David Essex & The Mood Indigo

The Mood Indigo in mid-1966. Left to right: Rick Parker, original sax player, Pete Steed, Dave Dyer and original drummer Mick. Photo: Del Paramor

Keyboard player Pete Steed formed the original Mood Indigo in early 1966 before singer David Essex became involved. The original formation comprised:

Pete Steed – organ/vocals

Dave Dyer – lead guitar

Rick Parker – bass

Mick ? – drums


A sax player whose name no one can recall

On 11 September 1966, tenor sax player Del Paramor rehearsed with The Mood Indigo before playing his debut gig three days later, succeeding the sax player who’d left. Paramor had previously worked in a group with future Procol Harum keyboard player Matthew Fisher.

14 September 1966 – USAF base, Broughton, Northamptonshire

16 September 1966 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge

17 September 1966 – Memorial Hall, Newmarket, Suffolk

22 September 1966 – Conservative Club, Bedford, Bedfordshire

23 September 1966 – Letchworth Youth Club, Letchworth, Hertfordshire

The Mood Indigo pictured without David Essex in Cambridge, spring 1967. Photo: Del Paramor

1 October 1966 – DeHavilland Social Club, Stevenage, Hertfordshire

3 October 1966 – Tiles, Oxford Street, London

7 October 1966 – Purple Door, Luton, Bedfordshire

8 October 1966 – Maidenhead, Berkshire (possibly Dolphin Hotel)

On the morning of 8 October, the musicians auditioned at the Marquee in Greek Street in London and met David Essex. The singer and his manager Derek Bowman were keen to link up with The Mood Indigo so that Essex could gain some “road” experience with a touring group

12 October 1966 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge

14 October 1966 – Stanford-le-Hope, Essex (unknown venue)

15 October 1966 – Folkestone, Kent (possibly Tofts)

16 October 1966 – Olympia Ballroom, Cromer, Norfolk

On 18 October, Mood Indigo had its first rehearsal with David Essex and baritone sax player Paddy Corea from his early Sixties group, The China Plates in Stevenage

22 October 1966 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge

26 October 1966 – Mecca Ballroom, Stevenage, Hertfordshire with The Searchers

27 October 1966 – Mecca Ballroom, Stevenage, Hertfordshire with The Ted Heath Band


4 November 1966 – Garden of Eden Club, Bridge Hotel, Wheatley, Oxfordshire

5 November 1966 – Irchester, near Rushden, Northamptonshire (unknown venue)

12 November 1966 – Leicester University, Leicester

12 November 1966 – Latin Quarter, Leicester

16 November 1966 – Mecca Ballroom, Stevenage, Hertfordshire with Lee Dorsey

18 November 1966 – Drill Hall, Newmarket, Suffolk

19 November 1966 – Wittering near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire (unknown venue)

21 November 1966 – Goldsmith College, New Cross, London

24 November 1966 – Charity show at Bowes Lyon House, Stevenage, Hertfordshire with Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers

25 November 1966 – Caesars Palace, Luton, Bedfordshire

26 November 1966 – Hermitage Ballroom, Hitchin, Hertfordshire

29 November 1966 – Letchworth College of Technology, Letchworth, Hertfordshire


1 December 1966 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge with Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band

2 December 1966 – Witchdoctor Club, Catford, London

3 December 1966 – Owl Club, Wanstead, Essex

9 December 1966 – El Grotto, Ilford, London

10 December 1966 – Youth Club, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

16 December 1966 – The Cricketers, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex

Following this gig, Mick, the drummer was sacked after crashing the van and replaced by a drummer called Keith

18 December 1966 – El Grotto, Ilford, London

22 December 1966 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge

24 December 1966 – Mecca Ballroom, Stevenage, Hertfordshire

31 December 1966 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire with The Mooche

Near the Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge, spring 1967. Left to right: second drummer Keith, Paddy Corea, Del Paramor, Pete Steed and Rick Parker. Photo: Del Paramor


1 January 1967 – Flamingo, Wardour Street, Soho, London (“Radio Caroline Night Out”)

6 January 1967 – Brackley Town Hall, Brackley, Northamptonshire

7 January 1967 – New All-Star Club, 9a Artillery Passage, E1, London

8 January 1967 – Maids Head, King’s Lynn, Norfolk

9 January 1967 – Drill Hall, Newmarket, Suffolk

13 January 1967 – Purple Door, Luton, Bedfordshire

14 January 1967 – Nautilus Club, Lowestoft, Suffolk

20 January 1967 – USAF base, Mildenhall, Suffolk

21 January 1967 – Owl Club, Wanstead, London

22 January 1967 – Hyams Sports and Social Club, Prickwillow, Cambridgeshire

23 January 1967 – Tiles, Oxford Street, London

27 January 1967 – Harvest Moon, Guildford, Surrey with Jon and Great Expectations (West Surrey Advertiser) Paramor says this was cancelled

28 January 1967 – 007 Club, Keys Hall, Brentwood, Essex with The Wishbones

30 January 1967 – Working Men’s Club, Kettering, Northamptonshire

On 3 February, Del Paramor remembers David Essex’s father hired a new Ford van for the group to travel in

3 February 1967 – Witchdoctor, Catford, London

4 February 1967 – Starlite, Greenford, London

8 February 1967 – Flamingo, Wardour Street, Soho, London

10 February 1967 – Caesar’s Palace, Luton, Bedfordshire

11 February 1967 – Cliff Pavilion, Southend-on-Sea, Essex

12 February 1967 – Tiffany’s, Shaftsbury Avenue, London

14 February 1967 – Bournemouth Pavilion, Bournemouth, Dorset with Dave Berry

15 February 1967 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge with The Jimi Hendrix Experience

17 February 1967 – Walton-on-Naze, near Clacton, Essex (unknown venue)

18 February 1967 – Legion Hall, Amersham, Bucks

19 February 1967 – Eel Pie Island, Twickenham, London

23 February 1967 – Weir Hotel, Raleigh, Essex

24 February 1967 – Upper Cut, Forest Gate, London with Jo Jo Gunne

25 February 1967 – El Grotto, Ilford, London

26 February 1967 – Olympia Ballroom, Cromer, Norfolk

1 March 1967 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge

3 March 1967 – RAF Marham, near Swaffham, Norfolk

4 March 1967 – California Ballroom, Dunstable, Bedfordshire with The Who

5 March 1967 – Maids Head, King’s Lynn, Norfolk

6 March 1967 – Drill Hall, Newmarket, Suffolk

7 March 1967 – RAF Wyton, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

12 March 1967 – Brandon, near Mildenhall, Suffolk (unknown venue)

17 March 1967 – Sawston College, near Cambridge

18 March 1967 – Assembly Rooms, Framlingham, Suffolk

19 March 1967 – Tavern Club/Sunshine Floor, East Dereham, Norfolk

25 March 1967 – Thing Club, Oldham, Lancashire

25 March 1967 – Majestic Club, Oldham, Lancashire (“guested”)

27 March 1967 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge

31 March 1967 – Disk-a-Takis Club, Manchester


1 April 1967 – Maple Ballroom, Northampton

5 April 1967 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge

6 April 1967 – Samantha’s, New Burlington Street, W1, London

8 April 1967 – New All-Star Club, 9a Artillery Passage, E1, London

9 April 1967 – Working Men’s Club, Kettering, Northamptonshire

13 April 1967 – RAF Henlow, Hertfordshire

15 April 1967 – Town Hall, Heacham, Norfolk

16 April 1967 – Co-op Hall, Warrington, Cheshire

17 April 1967 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire

22 April 1967 – Abertillery Jazz Club, Wales

25 April 1967 – Darrell’s Club, Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester

26 April 1967 – Club A Go Go, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne & Wear

27 April 1967 – Mecca/Locarno, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear

28 April 1967 – Cambridge City Football Club, Cambridge with The Spencer Davis Group, The Yardbirds, Family and The Breed

29 April 1967 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire

3 May 1967 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge with The Barron Knights

5 May 1967 – USAF base, Stanton, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

6 May 1967 – Tiles, Oxford Street, London with The All Night Walkers and Zany Woodruffe Operation

6 May 1967 – Flamingo, Wardour Street, Soho, London

10 May 1967 – The Place, Hanley, Staffordshire

12 May 1967 – Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton, London

13 May 1967 – Dreamland, Margate, Kent with The Troggs

14 May 1967 – Dreamland, Margate, Kent with The Troggs (final gig)

David Essex splits from The Mood Indigo after the Dreamland gigs and goes solo. Del Paramor briefly works with singer Vince Edwards before joining The Warren Davis Monday Band in July. The Mood Indigo reform later in the year

Although the gig advertised Mood Indigo, Del Paramor says it was his next band with Vince Edwards who honoured the booking

Huge thanks to Del Paramor for the gigs listings from September 1966-May 1967. Thanks to Del for the use of photos as well.

Copyright © Nick Warburton.  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.

Mood Indigo, spring 1967, left to right: Rick Parker, Paddy Corea, Pete Steed, Keith (drummer) and Del Paramor. Photo: Del Paramor

5 thoughts on “David Essex & The Mood Indigo”

  1. The drummer in Mood Indigo was Keith Harvey. Keith was formally a member of The Niteshades who released the song Be My Guest in 1965, from the film of the same name. I was at school with Keith and for a short period of time he played drums in one of the bands I was in, namely Harsh Reality. Pete Steed went on to play guitar and sing in a band called The Helmsmen who were resident at The Longship in Stevenage Town Centre. The last time I saw him was in Malta were he was doing a residency at a holiday resort back in 1980. Rick Parker was bassist with The Deltics in the early 60’s who’s singer was Alan Greed – who was the vocalist / keyboards with Harsh Reality.

  2. Dear David,

    Thank you for your comment. I remember Keith well. he was a very good, albeit somewhat eccentric, drummer with a great sense of humour – especially when on “medication”. it was only for reasons of health that he left the band. According to Pete Steed’s first wife, Gloria, Rick Parker stayed on in Malta as a yacht deckhand and the good life. Any info you could give me about Rick, Keith and the first guitarist Dave Dyer would be very welcome. Did we ever meet during the Stevenage era? i know we had a roadie called Dave towards the end.

    1. Hi Del,
      Your name rings no bells with me but that’s not to say our paths have not crossed. What bands did you play in? I was in The Stalkers / The Switch / Revolution/The Freightliner Blues Band/Harsh Reality before joining up with ex Niteshades Martin Davies/Giner Roberts + Len Crawley from Linda Laine and The Sinners to tour Greece and Turkey (USAF Bases) in 1969. Can’t give you too much info on Rick Parker but Len Crawley told me that he joined ‘Peanuts’ as bassist for a few gigs back in the early seventies after Martin Davies left the band. Can’t add much more about Keith, you’ve said it all. The last time I saw him was around 2006, a couple of years before I left Stevenage to live in Norfolk. I first met Dave Dyer when Andy Colpin joined Fernando and The Hideaways. Andy was a neighbour of mine and we learnt to play guitar together. I think Dave lived in Knebworth at the time, I remember going to early rehearsals of the band in the back of a shop in Station Road.
      I spoke to Pete Steed while we where playing Incerlik Air Base in Turkey back in 1969, he and Keith along with Jerry (The Helmsmen) were with the same agency as us and were at the time playing in Ankara. We were about to come home after a nine month stint in both Greece and Turkey, and soon after I got home I bumped into Keith in the town centre. He did not elaborate on why he was back so soon!!!
      Hope you find this of interest.

  3. Nice one Dave …yes Rick Parker joined the group ‘Peanuts’ after Martin Davies left, Rick was an excellent bass player, although he did like a drink or 2 or 3…don’t know where he is now , I think l heard from someone he may have passed on like Pete Steed has, Pete never did pay me the 15 bob he owed me after I sold him my paper round in 1956…HAPPY DAYS

  4. I have been checking some Yardbirds concert dates for 1967 and Del Paramor has listed his band , Mood lndigo , appearing at Cambridge FC with The Yardbirds , Spencer Davies, Family and The Breed on 28 /4 / 67 and then apparently , exactly the same line up appeared at Cambridge FC on the 29/5/ 67. Del said Mood lndigo were replaced by his next band. If you read this Del, lt seems that the club managed to , more or less , get exactly the same line up a month later? Can anyone confirm this? Many thanks for any help.

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