The Pandemonium
1967 to 1970 – Oldham


Line-up  
   
Ian Bradley guitar
Jim Warburton drums
Geoff Walker bass
   
Phil Hough drums

The original line up was myself, Geoff Walker on bass guitar, my school mate Ian Bradley on guitar and Jim Warburton on drums.

We were based at Fitton Hill Youth Club in Oldham and we used the cellar to rehearse in.

The photo with the three of us with Ian playing an Eko jumbo guitar was taken in the cellar.

The first bass guitar that I had I got from Mazel Radio in Manchester – it cost me £3 and I covered it round the edge in dark brown fur, and used big white lettraset to put the name “Rickenbacker” across the front of it. That’s the bass that is in these pictures.

The amplifier I used originally was a Linear Concorde amplifier with a big metal mesh cage on top of it to let the heat from the valves out – it was rated at 30 watts RMS and I used it to drive a Selmer “Goliath” 18” speaker cabinet.

Later I got a Hagstrom bass guitar and a bass combo amplifier which was a 50 watt Geloso amplifier (made in Italy) fitted into an old Vox AC 30 cabinet with heavier speakers and a single piece of heavy plywood across the back instead of the usual open arrangement.

Ian Bradley’s dad bought him the Vox AC30 top boost amp that is in these pictures and the guitar which was a Stratocaster lookalike but made by Vox as well.

It was a great guitar, pale blue, and it had a Palm Mute device fitted on the bridge which you could hold down to play the muted “Shadows” sounds. It weighed a ton though and he traded it in and got a brand new cherry red Gibson 335 guitar instead, plus a Vox cry baby wah pedal and an Arbiter Fuzz Face distortion pedal.

You can also see the PA we had – a TVM with two column speakers – I am using a Reslo ribbon microphone in one of the pictures, but we would end up getting the good old Shure Unidyne B microphones which were much more robust.



pandemonium

 

   

ticket

business card

Jim, our first drummer was always coming out from behind the drums to sing and so we tried out and used several drummers before we wound up with Phil Hough, who was a local bookmakers son, as our permanent guy.

We set off by just playing at the youth club for a start, which was run by Ernie Mellor – I think it was him that took the photo’s on my old Brownie camera.

We played at the Hathershaw Hotel, just down the road from the youth club for our first paid gig for £6, and the guy who initially acted as our agent was Peter “Maxy” a local DJ.

After that we moved on to the Globe in Ashton (now the Witchwood) where the Hollies set off, and we used to play the Talbot in Stalybridge a fair bit – we had moved on to £9, £15 and were on a heady £20 to £25 soon afterwards.

I particularly remember playing when we had heard Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” – we went out and bought the sheet music from the Music Exchange in Manchester and rehearsed it and played it on the Saturday night at a pub which I think was the Colliers Arms on George Street in Oldham– it went down a bomb!

We used to do the more adventurous covers – Morning Dew by Tim Rose; Hey Joe, Fire, Stone Free by Hendrix; Sunshine of Your Love and Strange Brew by Cream; I  Can See For Miles by The Who – I think you get the drift of it.

We used to get a fair bit of work, and we wound up buying an old ex Post Office J4 Diesel van which was really secure when you left it with gear in, it had an armoured plate bulkhead between the cab and the back of the van.

There is the story of how we were approached by the Embassy record label – they used to do “Cheap” versions of singles by cover artists for sale in Woolworths.

The guy had heard us and said he wanted us to do cover versions for them, but of course being big headed we said “No way, we want to do our own stuff.”

A pity really as they were part of the Oriole label that was big in the USA.

When I left in 1970 I got my mate Jerry Birch from Bolton, who had been playing in bands for longer than me, to take up my post on bass.

GeofF Walker

Jimmy Warburton's mum made the best home brewed beer ever! Jimmy was also a some-time roadie for Mick the Fed!

Pam Lees
21/9/13

   



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