was Cliff who left and was replaced by Dave Nicholas on drums.
Again the threat of exams cost us members. Norm returned to replace Graham and Mike was replaced by Phil Knowles. Brian was replaced by a new singer, Brian Waller, and somewhere in there we played a couple of gigs with Dave Pope on guitar and Pete Bell on harmonica.
Unfortunately the threat of exams and the changes in personnel resulted in the group being mothballed in 1965.
End of Part 1
We all went our various ways and, with a couple of exceptions, lost touch with each other.
But then in 2001, after a gap of almost 40 years, a school reunion was organised and the original band (minus Geoff) was taken out of the deep freeze and got together to do a quick 20 minute set using borrowed guitars and amps.
Two years later, at the next school reunion, all seven of the original members were there. We had all bought our own guitars and amps and we had even indulged in a couple of practice sessions, one of which resulted in the CD “Almost Alive at the Parkmore”.
Further reunions took place, there were a batch of 60th birthday celebrations, we played at a couple of weddings and a number of other dances and with rehearsals we now get together about 5 or 6 times a year, which is pretty amazing as we travel from Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Loughborough, Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Essex.
As well as the band itself we always co-opt some audience as our backing vocalists. “The Cyclettes” appear on stage for a couple of numbers and on a few occasions we have included solos from opera singer, Nicole Tibbels.
We now play with gear we could only have dreamt of back in the 60s – Mike plays a
Fender Strat, Graham plays a Fender Strat and a Gibson Les Paul, Pete plays a Fender Strat and an Epiphone Sheraton. Norman plays a Precision Bass. We use 2 Marshall amps and a Fender Stage 1000 for the guitars and Norman uses an Ashdown for his bass.
Brian uses a couple of Roland keyboards and for the PA we use Shure SM58s through a 400 watt powered amp with 4 x Bose 802 speakers. Could the old venues have withstood all this power?
Impressive as all the new gear is, the most impressive thing is fun we have had getting back together after so long and the pleasure we have brought to those of our old fans from the sixties who are still around and the new ones we have collected along the way.
Here’s to the next 50 years !!!!!!
In our first performance in the school music festival one of the numbers in our set was our version of Summertime. Who'd have thought that we would be playing the same number 50 years later, backing an internationally renowned opera singer!!!
When we were young and we started out, people would say “Don`t they play well for their age!”
We find that they are still saying the same thing today!