First time I recall Reg was about 1971/2.
I was with a duo and we played at Oceans 11 club on Birchfields Road which used to be a skating rink and later the International club. He was with the resident group but subsequently became a touring band around the clubs as the Reg Coates Combo and later, I think, Reg Coates Experience. He was very popular and had a habit of linking two or three songs together in a sort of mini medley.
I am probably one of the few Manchester musicians who did not play in his band at some time!
I was lead guitar in a resident band at Walker's Club,Warrington.We had a lot of good guest bands on every weekend, but THE FAVOURITE was always Reg Coates and his Experience. Use to 'sell out' on the door everytime.
A great frontman, he would whip the girls up into a frenzy, sort of Tom Jones on speed! All flairs, gold chains, big collars! His big number was always 'Love is in the air'.
Backstage was a different matter, the band always seem to be argueing about everything, Not sure if he ever paid them.
Also remember his battered PA always playing up.
Tommy and me loved Reg. We used to do the same clubs at the same time as him - he was a legend!
Had many brilliant nights with the Reg Coates Experience at The Pembroke Halls, Walkden.....superb!!
Reg Coates - fabulous group! When they played 'The Haven Club' Hensingham Nr Whitehaven Cumbria - had to queue form 5.30 ish - for their performance at around 8.00 as we had to get a seat. Great times.
I remember being booked at "Offerton Palace" on Turncroft Lane Offerton around '65ish. We were a young group consisting of a lead, bass & drums setup, with a vocal harmony sound. Our job was to fill the gap before the main act with the usual get up and dance numbers plus a couple of Four Seasons and Beachboy songs we were trying out.
Imagine our surprise when the "Compere" came rushing on stage halfway through our spot waving his arm's insisting we cease playing immediately as we were doing the main act's program - (Reg Coates Combo), after an exciting exchange of words on stage in which the "Compere" resorted to physical threats allegedly passed on from a spokesperson in the Reg Coates Combo.
As Mr Coates had allegedly a certain reputation in getting his own way, we decided, discretion being the better part etc. - to follow the Compere's suggestion and went home, really quite chuffed because a professional band had obviously considered us a musical threat.
Needless to say we refrained from further bookings at the venue, we also made sure we and the "Reg Coates Combo" never appeared on the same bill again.
I remember Reg Coates in the 60s & 70s in local caberet clubs, Domino, Southern, Broadway just to mention a few, then in the 80s & 90s Manchester clubs and larger working mens clubs, a few years ago he was at Big Wigs a pub/club in Audenshaw.
He still always puts on a great show and is super fit - all the women still love him, keep it up Reg for as long as you can you are a dying breed. I would love to see cabaret clubs make a come back, but thats just wishful thinking.
Hello to all fans of the Reg Coates Combo - they are the best. Ran with them in the 60s and have to many good times to tell about but did any one know Reg was a fantastic car body repairer?
I played guitar for Reg in the early 70's-it was my suggestion that "combo" was a bit dated and suggested that as Hendrix had died we could use his old bands name. The band was so popular in Manchester that on my nights off I could go to virtually every club in town and get free admission as all the door staff knew me - happy days!
I first saw Reg Coates perform in Burnley, the night J F Kennedy was shot. I met him again at the Levensume Sporting Club and the Princess Club.. I was then the fan club manager of the Warriors from Acrington. I did go out with Reg, his full time job was a Panel beater. He lived in Bland Street Moss Side. A real ladies man with lots of charm, I last saw him sing at Bernard Mannings Club shortly before Bernard died. He could still belt out a song. The 60's was a great time to be young as we had such a vast number of Clubs and Pubs with an endless amount of great talent. I do hope Reg is still out and about he was definetly the Elvis of Manchester.