Magic Lanterns

Original Line-up

  • James Robert 'Jimmy' Bilsbury - Lead vocals, piano
  • Ian James Moncur - Bass (Burns Sonic) 
  • Peter 'Coco' Shoesmith - Lead Guitar 
  • Allan John Wilson - Drums 
  • Alister 'Bev' Beveridge - Rhythm guitar 

"The band was managed by a guy called Mike Collier who worked for Campbell Connelly music publishers and who secured a recording contract with CBS records.

Reasonable success was had with "Excuse me Baby", "Rumplestiltskin", "Knight in Rusty Armour" and then "Auntie Grizelda".

It was at this point that I joined the band as Rhythm Guitar/Vocalist, which would have been around 1966/67.

We then recorded "We'll Meet Again" which was not the best of sellers but was extensively played on Radio1 and appeared to be popular with the pirate radio stations.

After this our management was transferred to Double R Productions (Double R used to do the recordings for Dave Dee, Dozy.....etc and P.J.Proby). Our first recording for Double R was "Shame Shame" (which was arranged by John Paul Jones of Led Zep fame).

On its release it was heavily promoted by Radio 1 and in fact we appeared on TOTPops in I think Oct 1968. Unfortunately it didn't do enough to chart and just prior to TOTP we had member changes in the group.

Peter Shoesmith was replaced by Pete Garner, Ian Moncur was replaced by Mike Osborne and Allan Wilson was replaced by Harry Ward.

"Shame Shame" was released in the U.S.A. by Atlantic Records and sales went mad. I still have cuttings from the Record Mirror showing the progress up the Cashbox Charts from bubbling under the top 50 to reaching a high of number 17 (I believe that it went to no 1 in Canada). This was quite an achievement for a local UK band.

We then recorded and album for Atlantic which was only released in the States. Sales were moderate and we followed up with a single called "Melt All Your Troubles Away". Again sales were only moderate.

We then had a further change in personel and Mike Osborne was replace by George Lynam. After having done a tour in Sweden, month long gigs at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg and K22 in Frankfurt, the group broke up."

Alistair Beveridge

The Magic Lanterns formed in Summer 1965 in Warrington, Lancashire out of The Hammers with Jimmy Bilsbury on guitar, vocals (b. James Robert Bilsbury, Monday, November 2, 1942, Liverpool, Lancashire, UK d. Monday, March 10, 2003 at home in Bonn, Germany), Peter 'Coco' Shoesmith on lead guitar (b. Burnley, Lancashire, UK), Ian Moncur on bass (b. Ian James Moncur, 1945, 72 Stone Cross Lane, Lowton, near Leigh, Lancashire, UK) and Allan Wilson on drums (b. Allan John Wilson, 1945, St Helens, Lancashire, UK). 

Bilsbury who grew up at 267 Warrington Road in Culcheth, Lancashire, was first in The Ray Johnson Skiffle Group and then The Nightboppers. 

In May 1965 Bilsbury left Leigh, Lancashire based group The Beat Boys and joined up with new local band The Sabres, who changed their name to The Hammers. The Sabres lead singer Vince Reno (b. Maurice Tickle) left the band as he wanted to get married and they needed a new lead singer. The band herd about this guy Jimmy Bilsbury who lived in Culcheth and the band went to track him down and found him in the George and Dragon Pub, owned by Bilsbury's father's father-in-law. They asked if he wanted to be their singer and Bilsbury said he would have a rehearsal with the group, and it went so well he joined. 

The lead guitarist in The Sabres one Pete Bond (b. Gerry Blackman) also left as he wanted to continue coaching and also wanted to get married and was replaced by Peter 'Coco' Shoesmith from Burnley. 

The Hammers shortly after this in Summer 1965 changed their name to The Magic Lanterns with a line-up of Bilsbury, Shoesmith, Moncur and Wilson. 

In Summer 1967 the band added Alaister 'Bev' Beveridge (b. 1945, 93 Regent Street, Earlestown, Lancashire, UK), making the band a five-piece. The group needed a driver at the time and Beveridge said he would only join as long as he could became a member of the band. So they let him come in as rhythm guitarist, vocalist. 

Beveridge had been in a few bands, starting out in The Tennessee Drifters a country and western group and then was in The Denims a beat group. After that he joined The Style and left his job as a clerk to turn professional. 

In 1969 Moncour left as he was getting more into religion and was replaced by bassist Mike 'Oz' Osbourne (b. Michael Osbourne). 

Bilsbury left in Early 1970 to join The Les Humphries Singers which he co-founded with lead singer Les Humphries (b. John Lesley Humphries, Monday, August 10, 1940, Croydon, Surrey, UK d. Wednesday, December 26, 2007, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK). This band was formed in Early 1970 in Hamburg, Germany. 

The Magic Lanterns formed in Summer 1965 in Warrington, Lancashire out of The Hammers with Jimmy Bilsbury on guitar, vocals (b. James Robert Bilsbury, Monday, November 2, 1942, Liverpool, Lancashire, UK d. Monday, March 10, 2003 at home in Bonn, Germany), Peter 'Coco' Shoesmith on lead guitar (b. Burnley, Lancashire, UK), Ian Moncur on bass (b. Ian James Moncur, 1945, 72 Stone Cross Lane, Lowton, near Leigh, Lancashire, UK) and Allan Wilson on drums (b. Allan John Wilson, 1945, St Helens, Lancashire, UK). 

Bilsbury who grew up at 267 Warrington Road in Culcheth, Lancashire, was first in The Ray Johnson Skiffle Group and then The Nightboppers. 

In May 1965 Bilsbury left Leigh, Lancashire based group The Beat Boys and joined up with new local band The Sabres, who changed their name to The Hammers. The Sabres lead singer Vince Reno (b. Maurice Tickle) left the band as he wanted to get married and they needed a new lead singer. The band heard about this guy Jimmy Bilsbury who lived in Culcheth and the band went to track him down and found him in the George and Dragon Pub, owned by Bilsbury's father's father-in-law. They asked if he wanted to be their singer and Bilsbury said he would have a rehearsal with the group, and it went so well he joined. 

The lead guitarist in The Sabres one Pete Bond (b. Gerry Blackman) also left as he wanted to continue coaching and also wanted to get married and was replaced by Peter 'Coco' Shoesmith from Burnley. 

The Hammers shortly after this in Summer 1965 changed their name to The Magic Lanterns with a line-up of Bilsbury, Shoesmith, Moncur and Wilson. 

In Summer 1967 the band added Alaister 'Bev' Beveridge (b. 1945, 93 Regent Street, Earlestown, Lancashire, UK), making the band a five-piece. The group needed a driver at the time and Beveridge said he would only join as long as he could became a member of the band. So they let him come in as rhythm guitarist, vocalist. 

Beveridge had been in a few bands, starting out in The Tennessee Drifters a country and western group and then was in The Denims a beat group. After that he joined The Style and left his job as a clerk to turn professional. 

In 1969 Moncour left as he was getting more into religion and was replaced by bassist Mike 'Oz' Osbourne (b. Michael Osbourne). 

Bilsbury left in Early 1970 to join The Les Humphries Singers which he co-founded with lead singer Les Humphries (b. John Lesley Humphries, Monday, August 10, 1940, Croydon, Surrey, UK d. Wednesday, December 26, 2007, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK). This band was formed in early 1970 in Hamburg, Germany. 

John H. Warburg - 4/8/14

Discography

Singles

  • Excuse Me Baby / Greedy Girl 1966 (charted at 44)
  • Rumplestiltskin / I Stumbled 1966
  • Knight In Rusty Armour / Simple Things 1967
  • Auntie Grizelda / Time Will Tell (If I'm A Loser) 1967
  • We'll Meet Again / What Else Can It Be But Love? 1967
  • Shame Shame / Baby I Gotta Go Now 1969
  • Melt All Your Troubles Away/Bossa Nova 1940 - Hello You Lovers 1970
  • One Night Stand / Frisco Annie 1970
  • Country Woman / You Ring A Bell 1972
  • Stand For Your Rights / Da Bradley 1972

"The last three singles were released after the Magic Lanterns had broken up. I suspect that they were just studio issues that may have featured Steve Rowland (one of our managers), Albert Hammond (one of Steve's friends of It Never Rains in Southern California fame) and possibly Jim Bilsbury.I am not sure but they certainly did no live gigs."

Alistair Beveridge 

Albums

LIT UP WITH THE MAGIC LANTERNS 1969

  • You must believe me
  • What else can it be but Love 
  • No Milk TodayGreedy Girl
  • I'm only Dreaming
  • Long Long Time
  • Excuse Me Baby
  • The In Crowd
  • Look at Me
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • I Stumbled
  • Too bad it hurts
  • Simple Things
  • Knight in Rusty Armour.

US only

SHAME SHAME 1969 Atlantic Label #SD 8217
(first pressing on thick vinyl with green and orange label and 1841 Broadway Address)

Tracks:
IMPRESSIONS OF LINDA, SHAME SHAME, BRUNETTE LADY, NEVER GONNA TRUST MY HEART AGAIN, SARAH WEAR A SMILE, GIVE ME LOVE, HIGHWAY OF DREAMS, FEELINGS, MISSING OUT ON YOU, OUT IN THE COLD AGAIN, PUSSY WILLOW DRAGON, WHEN THE MUSIC STOPS. 

 

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