but then again I live in Warrington now and lost touch with everyone a long time ago.
Is the Greg Francis listed the same man from whom I got some Dots when I went solo as Christopher Wren circa 1977?
I am at present still singing as Compere at Derby Ward Labour Club in Bolton
Just a quick note to Arthur (aka Christopher Wren)- it is indeed I - one and the same, and I hastily apologise for those 'Dots' ... I'm sure they were pretty naff. I'd only just started to teach myself arranging at that time - I learned very quickly though, once I left Manchester in 1979.
If it compensates in any way Arthur, I did improve to the extent that, I wrote most of the arrangements for the Miss World Orchestra between 1981 - 86, and have gone on to write film scores in Hollywood, conduct the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, playing my 'pop' arrangements, and now I conduct the National Concert Orchestra of Great Britain. This year so far, we've backed the 'Meatloaf' tour with Steve Steinman, and toured with a Vienna Proms concert.
Quite an interesting variety of music - but I still miss the 'soul music' !
My dad Roy Rogers was the drummer in 1978 I think and was wondering if there was any recordings and how to get hold of them.
Just seen the pic of Art Nouveau ! Bert Dickinson is alive and well and still gigging with our band - The Watson Brown Band. We do mainly 60's and 70's covers with a few soul and rock and rollers thrown in.
Bert joined us some time after Art Nouveau split up in the 70's. We were a five piece with Ian Warhurst on drums, Matteo Sassanelli, bass, Bert on lead, Pete from Stockport lead vocals, me on guitar and vocals, going out as the Baltimore Switch in and around the Manchester area for around three years.
Pete left to pursue a solo career and the band split later that year. We lost touch for a number of years, but myself, Ian and Matteo decided to reform around 10 years ago and actually did a surprise gig for Bert's 50th ... he ended up joining the band!
David is till alive and well in Bournemouth teaching music to 700 children in a junior school he-he. Seems Bert is still with us - wonder about the others - we know Terry passed away - one of life's beautiful people - he was such a lovely man.
Larry is in Bury with his band Soul ????????? and making fudge.
Well hello there everybody. Larry Edwards here alive and kicking and still gigging. Check out www.souledasseen.com formed over 20 years ago. Cant pack it in, still get the buzz.
Anyhow great memories of Art Nouveau . Sadly last meet up was Terry's funeral. What a star turn Terry was, I ever seemed to stop laughing whenever I was in his company, such a larger than life character.
Not seen Kevin Harte since I had Mecca band at Portsmouth Locarno 1974. Nice to hear from all the different posts re Art Nouveau though some are later on after 68.
Didn't know Greg Pitt was Greg Francis, Rod Dunford only played with Henderson Chambers Band not Art Nouveau, another great trumpeter.
Still listen to Alan Bown occasionally brings back great memories of Art Nouveau cos that was the band we most wanted to be like.
Seems hard to believe its 45 years ago.
Hope everybody is doing OK.
Ps yes I do make fudge in Whitworth!
Larry Edwards certainly did work at Kendall's because I worked there with him. There were a number of us playing in different groups, Keith Homewood and Nigel Holloway were doing the traditional folk thing and I was in Triple Vintage writing our own material very influenced by people like Al Steward and his Bedsitter Images album. Lunch in the canteen was one long discussion on music and comedy.
The main thing I remember about Larry was he was a super nice guy with a great voice and he was taking the whole music thing a lot more seriously than any of the rest of us. I also remember a guitar player working there with us name of Paul Banford who was crazy good and quit because his girlfriend didn't like him being in a group!
ART NOUVEAU ! GOOD MATES ! TERRY AN I LIVED TOGETHER IN A FLAT WHEN WE WERE FWUERKIN BROKE EVEN NICKED BOX OF EGGS (1 GROSS 144 ?) WE ATE EGGS WITH EVERYTHING x phew ! KNEW ALL U GUYS WITH AFFECTION X MISS TERRY !!
HARRY THE FWUERK XXXX 20/10/13
I would love to say hello to Larry after all these years. www.paulmuggleston.com is my website and I have now pretty much retired and am spending a lot of time in Mexico on my sailboat.
I would love to know what happened to our "Roadie" Dave and the Commer Van with the horns attached to the roof.
Though I was with the group only a short while the memories are solid and I remember going to Kendall's for whatever reason and we had this double finger dance thing we did with anyone who sort of looked at us!!...Just TOOOO good and a magic part of my life.
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Just curious - I can't find mention of the excellent vocalist Paul Howard. He came to compere when I was MD at Blighty's and I am sure that hew was ex-Art N. Does anyone know hat he is doing now? Also a BIG hi to Greg Francis.... Greg could ... Read More
Just curious - I can't find mention of the excellent vocalist Paul Howard. He came to compere when I was MD at Blighty's and I am sure that hew was ex-Art N. Does anyone know hat he is doing now?Also a BIG hi to Greg Francis.... Greg could you say a big hello to your sister please..... and if you have a minute between your Blackpool work it would be nice to hear from you. - Have a GREAT day all!
My wife was called Shirley Barber prior to our marriage in 1967. Her cousin we believe was a vocalist in the band( Howard Barber originally from Hartlepool, where we live) I can't see any mention of Howard, I remember my band playing with the ... Read More
My wife was called Shirley Barber prior to our marriage in 1967. Her cousin we believe was a vocalist in the band( Howard Barber originally from Hartlepool, where we live) I can't see any mention of Howard, I remember my band playing with the group a few times one in particular at the Argus Butterfly in Peterlee.Shirley and I became a duo in the 70s and the last time we saw Howard was at her dads funera 20 years ago.