They were one of the support bands for the Beatles at Middleton Co-op Hall on 11th April 1963. The Middleton newspaper reported the gig:
ON THURSDAY 11th April 1963, four Liverpool lads, all in their early 20s, brought a touch of Tin Pan alley stardust to Middleton.
For well over an hour in the Co-op Hall, Long Street, 300 screaming teenagers jived and twisted to the bouncing rhythm of beat ballads being performed by The Beatles.
The music was deafening and the record fans were keyed up to a fever pitch. Almost hysterical enthusiasm hit you in the face as you walked in, but promoter Barry Chaytow had taken great care in making sure that if his patrons did not get over-excited there were sufficient "bouncers" to take care of the trouble.
He could have saved himself a great deal of expense in that direction, because they were not needed. The teenagers were there to see and hear The Beatles and everything else became secondary.
The boys and girls certainly got their money's worth. This group which turned professional almost as soon as it was formed two years ago has carved itself two unforgettable niches in the charts with Love Me Do and Please, Please Me. Though their earlier work was confined to backing other artists on the Continent, they have now earned a place in show business with their undeniable talent and unassuming manner.
Perhaps one of the reasons for their success is the fact that most of their work is completely original and they seem to have an almost inexhaustible supply of new material. For instance, their first LP just issued has on it eight numbers which have been written by members of the group.
The group is one tightly knit one. Drummer Ringo Starr joined in the August last year, but the others are original members. George Harrison, lead guitar, and Paul McCartney used to go to the same school and John Lennon is Paul's next door neighbour.
The four Beatles came off the stage pouring in sweat. They were cheerful and cracking jokes with each other as though two years of one night stands was all in day's work for them, which of course it was.
They ran the inevitable gauntlet of autograph hunters as they tried to wind down and get changed in time to get back to Liverpool for a well earned rest.
Inside the hall the teenagers were still going strong to the music of Shaun and Sum People. Out of their dramatic maroon suits piled in after it, got comfortable and passed round the cigarettes.
Less than 30 minutes after facing a crowd of perspiring fans The Beatles were still a group, but this time just another group of homeward bound travellers on the Liverpool Road.
Hi, just to let you know. Shaun most probably left the group in 1964 as Mr Smith And Sum People appeared at the 99 club in Barrow in Furness on Dec 9 1964. I can send you the newspaper advertisement to verify this if you wish. Cheers.
Keep up the good work - your site is brilliant!
Steve Jones (Shaun) was my cousin. He left Shaun and Sum People in the mid 1960's and became a part time "after dinner speaker". He spent most of his working life as a prison officer but retired early because of severe rheumatoid arthritis. He sadly died a few years ago.
I was at Middleton Co-op Hall in April 1963 when the group supported the Beatles and was in the dressing room after the show when both groups had a game of cribbage until the frantic fans dispersed.
Hi. Just to say Shaun (Steve Jones) is/was my Dad. He sadly passed away 7 years ago. After the band he became a Prison Officer at Strangeways for many years, but he also eaked out a very successful career as a stand-up comedian, known as Steve Anthone, on the clubs circuit of the North West, followed by a successful career as an after-dinner Speaker.
I remember listening, as a young lad, to the two records they recorded. Sadly the discs did not survive the length of time and became unplayable.
He did look back on his time with the band with great fondness.
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