The Colour Supplement

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

7 thoughts on “The Colour Supplement”

  1. For anyone who is interested, here’s a summary of live dates that I’ve found from Phil’s time with the band.

    6 October 1967 – Cue Club, Gothenburg, Sweden with Hedgehoppers Anonymous (part of a 14-day tour of Sweden; one more with Hedgehoppers Anonymous and a few dates with The Troggs)

    5 November 1967 – Crystal Ballroom, Stoke-on-Trent with Blue Thunderbirds and The Odd Men

    November-December 1967 – Star Club, Hamburg, Germany (three weeks)

    December 1967 – Storyville Club, Cologne, Germany (two weeks)

    22 December 1967 – Greenways, Baddeley Green, Staffordshire (direct from Germany)

    12 January 1968 – Greenways, Baddeley Green, Staffordshire

    16 January 1968 – Top Rank, Hanley Suite, Hanley, Staffordshire

    18 February 1968 – Waggon and Horses, Meir, Staffordshire

    3 March 1968 – Blue Ball, Risley, Staffordshire

    Circa 12 April 1968 – Second Swedish tour begins

    12 May 1968 – Bull’s Head, Hanford, Staffordshire

    22 May 1968 – Bull’s Head, Hanford, Staffordshire

    3 June 1968 – Basford Coronation Club, Basford, Staffordshire

    12 June 1968 – Bull’s Head, Hanford, Staffordshire

    17 June 1968 – Filleybrooke Hotel, Stone, Staffordshire

    19 June 1968 – Bull’s Head, Hanford, Staffordshire

    23 June 1968 – Clayton Lodge, Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire

    24 July 1968 – Bull’s Head, Hanford, Staffordshire

    21 August 1968 – Bull’s Head, Hanford, Staffordshire

    9 October 1968 – Mackadown, Kitts Green, West Midlands with The Passion Forest

    23 October 1968 – Chesterfield Club, Castle Bromwich, West Midlands

    Most are from Stoke Evening Sentinel, but some are from Birmingham Evening Mail

  2. Found the following gig in the Birmingham Evening Mail. There are many more but I didn’t note them all down

    27 January 1968 – Elbow Room, Aston, West Midlands

  3. Few more gigs for the Colour Supplement in Birmingham Evening Mail:

    3 July 1968 – Tynburn House, Erdington, West Midlands
    5 July 1968 – Chesterfield Club, Castle Bromwich, West Midlands
    17 July 1968 – Chesterfield Club, Castle Bromwich, West Midlands
    21 July 1968 – Queen’s Beat Club, Erdington, West Midlands
    28 July 1968 – Crown and Cushion, Perry Barr

    9 August 1968 – Station Inn, Selly Oak, West Midlands
    10 August 1968 – Bull’s Head, Yardley, West Midlands with Locomotive
    23 August 1968 – Chesterfield Club, Castle Bromwich, West Midlands

  4. A few gigs in the South Wales Evening Post:

    8 November 1968 – Samantha’s at Langland Bay Hotel, Swansea with Wishful Thinking

    18 November 1968 – Samantha’s, Langland Bay Hotel, Swansea

  5. our band The John Mcflare Band played alongside Colour Supplement at the Top Ten Club Hamburg think it was 1969/70 Hutch was vocalist i remember Mick and George and Paul great band and lovely lads we had a great time there i also have photo of the band at that time,

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