Category Archives: Surrey

Coronation Hall, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey

Besides the town’s Cellar Club, another a noted live venue that put on gigs into the late 1960s was Coronation Hall. Quite a few notable acts played there and I’ve started a list. I would be grateful for any additions:

18 January 1964 – Gene Vincent
3 February 1964 – The Yardbirds
11 February 1964 – The Yardbirds
3 March 1964 – The Yardbirds

31 October 1964 – Cosmic Sounds (featuring Linda Crane) and Tempests
12 December 1964 – Lulu and Cosmic Sounds
24 December 1964 – Jimmy Powell & The Dimensions and MI4

1 December 1967 – P P Arnold and The Kool

11 October 1968 – The Move

Gigs from Kingston and Malden Borough News, Surrey Comet

The Walton Hop at the Playhouse, Walton-on-Thames

All Nite Workers & Jo-Jo Gunne at the Hop Club Discotheque, the Herald & News, Dec. 8, 1967
All Nite Workers & Jo-Jo Gunne at the Hop Club Discotheque, the Herald & News, Dec. 8, 1967

 

Mike Stuart Span, The Flies, The Condors, Eddie Floyd, Woking Herald & News Dec 8., 1967
Mike Stuart Span, The Flies, The Condors, Eddie Floyd at the Walton Hop; Woking Herald & News December 8, 1967

The Walton Hop at the Playhouse in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey was a teen disco started by Deniz Corday in 1958. The music venue is reputed to have been the first disco in the UK. During 1964-1965, it was billed as the Hi-Fi Hop. The venue was billed as the Walton Hop in 1967.

1 March 1964 – The Guitars Incorporated
30 March 1964 – Wainwright’s Gentlemen

18 April 1964 – Limelights

2 May 1964 – Peter’s Faces
23 May 1964 – Wainwright’s Gentlemen

2 June 1964 – Peter’s Faces
9 June 1964 – Wainwright’s Gentlemen
27 June 1964 – Wainwright’s Gentlemen

11 July 1964 – The Nashville Teens
18 July 1964 – Peter’s Faces

1 August 1964 – The Birds (Ron Wood on guitar)
2 August 1964 – Peter’s Faces
29 August 1964 – Peter’s Faces

5 September 1964 – The Birds
19 September 1964 – The Tridents (Jeff Beck’s band)

31 October 1964 – Peter’s Faces

7 November 1964 – The Tridents

26 December 1964 – The Tridents

2 January 1965 – The Birds
16 January 1965 – Peter’s Faces
30 January 1965 – The Legends and Wainwright’s Gentlemen (Ian Gillan was lead singer by now)

6 February 1965 – The Tridents

6 March 1965 – The Tridents
13 March 1965 – The Birds
23 March 1965 – Them

Walton Playhouse closed at some point in early 1966 and re-opened on 29 October 1966

8 November 1966 – The Iveys (evolved into Badfinger)

3 December 1966 – The Iveys
13 December 1966 – The New Downliners Sect

10 January 1967 – The New Mojo Band
21 January 1967 – The Mojos
28 January 1967 – The Nashville Teens

14 February 1967 – The Iveys

1 April 1967 – The Army (Steve Priest, pre-Sweet on bass)
11 April 1967 – The Iveys

17 June 1967 – The Iveys

7 October 1967 – The All Nite Workers

18 November 1967 – Floribunda Rose (John Kongos’s band)

12 December 1967 – The All Nite Workers

9 January 1968 – Jo Jo Gunne
13 January 1968 – The Army
27 January 1968 – The All Nite Workers

13 February 1968 – Jo Jo Gunne
20 February 1968 – The All Nite Workers

19 March 1968 – The All Nite Workers
30 March 1968 – Jo Jo Gunne

15 April 1968 – The All Night Workers

18 May 1968 – The Penny Peeps (Martin Barre, pre-Jethro Tull on guitar)

1 June 1968 – Jo Jo Gunne

3 August 1968 – Clive Barrow Group
31 August 1968 – Jo Jo Gunne

2 September 1968 – The All Nite Workers
7 September 1968 – Jo Jo Gunne

26 October 1968 – The All Nite Workers

14 December 1968 – Jo Jo Gunne

5 July 1969 – The Sweet

Gigs from the Woking Herald and also thanks to Jack Russell

The Pontiac Club, Zeeta House, Putney

Together with St Mary’s Hall, also in Putney, the Pontiac Club was a popular venue in southwest London in the early-mid 1960s. Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds were resident band there at one point as were The Action, formerly The Boys.

I have started a gig list below and would welcome any additions as well as memories in the comments below.

28 December 1963 – Manfred Mann and Mark Leeman Five

30 May 1965 – Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men
20 June 1965 – The Hollies and Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men
18 June 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
14 July 1965 – Manfred Mann and The Boston Dexters
16 July 1965 – The Thoughts
25 July 1965 – The Thoughts
28 July 1965 – The Who
4 August 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
7 August 1965 – The Byrds
11 August 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
18 August 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
1 September 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
5 September 1965 – The Action (recently the Boys)
8 September 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
12 September 1965 – The Action
15 September 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
19 September 1965 – The Action
22 September 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
26 September 1965 – The Action
24 December 1965 – The Army

5 May 1966 – The Carl Douglas Set

Most of the gigs were source from the Middlesex County Times & West Middlesex Gazette and Melody Maker. I’d also like to thank Ken Baxter, Andy Neill and Greg Russo for providing some gigs.

Toby Jug, Tolworth

The Toby Jug in Tolworth, Surrey, not far from Kingston Upon Thames in southwest London, was a really important rock music venue in the late 1960s and played host to pretty much all of the top draws of the day, including Fleetwood Mac, Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, Joe Cocker & The Grease Band, Traffic and Led Zeppelin.

The venue opened in early March 1968. However, music researcher Alan Clayson’s book on The Yardbirds (a group from the local area), lists two gigs from 1964:

20 January 1964 – The Yardbirds
27 January 1964 – The Yardbirds

The following gigs are sourced from listings in the Kingston & Malden Borough News.  Mick Capewell’s Marmalade Skies was also a great resource.

I would welcome any additions in the comments below and also any memories of artists that played there.

13 March 1968 – Fleetwood Mac
20 March 1968 – Aynsley Dunbar’s Retaliation
27 March 1968 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
10 April 1968 – Champion Jack Dupree and Black Cat Bones
17 April 1968 – Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack
8 May 1968 – Aynsley Dunbar’s Retaliation
15 May 1968 – Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
22 May 1968 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
5 June 1968 – Savoy Brown
12 June 1968 – Jethro Tull
19 June 1968 – Chicken Shack
26 June 1968 – Keef Hartley (or was this 24 June?)
3 July 1968 – Taste
10 July 1968 – Family
17 July 1968 – Jethro Tull
24 July 1968 – Chicken Shack
31 July 1968 – John Dummer Blues Band
7 August 1968 – Ten Years After
14 August 1968 – Taste
21 August 1968 – Jethro Tull
28 August 1968 – Savoy Brown
4 September 1968 – Traffic
11 September 1968 – Fleetwood Mac
18 September 1968 – Ten Years After (or was this Taste?)
3 October 1968 – The Nice
9 October 1968 – Jethro Tull
16 October 1968 – Jethro Tull
23 October 1968 – Colosseum
10 November 1968 – Timebox
13 November 1968 – Fleetwood Mac
17 November 1968 – Joe Cocker & The Grease Band
20 November 1968 – Blossom Toes
4 December 1968 – Taste
11 December 1968 – Bobby Parker and Chicken Shack
15 December 1968 – Bandwagon
18 December 1968 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
22 December 1968 – The Drifters

The (Jazz) Cellar, Kingston Upon Thames

The (Jazz) Cellar in Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey was an important music venue in Southwest London from 1962-1966. Many notable local bands played there in their formative years, most notably The Yardbirds and The Nashville Teens. The Animals also played there regularly in the early months of 1964 after moving down to London from the Northeast.

I have started to compile a gig list and would welcome any additions in the comments below:

1962
14 July – The Nashville Teens
21 July – The Nashville Teens
28 July – The Nashville Teens
6 September – Mike Berry & The Outlaws
1 November – Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages

1963
20 February – The Stormsville Shakers
8 March – The Stormsville Shakers
21 March – The Stormsville Shakers
12 April – The Stormsville Shakers
2 May – Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
3 May – Neil Landon & The Burnettes
2 July – The Stormsville Shakers
17 July – The Roosters (with Eric Clapton)
24 July – The Roosters (with Eric Clapton)
8 August – The Hi-Fi and Tony Kaye
10 August – The Stormsville Shakers
13 August – Colin Shane & The Shannons
29 August – The Stormsville Shakers
12 September – The Rolling Stones
12 October – The Stormville Shakers
21 December – Steve Marriott & The Moonlights
28 December – The Stormsville Shakers

1964
5 January – Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages
11 January – The Stormsville Shakers
28 January – Neil Landon & The Burnettes
11 February – The Stormsville Shakers
16 February – Gene Vincent
13 March – Steve Marriott & The Wandering Ones
27 March – The Stormsville Shakers with Jerry Lee Lewis
17 April – The Stormsville Shakers
20 April – The Yardbirds
22 April – The Tridents
8 May – Steve Marriott & The Frantic Ones
11 May – The Yardbirds (not confirmed)
16 May – The Stormsville Shakers
25 May – The Yardbirds and The Grebbels
27 May – The Tridents
8 June – The Yardbirds
22 June – The Yardbirds
27 June – The Stormsville Shakers
29 June – The Yardbirds and The Grebbels
20 July – The Yardbirds
5 September – The Plebs
7 September – The Mojos
14 September – The Roosters
18 September – Linda Crane & The Cosmic Sounds
26 September – The Roosters
7 October – The Roosters
16 October – The Roosters
28 October – Unit 5 (Teddington, Middlesex band)
31 October – The Roosters
4 November – The Roosters and XL5
7 November – Cosmic Sounds
13 November – The Impacts
16 November – Jimmy Reed, The Plebs and John Lee Groundhogs
18 November – Carl Perkins and Cosmic Sounds
20 November – Themselves
27 November – Unit 5
12 December – The Roosters
18 December – The Roosters
26 December – The Roosters

1965
3 June – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
3 July – The Stormsville Shakers
7 August – The Small Faces
15 August – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
10 September – The Moody Blues
11 September – The Valkeries (and others)
2 October – The Valkeries (and others)
15 October – Steampacket
19 November – Phil Wainman Sound
24 November – The Small Faces

1966
8 January – The Anteeks
16 February – The Small Faces
18 February – The Loving Kind
25 February – Jimmy Winston’s Reflections
4 March – Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours
29 April – The Protest
30 April – The Silence
6 May – The Troggs
4 June – John Brown’s Bodies and Jesse Hector
11 June – Jo Jo Gunne
8 July – The Troggs and Wild Uncertainty (debut)
16 July – The Wild Uncertainty
22 July – The Wild Uncertainty
6 August – Jo Jo Gunne (took part in London Palladium competition around now)
12 August – Jo Jo Gunne
13 August – The Missing Links
19 August – Cream

Sources: New Musical Express (advertised on page 11 in 1966)
Surrey Comet (1962-1965)

Thanks also to Andy Neill and Mick Capewell for help with gigs

The Pentad

Pentad Woking Herald 1965 June 11
The Pentad featured in the Woking Herald and News, June 11, 1965

Terry Crowe – lead vocals
Mike Fitzpatrick – lead guitar
Roger Hanks – piano, organ
Mick Dunford – bass
Peter Garland-Jones – drums

A Woking, Surrey band that was formed around April 1965 from the ashes of The Plebs, The Pentad was led by singer Terry Crowe, who together with Mick Dunford, had been an original member of The Nashville Teens.

The band’s debut single “Silver Dagger” c/w “Nothing But Love” came out on Parlophone in June 1965. The group recorded a second single, “Don’t Throw It All Away” c/w “Too Many Ways”, which was released later that year.

Pentad’s third and final release, “Something Other People Call Love” c/w “It Better Be Me”, was issued in March 1966. Dunford later became a member of Renaissance.

The Woking Herald provided good source material.

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.

I have tried to ensure the accuracy of this article but I appreciate that there are likely to be errors and omissions. I would appreciate any feedback from anyone who can provide any additions or corrections. Email: Warchive@aol.comThem and Pentad

Unit 4 and Pentad

The Kool


The Kool, late 1967
from left: Jet Hodges, Dave Carol, Ray Brown, Pete Burt and Jeff Curtis (aka David Myers)
photo courtesy Ray Brown
Revised April, 2013

The Kool #1 (August-December 1967)

Jeff Curtis – vocals
Dave Carol – lead guitar, vocals
Jet Hodges (aka Richard Hodgins) – keyboards, vocals
Ray Brown – bass, vocals
Pete Burt – drums

Originally known as Jeff Curtis & The Flames, their manager, rock promoter Mervyn Conn changed their name to The Kool around August 1967.

Signing the band to CBS Records, Conn used The Ivy League and session musicians, including drummer Clem Cattini, to record Tony Macauley and John MacLeod’s poppy “Look at Me, Look at Me”, which was backed by the soulful “Room at the Top” (credited to Curtis’s real name: David Myers but actually a co-write with Ray Brown and originally cut as a demo by Jeff Curtis & The Flames around May 1966).

The A-side only features Ray Brown from the band who provides the lead vocal and is surrounded by the massed vocals of The Ivy League. The B-side is notable for its use of horns and cello and has a soulful feel with Jeff Curtis’s gravelly voice to the fore.

Produced by Mervyn Conn and arranged by Keith Mansfield, the single was released on 12 October 1967 but did not chart despite being plugged by DJ Tony Blackburn on Radio 1.

During the same session, Conn used The Ivy League as singers on an excellent version of “Step Out of Your Mind”, previously recorded and released in the United States by The American Breed, and a cover of Ralph Murphy’s “Funny What a Fool Can Be”. Like the previous B-side, Jeff Curtis sang lead vocals on this track and the band members are featured on the recording.

The two tracks were coupled for a second single, issued, and then mysteriously withdrawn, in limited edition, around December 1967.

That same month, the band played at Coronation Hall in Kingston with PP Arnold, after which Ray Brown departed to reunite with Steve Reading and Mickey Baker from his 1950s band, The Sky Blue Skiffle Group, in a new outfit called Champagne. During 1968, Champagne shared the bill with The Kool at Kew Boat House. In late 1968, Brown joined The Magic Roundabout, who cut a rare single – “Standing on the Dark Side of The Moon”.

With Ray Brown out of the picture, The Kool carried on, bringing in new bass player Brian Hosking.

Notable gigs:
1 December 1967 – Coronation Hall, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey with PP Arnold


The Kool, late 1967
from left: Ray Brown, Jeff Curtis (aka David Myers), Pete Burt, Dave Carol and Jet Hodges
The Kool #2 (January-August 1968)

Jeff Curtis – vocals
Dave Carol – lead guitar, vocals
Jet Hodges (aka Richard Hodgins) – keyboards, vocals
Brian Hosking – bass
Pete Burt – drums

Originally from Twickenham, Middlesex, Brian Hosking (b. 7 July 1947, Twickenham, Middlesex) was no stranger to the band having known Dave Carol from The Smokestacks in 1964. Hosking had first played bass with The Diplomats while at school and then joined The Feeet with guitarist Doug Ayris. During 1963, Hosking and Ayris formed The Legend with singer Nigel Kingswell and drummer John Sergeant.

In 1964, Hosking left to join The Smokestacks. Two years later, he helped form Twickenham band, The All Night Workers. However, after a few months, he departed to run a bar full-time in Heston and only returned to the live scene in October 1967 with a short-lived band called Deep Purple (no relation to their more famous namesake). When he joined The Kool, Hosking had given up the bar to sell car batteries in Slough and was living in Hounslow.

In early 1968, The Kool appeared at London’s top nightclubs, the Cromwellian and the Pickwick. During the second part 1968, the band increasingly found work in the Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey area.

Notable gigs:
27 January 1968 – Locarno Ballroom, Swindon, Wiltshire with James Stuart Inspiration
22 June 1968 – Excel Bowl, Tolworth, Surrey
6 July 1968 – Excel Bowl, Tolworth, Surrey
19 July 1968 – Apple Tree Club, Kingston Hotel, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey


Click
for larger image

Click
for larger image
The Kool #3 (August 1968-January 1969)

Jeff Curtis – vocals
Dave Carol – lead guitar, vocals
Jet Hodges (aka Richard Hodgins) – keyboards, vocals
Brian Hosking – bass
Steve Allen – drums

During late summer Pete Burt departed and joined up with keyboard player Bob Brittain for a tour of Germany. In 1969, Brittain offered Burt the drum position in his new band, Pickettywitch but the drummer declined the offer. The following year, he reunited with his old school friend from Roxeth Manor School – Rod Wharton and they formed the trio, Hogsnort Rupert. Burt subsequently retired from the music business and passed away on 20 March 2013.

Steve Allen, who was originally from Cornwall and had played in several West Country bands for five years before moving to Esher, Surrey, took over from Burt while working for the Inland Revenue in Richmond, Surrey during the day.

According to the Kingston and Malden Borough News, the new line up returned to the studios in early September 1968 to record three more sides, including two band originals, and two of the tracks recorded would be chosen for the band’s next single, due out around Christmas. The promised single never appeared.

The new Kool line-up, however, was short-lived because Allen did not like the band’s music and departed early on to join The Factory, led by singer Jack Brand.

Notable gigs:
16 August 1968 – Apple Tree Club, Kingston Hotel, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey
25 August 1968 – Apple Tree Club, White Lion, Putney, Surrey
18 November 1968 – Orange Grove, Grove Tavern, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey
6 December 1968 – Apple Tree Club, Kingston Hotel, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey


Click
for larger image


Program for show in Caen, France in Feb. 1969.
The photo shows the ’67 lineup before Brian Hosking and Geoff Coxon had joined.
Program scan courtesy of Brian Hosking

The Kool #4 (January-May 1969)

Jeff Curtis – vocals
Dave Carol – lead guitar, vocals
Jet Hodges (aka Richard Hodgins) – keyboards, vocals
Brian Hosking – bass
Geoff Coxon – drums

Dave Carol enlisted his old friend from early 1960s band, The Drovers, Geoff Coxon, to replace the outgoing Steve Allen. Since splitting from Carol in 1964, Coxon had joined Hampton, Middlesex band, The Others, just in time to promote their lone single on Fontana, a raucous version of Bo Diddley’s “Oh Yeah”, coupled with the band original “I’m Taking Her Home”.

After The Others fell apart in October of that year, Coxon moved on to work with Colin Shane & The Shannons alongside guitarist Dave Mumford and bass player Dick Merritt. When this group split up in late 1965, the trio formed The Sugar Band with organist Malcolm Wainman, tenor sax player Pete Browning and baritone sax player Les Batt and worked the soul club circuit until late 1967.

The band’s agent then linked the musicians with Jamaican singer Delroy Williams and they became The Delroy Williams Show with The Sugar Band. By late 1968, the group had split from Williams and Coxon gigged around before joining The Kool.

The new line up travelled to France to play the Grand Ball at Caen University in early February. During that weekend, the new band members did a signing at a record shop for their forthcoming CBS single, which featured a photo of the original line up.

On 18 April 1969, CBS belatedly released The Kool’s second single, “Step Out of Your Mind” c/w “Funny What A Fool Can Be”, over a year after it was originally recorded. Despite a strong performance, the band’s moment had passed and the single failed to chart.

The single was reviewed in the Kingston and Malden Borough News’s 25 April 1969 edition, together with a photo of the original line up.

The current line up, however, signed to MCA and recorded a final single, issued in June 1969, coupling the poppy “Lovin’”, written by the song-writing team Capitanelli and O’Connor, backed by Dave Myers’ original, “Baby’s Out of Reach”. Produced by Phil Swern, arranged by Tom Parker, and with backing vocals by Sue and Sonny, the single had great potential but was another chart failure.

Before it was released both Jet Hodges and newcomer Geoff Coxon departed. Coxon joined Calum Bryce, reuniting with Dave Mumford. Coxon currently performs with a reformed The Others.

Notable gigs:
8 February 1969 – Grand Ball, Caen University, France


Calum Bryce, late 1969. Geoff Coxon at far left
Photo courtesy of Geoff Coxon

The Kool #5 (May-August 1969)

Jeff Curtis – vocals
Dave Carol – lead guitar, vocals
Ronnie Clayden – keyboards, vocals
Brian Hosking – bass
Jim Park – drums

Jim Park (b. 21 March 1947, Staines, Middlesex) was recruited via an advert that Hosking put in Melody Maker. The band received over 60 applications for the drum vacancy but Park knew Clive Burrows, who was singing in the latest version of Hosking’s former group The All Night Workers, which still contained Hosking’s former band mate from The Legend, Doug Ayris. Burrows also worked as a store man at a shop Hosking’s girlfriend managed.

Barely 20 years old, Clayden (b. 2 April 1949, Lewisham, Kent) was living in Ascot, Berkshire at the time and had previously worked with Maidenhead band, The John Thomas Blues Band, which included lead guitarist Graham Marshall and drummer Chris Stevens.

The John Thomas Blues Band landed loads of support gigs opening for the likes of The Pretty Things, The Gun and Aynsley Dunbar’s Retaliation and had even spent a brief period backing American blues singer/pianist Champion Jack Dupree. The John Thomas Blues Band appeared at the Crown pub in Twickenham on 11 January 1969. Clayden finds out about the position in The Kool through Jim Park whose parents worked with his.

The Kool, however, were nearing their end and during a run of shows at the Sir Robert Peel in Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, longstanding front man Jeff Curtis quit the band and was replaced by singer Roger Semon.

Not long after newcomer Jim Park also departed and subsequently re-joined The All Night Workers. Alan Cottrell took his place on the drum stool.

After leaving the band he had led for nearly a decade, Jeff Curtis reverted to his real name, David Myers, and set up his own restaurant business. He died in tragic circumstances in the late 1990s.

Notable gigs:
19-20 July 1969 – Sir Robert Peel, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey
7 August 1969 – Sir Robert Peel, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey
12 August 1969 – Sir Robert Peel, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey


Sir Robert Peel, photo taken September 2011

The Kool, December 1970, from left: Brian Hosking, Alan Cottrell, Roger Semon, Dave Carol and (not pictured) Ronnie Clayden
Photo courtesy of Brian Hosking

The Kool #6 (September 1969-December 1970)

Roger Semon – vocals
Dave Carol – lead guitar, vocals
Ronnie Clayden – keyboards, vocals
Brian Hosking – bass
Alan Cottrell – drums

Despite losing their longstanding frontman, The Kool continued into 1970 but did not record any more material. In early 1971, Hosking and Clayden both left.

Hosking later moved to the Guildford area where he worked with the band Bloodhound. Based on Bournemouth, he is currently working with a reformed version of The All Night Workers. Clayden, meanwhile, subsequently moved to the Camberley/Ascot area on the Surrey/Berkshire border and worked with the band, Snow Leopard. He later moved to the United States where he currently resides.

After bringing back Hosking’s predecessor Ray Brown from Magic Roundabout and carrying on without a keyboard player, the final line up continued as Easy Virtue throughout 1971. During that year, John Frost took over the drum stool from Alan Cottrell.

In 1972, Carol left and was replaced by lead guitarist Frank Torpey, who’d been in the original Sweet. The band then changed name to Crackers. However, in 1973, John Frost left to re-join Carol in a new version of Easy Virtue, which lasted into the mid-1970s. Carol subsequently left the music business and currently runs his own restaurant business in Southwest London.

Ray Brown meanwhile stayed in the music business until the mid-1980s. Crackers were studio winners on Opportunity Knocks in 1976 and recorded material at Abbey Road and Surrey Sound Studios. Three tracks featuring Roger Semon, Ray Brown and Frank Torpey were released under the name Horrorcomic on Lighting Records in 1977 and reached #28 in Melody Maker’s punk charts.

Two further singles were released in 1978 and 1979 with Roger Willis from Capability Brown on drums. All of the single releases, plus six previously unreleased recordings were issued in 2006 by Sanctuary Records on the CD England 77’. Brown later worked with comedy show group The Wallies and The Beasty Grandads before retiring from the music business in September 1988. He currently lives in Surrey.

Notable gigs:
10 September 1969 – Sir Robert Peel, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey
17 September 1969 – Sir Robert Peel, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey
27 September 1969 – Kingston College of Technology, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey with Bobby Kerr Whoopee Band and The Web

A huge thanks goes to Dave Carol, Pete Burt, Brian Hosking, Geoff Coxon, Ronnie Clayden, Ray Brown, Rod Wharton and John Frost. The Kingston and Malden Borough News also proved useful. Many thanks to Brian Hosking, Ray Brown and Ronnie Clayden for providing some of the images. This is dedicated to Pete Burt.

45 releases:

Look at Me, Look at Me/Room at the Top (CBS 203003) 1967
Step Out of Your Mind/Funny (What a Fool a Can Be) (CBS 2865) April 18, 1969
Lovin’/Baby’s Out of Reach (MCA MU 1085) 1969

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.

I have tried to ensure the accuracy of this article but I appreciate that there are likely to be errors and omissions. I would appreciate any feedback from anyone who can provide any additions or corrections. Email: Warchive@aol.com