Quaintways, Chester

Probably one of the most under-rated venues of its day - certainly less well known than its Liverpool and Manchester counterparts.

Situated in the heart of Chester CBD, Quaintways was the Monday night home of Wall City Jazz Club, which featured two floors of bands. There may, of course, have been other nights (info??)

However, for a Monday night gig, it couldn't be beaten. If you search the web on google for websites of the major bands of the time, almost all will include gigs at Quaintways. A quick search includes Thin Lizzy, Sex Pistols, Family, Who, Status Quo, Slade, Sweet, Clapton, Jethro Tull, Bad Company, etc.

The range of bands was tremendous - I can remember gigs with Champion Jack Dupree, early Strawbs, as well as the top local bands from Manchester, Liverpool and the Midlands.



I remember playing with my band - Outrage - in the summer of 1966. I think that there were 2 rooms. We were support in one and the magnificent Lucas and the Mike Cotton Sound were headlining in the other.

At that time Mike Cotton had left the trad jazz scene well behind and was doing mostly stax and atlantic soul, and doing it very well.  Lucas was a great performer and gave creditable performances of stuff like 'The Midnight Hour' and 'Land of a Thousand Dances'. He seemed to favour doing the splits on stage and how he kept his trousers and manhood intact christ only knows! But if your budget wouldnt stretch to an Otis Redding ticket they did a fine substitute performance.

Geoff Parkinson

I booked the venue for many years for boss Gordon Vickers. Some of the acts became household names and I like to think that we discovered and gave the chance to so many. It was a regular venue for many American acts such as Edwin Starr, Jimmy Ruffin, along with The Invitations, The Real Thing, and in the early days, The Steam Packet, Brian Auger and Johnny Johnson and The Bandwagon. So many memories.

Rod Taylor

I used to go regularly in the late 60s. The musicians were generally superb and included many future legends who were then unknown.

Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce with the Graham Bond Organisation. Several incarnations of ELO as soul / harmony rock bands. The Band of Joy with Robert Plant and John Bonham. John Hiseman & Colosseum, Thin Lizzy, Arthur Brown with a young Carl Palmer. Alexis Korner with his new band Free at Last who later shortened the name to Free plus a score or more of the 70's heavy metallers cutting their teeth on the northern gig circuit.
And me sometimes.

Terry Sterling

My brother John Bryant was the drummer with the Cavaliers group in Quaintways.I believe they were regulars there.This would be mid to late 60s. He was also known as Gerry, as there were 2 group members called John. I believe the Black Abbots were there around the same time.

If anyone remembers the Cavaliers I would be gratefulto hear from them.

David Bryant

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Phil Roberts
I played in a band called 'System 5' quite regularly on either Monday or Saturday nights. Played on the same bill as Herbie Goins and the Nightimers, Freddie Mack and Cliff Bennett. Even Jethro Tull one night! Then played a semi residency with 'The Hands' on a saturday night. Went o watch bands like Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack
25th January 2016 9:28pm
Darrell Jones
SmileIt must have been the mid to late fifties that I went to the jazz club fairly frequently.In those days it was pretty much all Dixieland or Traditional jazz. I seem to remember people like Freddie Randall playing there. I was still in Hawarden GS then so it was not easy to get there and home again late at night.I think the Merseysippi played there a lot too!
15th January 2016 3:51am
Dzal Martin
Like Terry Sterling I saw a myriad of great bands at this underrated stalwart on the gig circuit-Free's debut backing Alexis Korner, Robert Plant's Band of Joy, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac,Aynsley Dunbar,Chicken Shack,Black Cat Bones,Family and more on a Monday night. On saturday afternoons was a disco plus live local bands from around Chester,L/pool and Manchester. a brilliant time for a teenage aspiring guitar player! and I'm still doing it professionally. Thanks Quaintways :)
4th March 2015 6:22am
Lynn Shutt
I recall going to the Jazz club as a young girl aged about 16 around 1965.

My best memory is dancing when Long John Baldry was singing there. What a night! The best bit was first floor for dancing and up in the jazz club people would sit around drinking and it was so smokey. It didn't interest the teenagers much up there.

I remember queuing up for the cloakroom downstairs and being given a raffle ticket as proof of putting my coat in there. Great times.
29th December 2014 12:00pm



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