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).
23 January 1965 – Royal Hotel, Lowestoft, Norfolk with The Millionaires (Bo Street Runners cancelled)
Many thanks to John Kerrison, Peter Maggs and Mick Liddell for providing information.
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