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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Ralph butters
In answer to David Bryant , I remember the cavaliers . They also played loads of times at the Alpine on Love St.
I was playing keyboards with a band called Phase One in the late 60s to early 70s gigging with many of the bands and artistes previously mentioned in other posts .
8th January 2017 8:00am
Mark Edmonds
We (Eclipse) played there in the 1976 "New Group" contest. We supported City Boy, (hit single 5705) along with rivals Prowler? I think.
Although we got an encore, Prowler took more mates than us so we lost on the vote and didn't progress!
Happy days and good memories. Smile
12th October 2016 6:39pm
Can you fill me in a bit more about that??? Thanks!
28th January 2017 2:08am
Mark Edmonds
Not sure what you mean?
28th January 2017 2:40am
Sue Proctor
There is a reunion on Monday 5th Sept for Quaintways regulars. Tickets are £15. Bands are The Undertakers and Safehouse. Not-for-profit event with any surplus going to Hospice of the Good Shepherd and Chester Childbirth Appeal.
Ring 01244335943 or email chris4food@yahoo.co.uk forvtickets.
20th August 2016 7:31am
John webb
I was in a group called the sohos and we played on the same bill as long John baldly. He had just brought out a single called let the heartaches begin
When ask if I liked the song by one of his group I said it wasn't good enough
Next week it was number one
What did I know
12th June 2016 8:25pm
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
Sue Proctor
Think Roy Hughes played in The Hands. He now plays with Safehouse.
20th August 2016 7:37am
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
Sue Proctor
I was there that night too. Elton John and Rod Stewart were in LJB's backing group. There is a reunion on Monday 5th Sept.
20th August 2016 7:35am

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