The Odd Ones (Wythenshawe)
(as per photo above)
- George Thornhill - lead guitar
- Nev Clancy - drums
- Terry Denton - rhythm guitar
- Les Olbinson - bass
- Fred Leach - vocals
- Pete Cliffe - drums (ex Blue Rondos)
- Tony Mansfied - drums
A great group from around the Wythenshawe area who toured Germany, came back and set Manchester alight for a little while. At one time I think they joined forces with the Myaks (the lead singer of Myaks, Fred Leach, joined Odd Ones as singer for a while)
I recall meeting Paul Young ex Toggery Five and Mike and the Mechanics at Mr Smiths one night...he was raving on about the Odd Ones and I seem to recall he was a school chum of George Thornhill the lead guitarist.......whatever happened to them?
I was the roadie (if you can call it that) for the Odd Ones for a while.....fantastic times... The Odd Ones were formed in 1964, following on from a duo of George Thornhill and Terry Britten (who emigrated to Australia and wrote amongst other things Devil Woman and a number of hits for Tina Turner).
Terry Britten (second right with guitar) in his Aussie band The Twilights
Paul Young (Toggery Five, Sad Cafe, Mike and the Mechanics) asked George if he could join the group in early 64.They were as you say, at school in Brownley Green together but at that time George Thornhill and Les Olbinson were sharing vocals and putting out close harmony stuff...so the answer was no, although I know that George and Paul remained friends for quite a while and often used to bump into each other on the road.
Nev Clancy was sacked as drummer in '65, Tony Mansfield (Ex Billy J and the Dakotas) sat in for a few gigs and then Pete Cliffe joined as drummer .
Sadly, Pete passed away in 2003.
Terry Denton left the group to emigrate to Switzerland in the late 60s and the group carried on as a trio for about a year. Terry still lives in Switzerland and is now something or other in computers (his next door neighbour is Phil Collins).
Les disappeared from the scene in early 70 and is living in Sweden. Following the Odd Ones, he played and recorded with Samson, managed by Sharon Osbourn's father, Don Arden. After working in London as a croupier, when the group split, he travelled to India.
George Thornhill went to live in Jersey in the Channel Islands in 1973 for his first summer season there. He played in Noel Redding's (Ex Jimi Hendrix Experience) new band and then met up with a fine musician named Richard Melhuish (occasional Genesis session man) and they influenced each other tremendously. George went on to play in many sessions both in London, Europe and elswhere. George still plays and now teaches guitar from his amazing home in Jersey.
I always remember one night, when George was feeling a bit bored and we decided to go to Bury Palais to see The Country Gents. George finished up joining Pete Cowap on stage, playing only an unplugged acoustic guitar. They did a medley of two or three Everly Bros songs and anyone who was there will never forget that night..it was pure magic.
Pete Cowap was always a local hero to George and that night Pete was playing his usual Gretsch Gountry Gent and George was hammering the acoustic so loud you could actually hear it from the back of the packed hall....incredible night I have never forgotten..
The Odd Ones were all genuinely nice guys, in my view they never got the recognition or breaks they deserved, they really were a bit special....everywhere they played the girls went barmy....and everyone who booked them used to come up to me and ask when they could come back again.....The Carlton Rochdale...Sale Locarno...Queens ballroom, Clevelys, Castle Casino at Blackpool. Mr Smiths, were all regular gigs and I was reaaly saddened when the group broke up in late 1969 and they all went their seperate ways...
Very,very happy times.
Two friends and I ran the fan club for the Odd Ones in the mid sixties, they were a fabulous group and oh so sexy.
The chemistry when they were on stage was something to behold. They usually opened with Heatwave or Stop in the name of Love and there was always a frantic rush to the front of the stage when they appeared, I have to admit that there were times when we used to get jealous, we regarded them as our own and the competition for places at the front of the stage was always fierce.
One drunken night I remember snogging George, I was in seventh heaven, thank God he had the sense to call a halt and tell me to behave (I wonder if he remembers - I'm actually blushing as I type this) but my favourite was Terry - 6ft 2inches and all dark and mysterious.
We used to meet the lads at least once a week so that they could sign photographs or letters and I swear we used to swoon when they walked in the room, they were absolutely gorgeous.
We used to love the way they mixed their songs on stage, everything from Shame,Shame,Shame an old Jimmy Reed rocker to Tamla Motown, Everly Brothers and Martha and the Vandellas, I remember some events especially well, bumping into the small faces at a motorway cafe.
Stevie Marriot was especially nice another occassion the Odd Ones were the support group to Steam Packet at the CubiKlub in Rochdale, for some reason I had gone searching for George. (The Cubiklub used to have shop frontage that sold all the mod gear at the time) and I eventually found George and another slim blonde haired guy trying on every pair of shoes in the place, they were in fits of laughter and taking the mickey out of each other with each pair of shoes, the other person was Rod Stewart no less.....after a short while a third person joined them and then it became an absolute riot, the third party was one Reg Dwight (Elton John).
Its amazing that after all this time, I still remember vividly the group and some of the fun times we had, they were magical. We cried for days when they broke up, I later once saw George with the Hollies, although I'm a big Hollies fan, I really do think the Odd Ones were very special indeed. Do you have any e mail or contact address'es for them?
Trish Giannoni (formerly Trish Campbell)
I was there when they first started, I took them to gigs in my green Bedford. They were very good and should have made the big time, what went wrong???
We once come from a gig with more girls in the back the spare was touching the road, good days.
Charles Harvey - 9/3/2010