The Uptown Line
info and pics courtesy Roy Spencer

Line-up
(as pictured on right)

Geoff Wilson - Drums
Ian - Bass
Pete Izard - Vocals
Pete Hinks - Rhythm guitar
Pete Wrigley - Lead Guitar

Formed round about 1963 by Geoff Wilson (Drums), and Roy Spencer (Manager - because he couldn't play anything or sing!). Geoff and Roy had got the "group bug" having been unofficial roadies for The Stylos, introduced to them by Colin Leckonby, brother of the late Lek Leconby of Hermans Hermits.

Also in the group were friends Peter Hinks, (Rhythm guitar and vocals), his school friend Ian (Bass), and Pete Wrigley (Lead guitar and vocals). The group rehearsed in Zion Church Hall, Levenshulme, and gave their first performance at a youth club dance in the same venue.


The original line-up

 

They gave a very good interpretation of "Keep on Runnin", a hit of the day by The Spencer Davis Group, which went down well with the audience.

The group, like many, operated on a semi-professional basis performing the youth club and pub circuit in the North West .

Eventually Pete Izon joined as vocalist. Inevitable changes in line up took place until eventually The Uptown Line became The Rumble Fat Band.

 

When The Uptown Line were going, the keyboard/rhythm player, Pete Hinks, worked for BT, (or PO Telephones as it was then). I knew him at work and we were talking one day and he mentioned that "Lurch", the bass player", kept having week-ends off to go and see his girlfriend at Uni somewhere.

I said I would be happy to "dep" on Bass if needed. So next week-end....... I am playing with Uptown Line. Pete Izon was already in the band and I think his mate Chris was already on guitar. Pete Wrigley had left by then. As a typical "Mod" and Soul Lover, I turned up with beige keks, and a dark Mohair Jacket, well overdressed. After a few gigs and the fact Roy spotted I did a fair amount of jigging about on stage we got talking about favourite music. I told Roy I was really into Soul music, ( I bought Green Onions whilst my mates were buying Please Please Me). This became aq major talking point each time i played with UL.

Roy said he had been thinking about doing a sort of "Soul Review" with Brass, Backing Vox, the lot, but he had a problem with Pete Hinks and Lurch who were both very much in love and wanted to spend more time with their girlfriends. He also didn't "warm" to Chris, the guitarist, who was a mate of Pete Izon's and felt that getting rid on Chris would result in Pete leaving.
So at this stage he had Geoff Wilson.......

He asked if I would be interested in the Guitar job, (yes), and as I already knew Keith Davies, (keys) and Chiz, (bass), we three were recruited. Keith knew Joe Carrol, (sax), so we were on our way. Roy advertised for a vocalist and another Sax and Trumpet. Ivor and Alan joined and Roy recruited a Girl Singer.

We were rehearsing in secret in some barn or garage somewhere and Uptown Line were still playing. The girl was a fantastic singer and Roy was looking to do an "Ike and Tina" review kind of show. At this stage things took a bit of a turn. I had pretty quickly sussed out that the girl was a "bit of a character" and loved being surrounded by testosterone filled guys. Roy and Geoff were travelling through Moss side one Sat evening, (don't ask..... well actually we played a really sleazy club there and he was sorting gigs out), and he spotted the girl singist. it became apparent after a split second that she was "on the game".

At about the same time as discovering the "seedy" side of the singer, Pete Izon found out about the secret project and went ballistic. Roy, Mr. Silver Tongue, Spencer, said he didn't really have an option as Pete and Chris were such good mates, but he didn't feel Chris was right for the new band. Pete's reply, "Sod him this sounds like a great band". Exit the "Shady Lady" and welcome back Pete Izon.
The rest, as they say, is history.

Stuart "Bunny" Bunyan
19/3/10

 

 




Can you add more to this page? If so, CLICK HERE!

 
Copyright ©  manchesterbeat.com
All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of any content is strictly prohibited.
Please read our Disclaimer/Copyright Notice