Next we recruited another housemate, Chris Smith on second lead guitar, who'd been also recording his songs and had already made an album with the band OBERON based in Oxford. On lead vocals Mike's old school chum Dave Williams joined us and we then put an advert in the local paper for a drummer and from this came Mario Keenan who only lived round the corner from us.
We all gelled together well and pretty soon the emphasis changed from doing our own songs to rehearsing songs by Wings, Steve Miller, the Eagles, 10cc, John Miles and Peter Frampton amongst others. Before we knew it we had enough material to perform at a venue and we managed to get a gig at the Great Western Hotel, Moss Side on 12 January which then became a residency. Later that month we also became resident at The Gransmoor Hotel, Openshaw and from then on we were off and flying. We did several auditions for different agents in 1977 at places like the Mersey Hotel, Chorlton, Woosters in Burnage, the Lake Hotel, Belle Vue and the RAOB Club, Failsworth.
We actually won talent competitions at Stretford Ex-Servicemen's Club and the Wheatsheaf Hotel, Levenshulme. Sometimes we would perform as a 4 piece group without Dave.
Some of the agents we dealt with included Belgrade Agency, Tony Yorke, Vic Mass, Jaymac and Alf Longworth who was based in Bury. Later in the year we moved rehearsal rooms to 20 Ellesmere Road in Chorlton where we once bumped into Howard DeVoto (the Buzzcocks) and we employed the services of a roadie, Keith, and his van.
We were semi-pro and I had a job at Withington dole office where I met Les Cotton who would come along to support us at the gigs and once acted as roadie when we performed at the Melody Maker Band Competition in March at Manchester University.
As the year progressed we gained another regular booking, at the Albert Inn, Whitefield and in June we performed at a street party for the Queen's Jubilee in Chorlton.
The agent said he would pay
for the new publicuty shot
One of the strangest gigs we ever did was Strangeways Prison officers Club, glad to say the only time I've ever been to jail, although the way we played that night it's surprising that didn't give us a sentence !
It was at the street party that Mario said he was sadly leaving and so it was in July that we picked up the services of John Harvey on drums and around this time we successfully auditioned for L.E. AGENCY in Wigan and signed a one year contract with William Leyland.
From then on we got better paid gigs and travelled farther afield to Liverpool, Blackpool, Burnley and I remember a glittering 2 night stint at the Dixieland Showbar in Southport. By this time Dave had left and it was just the 4 of us and we advertised for a new lead singer.
On 12th October Bill Snape got the job and on 11 November we changed our name to the 1812 BAND. Shortly after that we became ST. MORITZ and then PALM SPRINGS - the rest is history and is well documented by John Harvey on the Palm Springs pages - goodnight and god bless and over to you John.
1977 Gig list
12 JAN : Great Western Hotel, Moss Side
20 JAN : Great Western Hotel
27 JAN : Great Western Hotel
28 JAN : Gransmoor Hotel, Openshaw
29 JAN : Gransmoor Hotel
30 JAN : Langley Labour Club, Middleton
3 FEB : Great Western Hotel
4 FEB : Salter Hotel, Northwich
10 FEB : Great Western Hotel
12 FEB : Gransmoor Hotel
13 FEB : Levenshulme Catholic Club
17 FEB : Great Western Hotel
19 FEB : Great Western Hotel
20 FEB : Gransmoor Hotel
24 FEB : Great Western Hotel
3 MAR: Mersey Hotel, Chorlton
6 MAR : Pikefold Pub, Blackley
11 MAR : Lindow Tavern, Sale Moor
12 MAR : Catholic Club, Longfield, Prestwich
13 MAR : Pikefold Pub
14 MAR : Melody Maker Comp, Manchester Uni.
18 MAR : Albert Inn, Whitefield
19 MAR : Heyrod Conservative Club, Stalybridge
26 MAR : Broomstar Working Mens Club, Denton
1 APR : Albert Inn
5 APR : Wheatsheaf Hotel, Levenshulme (Talent)
6 APR : Woosters, Burnage (Audition)
12 APR : Mersey Hotel (Audition)
15 APR : Brickcroft Social Club, Rochdale
16 APR : Brittania Inn, Middleton
17 APR : RAOB Club, Failsworth (Audition)
22 APR : Albert Inn
29 APR : Stretford Ex-Servicemens Club (Audition)
2 MAY : Lake Hotel, Belle Vue (Talent)
6 MAY : Wheatsheaf Hotel
12 MAY :Flying Shuttle, Farnworth (Audition)
13 MAY : Albert Inn
14 MAY : Piccadilly Railway Club, Manchester
21 MAY : Milnrow Working Mens Club, Rochdale
27 MAY : Albert Inn
28 MAY : St. Catherine`s Catholic Club, Didsbury
1 JUNE : Duke of Wellington, Pendlebury
3 JUNE : Gorton Monestery Club
4 JUNE : Mermaid Hotel, Handforth
5 JUNE : Glynwed Social Club, Audenshaw (Audition)
6 JUNE : Albert Inn
7 JUNE : Street Party, Nicholas Road, Chorlton
9 JUNE : Hadfield Conservative Club
11 JUNE : Heywood Reform Club
12 JUNE : British Rail Club, Piccadilly, Manchester (Audition)
24 JUNE : Albert Inn
25 JUNE : L.E. Agency, Wigan - Audition
26 JUNE : Hulme Labour Club
2 JULY : Hillside Crescent Social Club, Huyton, Liverpool
6 JULY : Blightly`s, Farnworth (Audition)
10 JULY : PCM Club, Sale (`Max` on drums)
15 JULY : Stork Hotel, Wigan
16 JULY : Bradford Labour Club, Manchester (Harvey`s first gig)
17 JULY : Northenden British Legion Club
23 JULY : Merry Go Round, Salford
30 JULY : Showboat, Cleveleys
5 AUG : Wilderspool Centre, Warrington
6 AUG : Belvadere & Calderdale Rugby Club, Burnley
3 SEP : Seymour Hotel, Whalley Range y
9 SEP : Dixieland Showbar, Southport Pier
19 SEP : Dixieland Showbar, Southport Pier
17 SEP : Talbot Conservative Club, Blackpool
You know the old story where the band turns up late for the gig and says "the bloody van broke down" - well in this case it actually happens to be true !
Mike and Mario
Anne Raw (Mike`s girlfriend) and Keith the roadie.
Mike, Mario, Chris and underneath, Dave
Mike and Chris onstage at Bradford Labour Club, Manchester, 16th July 1977
Wanted - in connection with an atrocity at the Dixieland Showbar, Southport Pier on 10th September 1977.
Mike Fogg, John Harvey and John Blight in their new white stage outfits somewhere at large in the Manchester Social Club area circa 1977
(their black stage outfits were being washed)
Remember seeing you a number of times in the Manchester club and pub scene.Definitely remember Bradford Labour club and Belle Vue nights x love to all x