The school gig was around 1962 and purely instrumental. Then we acquired a singer, Geoff Barker, who listened intently to his Dansette record player—and his vast collection of 78s of Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Jerry Lee Lewis and many other R&B stars. We played some cover versions, but were most at home with the Blues.
We became firm favourites at such well known venues as Eaglescliffe Village Hall (our first real gig), School and Rugby Club Dances—yes dances, Workingmens Clubs around Teesside and Durham, The Sun Inn (famous for its pint of Bass throughout the North East), The Brunswick in Stockton (a first floor room—not easy for a quick getaway if things turned a bit sour!!), The Astoria Ballroom, Middlesbrough—and many more.
The original line-up was Brian Humpherson (piano), Mike Wassall (rhythm guitar), Pete Mackie (lead guitar), Norman Hardwick (bass guitar), Cliff Thornton (drums) and Geoff Barker (vocals).
1962 - the first school performance
1963 - the Presbyterian youth club
1964 - PR shot for the Evening Gazette
Geoff left to go to college and Brian took over the vocals. Later Graham Rayner replaced Norm on bass. Personnel changes continued for quite a while with Dave Nicholas replacing Cliff on drums, Brian Waller taking over the vocals and finally Philip Knowles replacing Mike on guitar and Norm returning on bass.
We finally went our separate ways in 1965 when the remaining members went off to college.
That was that for the next 35 years until a school reunion. Fiona insisted the Cyclones reform for the event. All the gear was borrowed and despite no rehearsal for 35 years, we managed to make it through the night. Flushed with success, new kit was purchased and the story continues …….
2004 - 42 years on ...
2012 - 50 years on ...