Comprising of Rob Parkes (drums vocals aged 10 !! Steve Parkes (bass vocals) aged 12!! Kev Bowden keyboards) aged 14!! Alan Bancroft (guitar vocals) aged 14!! and various similar age lead guitar players, including Roger Paton, Pete Cundill, and Ray Platt.
We were for sure the youngest gigging band at the time, and not only played the usual youth club gigs, but also venues such as the Offerton Palace club, the Buckingham Club, Manchester, and many more.
We were reported to the Stockport education authority for playing too many hours, and my father (Stockport bookmaker Sammy Parkes) was threatened with court action!
We were managed by Len Young, who also managed the Kaye Sisters and Donald Peers!
We all went on to other bands, but that's another story!!!!!
Kev Bowden went on to join Ginhouse then the Alvin Stardust band. Myself and brother Steve went on to join Love Lane and Sweet Dreams.
I have more recently fronted "A tribute to Matt Monro" touring theatres with the 16 piece "Blackpool Tower Big Band", and my brother is still gigging in Spain.
Robert Parkes 16/2/09
Just remembered !! We also took part in a group competition held at the Manor Lounge Stockport.
There were many of the top groups from Manchester there. I remember the Soul Executives, Cyclones, Deek Rivers, etc. Also the Red Admirals, and a group called the Halons.
At the time, the Toggery five were managed by Mike Cohen of the Toggery boutique. "Halons" was also a clothes shop, and they sponsored the Halons.
The competition was organised by the Rhythm House Stockport, and I remember one of the prizes was an AC30.
All the groups names were picked out of a hat, and we were first on !! We were nervous as hell being only kids playing in front of around 30 experienced groups, but they all gave up a great reception !! For our 2 songs allocated, we did "Walking the dog" and "Wipeout". Happy Days !!!
Although we didn't win, as a result of being seen there, I played drums for the Cyclones shortly after at the tender age of 12 !!
Robert Parkes 23/2/09
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Just been reminded that our name "The Orphans" was given to us by Deke Rivers from Deke Rivers and the big sound.....Deke was going out with my sister at the time and was great to us as kids and came to the odd gig with us.... We had a gig ... Read More
Just been reminded that our name "The Orphans" was given to us by Deke Rivers from Deke Rivers and the big sound.....Deke was going out with my sister at the time and was great to us as kids and came to the odd gig with us.... We had a gig at the Buckingham casino Manchester owned by a pal of my Dad, Syd Siddotti....Remember I was 10 years old at the time....seems crazy now !!... the great 50's singer Ronnie Carroll and most of the Manchester "faces" were there.. Manchester was so exciting in those days with clubs everywhere....I also used to go and watch Deke and the band now and again, and they would sneak me in to the venue when they could....I remember they usually started with "Little Egypt" ....Johnny Murphy on guitar was great.....Happy days !!!
Lovely to read you comments Ian. You were a pretty cool person as well. A fantastic footballer and the best girl puller I ever knew! I hope that you and your family are well. Take care and keep smiling! Best wishes, You pal forever, Jeff x :) x
Remember going to Rob and Steves house in Heaton Moor with my school pal Jeff Parks when I was about 8 or 9 .Great musical family Jeff played in a band then called Little Jeff and the black jacks.Rob spent hours trying to make me into a drummer so I ... Read More
Remember going to Rob and Steves house in Heaton Moor with my school pal Jeff Parks when I was about 8 or 9 .Great musical family Jeff played in a band then called Little Jeff and the black jacks.Rob spent hours trying to make me into a drummer so I could be in the band with my pal Jeff never happened.It was great times as dad Sam got them all the best gear beatle bass guitar fantastic drum kits .They played at the kids Christmas party in Heaton Norris it was magical for a young lad like watching top of the pops.The site of Rob standing playing weipe out and doing the solo on the front of the big base drum.What a cool family hope they are all well.