Studio One Band
Resident band - Bredbury Country Club

Line-Up included
   
Kirk St James Vocals
Martin Tetlow Organ
John Burrows Bass
Henry Quick Drums
Rod Symonds Baritone Sax/Bandleader
Dave Moss Tenor Sax
Roy? Trumpet

 

 

"The basis of the band were from my Big City Blues band - Martin Tetlow, John Burrows, Henry Quick and Dave Moss.

Martin Tetlow  went on to be with Money (who I played with for a very short while in 69' ) with Alan Faulkner, by way of  Reception.

They  were different, as they had no lead guitarist but sported 2 saxes, sometimes a trumpet too, as I recall. Somewhat like a Georgie Fame /Blue Flames  thing.   They were very good and did all the great soul/Stax tunes"

Dave Bowker

Dave Moss (sax) passed .. I believe in 2008 or 2009.

David Bowker
16/2/10

In arround 1965, after playing sax from 12 years old in bands jazz bands and groups, I decided to form a new group with an individual sound drawing on the experiences of what i had done before.

My next door but one neighbours were Alan and Brian Thom. They were good friends of mine. Brian was an accomplished drummer and Alan guitarist and vocals.Both good musicians.

Ken Ham who I knew and studied with was a realy good bass player with plenty of drive. His cousin Eric Haydock played bass with the Hollies.

I asked them to form a group with me and they all agreed.

I called the group Studio One and we started rehersals in my dad's factory. The concept of the name was that we could produce as good a sound on gigs as in a studio.

Influenced by th likes of Graham Bond who had Jack Bruce Ginger Baker and Dick Hecstal Smith playing with him. I met them in Richmond at a jazz festival and later on Graham steped up on piano when we played at the castle Hotel Marple Bridge Marple.  Graham was a good jazz pianist and sax player. At the castle you could chat with other musicians and exchange ideas. It was agreat night.

My good friends Ian Royle (we had played together in bands from the age of about 15/16) and brilliant jazz sax player Brian Smith( who i played with in the Ken Nelson big band when I was 15) were there. At the castle you just turned up and have a blow

There was a lot of good music comming from America ,Mowtown stax and the likes. Through a friend of mine who visited America I was able to get material not yet released in the UK. We would play James Brown numbers and people would say who is James Brown. They soon found out.

Mentioned in your blog was that Studio one were like the Georgie fame group. We played Leigh Cassino where I met Clive Burrow the pianist in the band there. We chatted after the gig and he told me that he was forming a band playing the type of music we played. Of course he then changed his name to Georgie Fame. He was a realy nice guy and a very computent musician.

After a busy year I decided to use a keyboard player to widen the scope of what we did. Several interviewes later I called at the Railway hotel Wilmslow to listen to Martin Tetlow. He was just what I was looking for and i offerd him the job which he accepted.
I met his parrents who were the landlords of the pub and asured them he would be well looked after and perfect for my band.

Two or three months after that I had the bad news that Brian Alan and Ken would have to leave. It had been a strain for them playing as they all had studies and exams. Brian was taking insurrance management exams and Ken was a student in pyschiatry.

I then found John McAtee. Played bass and sang. He was good, plenty of soul. He came from north manchester. I got Andy in on drums (he had been playing for Annie Ross in London) Berni Brown barritone sax and Ian Royle trumpet.

The line up was then tenor sax, barritone sax, trumpet, hammond organ, bass and drums with John Mac doing most of the vocals'and myself doing some vocals.

I was a member at Bredbury Hall and spoke to Frank and Malcolm Harby about bringing in my band. They were a bit sceptic as the music played was usualy background jazz or the odd group. I said, book me for one night and if you don't like what we do then we will move on.
I was confident we could wow the audience and that more bookings would materialise.

The first night arrived. I got there early and after clearing it  with Malcolm Harby, placed the speakers on the two balconys for maximum balance and to get the best results with the accustics.

We started off with some good dance numbers to get dancers on the floor (plan a) plan b,get the place rocking. We played Land of a thousand dances (Wilson Picket) but our version. When it came to the nah na na na nah bit we must have had all the punters singing with us which was unusual for breders as the band were often treated a bit like wallpaper.

Frank Mitchell and Malcolm Harby who I could just spot in the distance stood there open mouthed. Bill Pakinson had rushed from the door to pop his head round and see what was happening. Audiance participation was not the norm at breders. The atmosphere was realy buzzing .

I have always believed that playing good music is just part of the equation. Sending punters home saying" wow what a night "is what counts.

We had a busy schedual but were able to find booking dates for Malcolm Harby.  Sunday night was the big night. Packed to the rafters.
As Monday was quiet Frank asked me would I take it on and play Monday. I agreeed and said it would be a good  idea to give freebie tickets out Sunday for Monday night.

Within a few months monday became the second busiest night

After about 6 months John Mac told me he would have to leave due to bussiness comitments and relocation. Then I had to go through the painful task of auditions. Saw about 30 singers.

No one came up to the mark and some were legends in there own mind if you know what I mean.  I was disapointed, Is there no good singers out there. Then my agent rang to say he had herd through the grape vine of somone who lived in Birmingham, who he was told fitted the bill, and his name was Kirk St James.

I rang him and organised to meet him at Piccadilly station. When I got there he was waiting near the metal crash barrier. Then came the crunch. He looks the part but can he sing?

Up to that point I had singers ? who looked the part but were crap. Well to my delight he was the business. I offered him the job and he accepted. He moved house into Manchester with his wife and two children.

I then had to organise a bass player and found Johny Burrows who fitted in well.

Later on that year Andy the drummer was not able to make the gigs and after listening to Henry Quick offered him the job on drums.

Bernie Brown could not always make the gigs and Dave Moss stood in for me on sax for a while. I used a sax player called Paul (cant remember his surname) and from time to time musicians I knew would call in and sit in with the band.

We enjoyed a good few years at breders

Dougy Flood told me he was opening a new club and would I be interested in playing there. It was built and he called it Quaffers, but by thst time I had moved on to fields afresh.

In arround 1968 i disbanded Studio One. The pressure of running the band became too much for me. I had got married and also had increased business comittments.

I then joined the  Maybellenes who were all good friends of mine. We grew up together and they were good musicians.

John's dad was the manager and that took the strain off me. Studio One had become hard work.

John Garlick guitar,vocals, his brother David drums, his wife Margret bass and vocals and myself sax and vocals. We soon made a good team and worked well together.

We all had our own stong views of producing the best sound but in the end found a common ground and never had a fall out.

I had four or five happy years with the Maybellenes. We played top venues, worked well together and encores were always the norm. But for our marrage situation and both being bussiness families I am sure we would have played outside the UK.

Breders was like one big family.

I would invite musicians I knew to call in and have a blow with the band. On one occasion i invited Tony Crombie of Alan Heaven Tony Crombie duo. He was on vacation from America where they were playing at the Sands Las Vagas on the same bill as Frank Sinatra.

When he arrived at Bredders, Bill asked me to come to reception and sign him in. But we had a problem. Frank had a rule . Anyone with sideburns, which Tony had, was not allowed in. Frank said if he shaved them off he could come in. After a heated argument Frank said he could come in with sideburns.

Tony sat in with the band and all was forgoten.

If they are still arround all my best to Bill Parkinson, Harry Nield, Malcolm Harby and John Lemming. A special mention to Bill Parkinson and Harry Nield. I miss people like that, they were good friends.

Before the punters came in we used to play numbers like Girl from Ipanina and Desi Fernardo which were favourites with Bill, Harry and Frank.

Hope I haven't bored you with this blog but the Manchester music sene was a large part of my life.

I now live in a villa in the south of France near St Tropez. One of my sons and his family live here also and my best friend - a Selmer Mark VI tener sax which I still gig with.

Still married to the same good looking woman who was with me at bredders.

Live the good life here but realy miss the Manchester music sene , family and friends who live there.
Could write a book about the Manchester music scene.


Kind regards.
Rod Symons.

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Comments (1)

Topic: Staircase
John Fewster says...
I was a member of Staircase for almost 2 years and played the Cavern 5 times and many other gigs around the North West. I would like to get in touch with the other members and get together for a jam. My number is 07715257626
8th September 2017 8:56pm




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