The (Rockin’) Eccentrics


The Eccentrics, 1965, back row, from left: John Kerrison, Bruce Watts (sitting) and Mick Liddell (sunglasses)
Front row, left to right: Roy Robinson and Peter Maggs
Mick Liddell – vocals
Peter Maggs – lead guitar
Roy Robinson – bass
Bruce Watts – rhythm guitar
John Kerrison – drums

Originally called The Henchmen, this Ealing group included lead singer Dave Kaye (real name: Dave Tregwin), bass player Roy Robinson, rhythm guitarist Bruce Watts and drummer Clive Buckie, who had played alongside Ritchie Blackmore in The Dominators.

In 1962, Peter Maggs, who’d been a very early member of The Downliners with Don Craine from 1959-1962, took over lead guitar.

Mick Liddell replaced Dave Kaye on lead vocals in mid-1964 and the group changed name to The Rockin’ Eccentrics. In late November/early December, John Kerrison from Frankie Reid & The Casuals took over from Clive Buckie.

Sometime around April-May 1965, they shortened the name to The Eccentrics and recorded a cover of Gerry Goffin and Carole King’s “What You Got” backed by “Fe Fi Fo Fum” for Pye Records. After playing the UK scene, The Eccentrics were allegedly the first British band to pass an audition for the famous Piper Club in Rome.

Travelling to Italy, The Eccentrics played the Rome club from June-August 1965. In September Kerrison left to return to the UK and was replaced by John “Speedy” Keene from Ealing band, The Second Thoughts. Keene of course, later went on to found Thunderclap Newman.

Liddell also left at this point and the remaining members brought in singer Romano Morandi (ex-Equipe Ottanta Quattro) and played gigs in northern Italy before returning to the UK in January 1966 and disbanding. Liddell meanwhile put together a new band called Gli Atomi, who recorded a number of singles in 1965-1966.

Back in England in September 1965, John Kerrison joined Slough-based band The Horizons with singer Rod Evans, lead guitarist Colin Butt and bass player Len Hawkes. Evans would later become lead singer with Deep Purple while Hawkes would join The Tremeloes. The Horizons had work lined up in Berlin during August-September 1965 and played gigs for a few months after which Kerrison returned to the UK. In October 1965, he joined Hounslow favourites The Dae-b-Four.

Kerrison would later reunite with Mick Liddell in Italy for a one-off recording during 1966. However, in February 1967, he joined The New Pirates alongside lead guitarist Mick Stewart, bass player Nick Simper and keyboard player Johnny Carroll. By the summer, however, the band had split and Kerrison worked with Episode Six and then The Beachcombers (Keith Moon’s early 1960s band).

Middlesex County Times and Gazette, May 1965

Notable gigs:

23 January 1965 – Royal Hotel, Lowestoft, Norfolk with The Millionaires (Bo Street Runners cancelled)
26-27 March 1965 – Silver Blades, Streatham, London

Many thanks to John Kerrison, Peter Maggs and Mick Liddell for providing information.

To contact the author with further information, please email Warchive@aol.com

Copyright © Nick Warburton, 2013. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any from or by any means, without prior permission from the author.

11 thoughts on “The (Rockin’) Eccentrics”

  1. This band played at lot at the Ealing Club – see comments at the end of Ealing club for advertised concert appearances

  2. Found the following gigs at the Ealing Club in the Middlesex County Times & West Middlesex Gazette:

    30 November 1964 (billed as Rockin’ Eccentrics)

    These dates are all Thursdays:

    10 December 1964 (billed as Rockin’ Eccentrics)
    17 December 1964 (billed as Rockin’ Eccentrics)
    24 December 1964 (billed as Rockin’ Eccentrics) with South West Five
    31 December 1964 (billed as Rockin’ Eccentrics) with South West Five

    7 January 1965 (not listed) but most likely
    14 January 1965 (billed as Rockin’ Eccentrics)
    21 January 1965 (billed as Rockin’ Eccentrics)
    28 January 1965 (billed as Rockin’ Eccentrics)
    4 February 1965 (billed as Rockin’ Eccentrics) possibly with James Royal & The Hawks

    These are both Mondays:

    15 February 1965 (billed as Rockin’ Eccentrics)
    22 February 1965 (billed as Rockin’ Eccentrics)

    30 April 1965 (billed as Eccentrics)
    21 May 1965 (billed as Eccentrics)

  3. Gig at the Witchdoctor in Hastings:

    19 December 1964 with Christian’s Crusaders (billed as Rockin’ Eccentrics)

  4. THE HENCHMEN

    Found an article in the Middlesex County Times & West Middlesex Gazette , which profiled The Henchmen (30 May 1964, page 6).

    It says that the band was formed a year ago and had already played with The Hollies and Johnny Kidd & The Pirates.

    The Henchmen had been formed by Bruce Watts and his cousin Roy Robinson who had played as a duo in a youth club in Northolt, Middlesex. They were then joined by guitarist Peter Maggs, singer Dave Kaye and drummer Clive Buckie.

    Sometime in 1963/1964, Pete Coulson, who had played with Maggs in an early version of the Downliners took over from Buckie on drums after working with Polly Perkins.

    The focus piece says that the band’s immediate plans are to play in Welwyn Garden City, Watford and Harlow (the latter with The Pretty Things).

    When Coulson decided not to go professional with the others in late ’64, John Kerrison took over on drums.

  5. Found some more information on The Rockin’ Eccentrics’ earlier incarnation – The Henchmen.

    The Walthamstow Guardian has the following listings for the band at the Walthamstow Assembly Hall:

    7 September 1963 with Johnny Scott & The Skyways and Formula Four

    5 October 1963 with Keith Turner & The Aristokats and Chuck Peters & The Nu-trones (billed as Dave Kay & The Henchmen)

    2 November 1963 with Chuck Peters & The Nu-Trons and Johnny Scott & The Blue Dukes (billed as Dave Kay & The Henchmen)

  6. MITCH MITCHELL!!!!!

    Mick Liddell got in touch and said that Mitch Mitchell played a few gigs with The Rockin’ Eccentrics. This was also confirmed by Peter Maggs. Mitchell was playing with The Next 5 (they played at the Ealing Club in early November 1964) so must have joined in early-mid November, just before John Kerrison, and went on to The Riot Squad the same month.

    This is what Mick Liddell emailed me:

    I do not know where he came from but he did go to the Riot Squad. He changed the band from amateur to pro in one night. We joined a new agency I think it was Roy Tempest and got a long tour and our drummer (Pete?) a hairdresser did not want to go pro, so we went to Marshall’s in Hanwell and asked Terry if he knew a drummer and he pointed to the door and said ask him he’s a drummer . It was Mitch coming in. We asked him if wanted to play with us, SURE, so we went to his place picked up his drums and went down to Portsmouth, practised for half an hour, and had some great gigs. Mick

  7. Hi all I have just come across this site and I think I have just found my dad who I have never seen.
    I heard he was a singer in a band under the name of dave k. Not realising it was dave kaye.
    My mum is val cowdery from Perivale lane. My birth cetificate state’s my fathers name as david Kenneth tregwin.
    Im sure this guy must be my long lost dad. Please email me with any information atall about his singinf career. What songs he sang , pictures ect. I have never seen a photo of him. Please help….

  8. Pete Maggs – were you the guy I knew at Isleworth Polytech around 1962.

    If so, I always think of you doing the Joe Brown, playing your guitar behind your head. Regards – Mike

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