Merv's Bardots

Line-up included
Merv (Melvyn) Horrocks Rhythm
Ian 'Bubble' Todd Guitar or bass
Johnny Hart Drums
Keith McDonald Bass
Richard Bimson Vocals
Tony Best Vocals
Alan 'Twig' Quigley Vocals
Derek Foley Lead
Phil Quigley Drums
Pat McQuillen Bass

Merv's played with The Bardots, Mervs Bardots, The Black Watch, The Clyne County Four, The Sioux Showband and very briefly backed Cannon & Ball who were then called The Harper Brothers.

Mervs Bardots


Merv (Mervyn Horrocks) 1963.

Mervs Bardots

Mervs Bardots


The Bardots: Unknown singer, Mervyn Horrocks lead, Ian Todd rhythm and itchy neck (below), Kieth McDonald bass,
Johnny Hart drums.  Taken at Aldwyn youth club Audenshaw about 1962. 
Used to play regular at The New Luxor Club.

I think!!! the uknown singer refered to in the photo aboveis a guy called Trevor Hopkins. He was also singer in the band "Pip & The Popcorns" fabulous showman from recollection  !Played alongside him in a scratch band about 1964 ish. Tony Heath would probably be able to confirm this guy.

David Roylance


Line-up #1
Courtesy Phil Quigley

  Nevadas Nevadas    
Merv .... Derek Foley Phil Quigley Alan Quigley Tony Best
Rhythm guitar Lead guitar Drums Vocals Vocals
  Grisby Dyke
Bond and Brown
Chosen Few    
  • Phil, Alan and Derek are cousins.
  • Mac from Oldham - Roadie– 63/64 - drove the Bedford Van
  • Pete’ and Tony Vallente? - Roadies - drove the Thames Van

Line-up #2
Courtesy Tony Heath, who joined the band in 1961 or 1962 and was the drummer until the break-up in 1966

Merv .... Derek Foley Tony Heath Alan Quigley Tony Best Ian 'Bubble'
Rhythm guitar Lead guitar Drums Vocals Vocals Bass
  Grisby Dyke
Bond and Brown

After the break-up Tony played with the briefly reformed Mervs Bardot. The only members of this line up Tony can remember are: a guy called Colin who played guitar and another drummer (they had 2) called Algeo. Both these guys came from the same band.

  • Tony has no idea where Merve is now.
  • Tony Best became a solo singer and changed his name to Tony Simons working the Clubs. He is now selling property in Spain.
  • Alan Quigley moved to the North East and owns a successful plumbing business.
  • Derek Foley played with Palladin, went to America and became one of America’s top session musicians.
  • Ian (Bubble) lives somewhere in the South.
  • Tony Heath is still playing, backing cabaret, ads and doing session work. He also works with ‘The Bachelors’.

When Tony left Mervs Bardots and went in to backing cabaret, he worked with Clive Allen of ‘The Clive Allen Sound" who also has a long career in the business. Clive, incidentally, remembers going to see Merv's Bardots. Clive was still wearing his school uniform, including short pants!

Tony remembers that on one of the gigs, Merv painted the van with the name SMALL FACES. The following morning the van was covered in lipstick kisses and messages. Why The Small Faces? Tony says, “we were supporting act to The Small Faces the week before at Ashton Palais’.

From Paul, webmaster: I can remember putting "THE FREE" on the back of our trannie on the way to Carlisle. They had just got to number one and no one really knew what they looked like, so we mooned at people and gave rude signs.

Line-up #3
Info courtesy David Roylance

Merv Horrocks Ian Todd Johnny Hart Richard Bimson Keith Macdonald
Guitar Guitar Drums Vocals Bass

I was in another band (Banshee) with Tony Heath, Stan Kwesi Nelson and Tony Heath but we all used to hang out together and join each others rehearsals.

David Roylance

Merve’s Bardots played venues such as:

  • The Top 20 Club - Droylsden (Dave Eager was DJ there)
  • The Top 20 Club - Failsworth
  • All the dance halls in Middleton and Oldham
  • Youth Cubs - too many to mention
  • The Top Ten Club - Belle Vue
  • Bury Palais
  • Ashton Palais
  • The Ice Rink - Derby Street, Cheetham Hill (It was Bloody Freezing)
  • Beat City - Fountain Street, Manchester (These were all night shows)
  • The Cavern - Manchester
  • The Cavern - Liverpool
  • Mr Smiths - Winsford

Mervs Bardots


The group at a party 17th November 2007

L to R: Alan Quigley  (vocals), Tony Valente (roadie), Tony Best (vocals),  Ian (Bubble),  Merve himself,
Front: Tony Heath (drums)

Tony Valente was the roadie for nearly every band in Manchester. He was ours for a time and saved the life of the guitarist by yanking the plug from the wall when Roy was getting 240 volts.
Danny Hardman

Merv has two sons in the business, Johnny (bassist in Gumshaw) and Sion (bassist in Bootnic),

Mervs Bardots - June 2008 - photo includes Pat Mcquillan on the left

Here are a few YouTube links that may be of interest
Tony Best

Me doing the "killers" at my local - bear with it for the first few secs as the wife was using the video camera for the first time!!
The next one is a duet with my daughter - the very beautiful and talented Lucy Valentine.
Lucy on her own. Surprising how many of the old sixties acts have kids in the business now.

Pat McQuillan celebrates his 70th birthday this Friday - the owd bugger can still rock!

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Comments (7)

Topic: Mervs bardots
Tony Best says...
Sadly I have just found out that our lead guitarist Derek Foley passed away in November 2014. He had lived in New York for a number of years. He joined a band called Paladin whose CD Charge was met with critical acclaim.
4th January 2015 12:50pm
Pat Mcquillan says...
So sorry to here of the death of Derik folly god bless him R.I.P. he was a brilliant guitarist a sad loss
13th April 2015 1:54am
Sandy Hamand says...
Sad news about Derek Foley loved you in the 60's so you RIP Derek until we meet again. If anyone has any info about Derek after 1972 please email me
Sandy xx
6th October 2015 11:11pm
Danny Hardman says...
Sad news about Derek Foley, a lot of musicians from his home town of Middleton were inspired by his talent.
18th April 2015 8:03pm
Les Hall says...
Very sorry to hear the sad news about Derek our old lead guitarist. On the road with him for a few years with Tamla Express.
19th April 2015 10:26pm
Roy Costigan says...
Sad to hear of Derek Foley,s death. We were school mates. Great guitarist even at the age of 15. Used to go round to his house when we were supposed to be cross country running. We would break out the cigs and Derek would get out his Burns guitar ... Read More
20th April 2015 3:46am
Tony Gardner says...
Very sad to hear of Derek's death. he was an outstanding guitarist. I played bass with him once and he taught me the difference between a major and a minor scale when I hadn't a clue!
23rd October 2015 9:17pm

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