Colour Supplement, early 1967, from left: George, Paul, Phil, Ricky and Pete
|The Colour Supplement were a Staffordshire, UK band formed around 1965/1966 as The System by keyboard player George Glover and bass player Paul Stevenson with guitarist Gerald Brooks and drummer Ricky Ballan. By early 1967, Pete Wainwright had succeeded Brooks and Phil Tunstall had come in on lead vocals.|
In October 1967, Mike Nixon took over from Pete Wainwright on guitar. Nixon had previously been lead singer with The Gospel Truth, which also featured future Climax Blues Band members Colin Cooper, Peter Haycock, Arthur Wood and John Cuffley.
Within days of his joining, The Colour Supplement got the opportunity to tour Sweden on a 14-day tour and shared two shows with Hedgehoppers Anonymous before doing further dates with the Troggs.
Back in England, the band briefly gigged around the Stoke-on-Trent area before landing a three-week stint at the Star Club in Hamburg in November where they met Ritchie Blackmore, who sat in on several occasions.
The Colour Supplement then headed to Cologne for two weeks to play the Storyville Club, followed by another fortnight at the Frankfurt Storyville Club.
A second tour of Sweden in April-May 1968 was a disaster. In December, Tunstall was tempted away with an offer to join a new version of Hedgehoppers Anonymous.
The band continued briefly as a four-piece but then brought in a singer called Hutch (aka Bernard Hutchinson). The group underwent further changes in the 1970s and worked with singer/songwriter David Parton (aka Des Parton), who later achieved songwriting success with Sweet Sensation, penning the UK #1 with ‘Sad Sweet Dreamer’. He also had a UK top 5 hit with a cover of the Stevie Wonder song, ‘Isn’t She Lovely?’
Glover later joined The Climax Blues Band and still plays with them to this day.
Thank you to George Glover, Mike Nixon and Paul Stevenson for passing on details about The Colour Supplement and to Joe Toriati for the photos of this band.
Copyright © Nick Warburton, 2010. 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.
from left: George, Paul, Mike, Rick and Phil
Early 1967, from left: George, Ricky, Phil, Pete and Paul