Around 1957/58 I played piano in a band from Radcliffe called the INVADERS. The fact that we had a keyboard was unusual at the time, and meant that our gigs were somewhat limited to venues that had a piano on stage.
We played mostly top 20 American pop/rock and called ourselves a 'rhythm group' to distinguish us from the many skiffle groups doing the circuit in those days.
We had no proper agent as the dad of the guitarist would get us our 'bookings'. We played at some memorable places mainly in North Manchester eg 3 gigs at FRANKENBERGS club in Cheetham Hill where we shared a dressing room with a huge muscular female impersonator who would look at us and say with a menacing deep voice "who the **ck are you looking at".
We played a couple times at Newton Heath Palais where on our final gig we were chased off the stage by a dozen jealous Teddy Boys. One of our best gigs was as a contestant in the CARROL LEVIS talent show at Hulme Hippodrome where a band from Liverpool the QUARRYMEN didn't win! (us neither).
Unfortunately some of these lads have since passed on, although I generally drop in on Eric Lever when I'm ever in the UK. I went into the Merchant Navy in 1960 and on one my ships (the passenger ship ORONSAY) I once again played in a band called 'Eddy Downham and the Wingers' and actually cut a 45 demo in Sydney.
Came out of the MN in '64 and hooked up with Doug again and we formed a a trio keyboards/guitar/drums called the ORIGINAL THREE. Playing mostly working mens clubs in North Manchester. The roughest place I ever played at was LANGLEY LABOUR CLUB in Middleton, it was positively one scarey venue.
I ended my run with the Original three in '67 when me and the Mrs went to Canada. Dougie Beesley continued in the biz and worked (led) in a house band on the Mecca circuit and sometimes performing as singer/compere called BO JANGLES mainly at a club in Swinton.
In Canada I met a guy from Stalybridge called Geoff Kershaw (aka Geoff Shaw) and we started a band in the mid 70s called the DIPLOMATS (old pop-rock) playing at legions and bars.
I was in the Cambridge(Eng)area for a spell in 1980 and joined Geoffs band LIMOUSINE for a few months (top 40 and classic pop-rock) playing at weddings, works dances and stately homes. Until recently Geoff Shaw has stayed active mainly as a single entertainer. It was Geoff who told me of the MCR Beat site.