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Live music

I have memories of going to see Roy Orbison at the Picture House in Keighley. His live sound was just the same as on the records, and I was amazed that he sang, and produced the most amazing falsetto, without apparently needing to open his mouth beyond a slit. I'm sure his singing style owed a lot to ventriloquism. Beyond that, live music opportunities for the KGBS pupil were few and far between. By the time I got to the sixth form, it was clear that other pupils had developed musical interests, and for a time I hung out with Robert Bracewell, who played good blues harmonica behind my rudimentary blues guitar. If you could travel, there were blues clubs in some of the otherwise derelict large hotels in Ilkley, and I remember seeing John Lee Hooker, accompanied by the Yardbirds, who at the time featured E Clapton on guitar. All the young white kids in the Yardbirds were clearly perplexed by the fact that JLH changed chords when he wanted to change, rather than when they expected him to change. And sometimes he didn't change at all, preferring to allude to chords rather than play the full versions. Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) also stopped over in Ilkley, and Champion Jack Dupree (then a resident of Halifax) also featured prominently. Around the same time, there was a club in Bradford called The Little Fat Black Pussy Cat. I saw Long John Baldry there, with a guest spot from his protege Rod Stewart. The first folk club I went to was in Leeds. It featured Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger who amazed me with her picking style on guitar. Closer to home, in Bingley, there was a pub that had live trad jazz every week. The musicians were guys who'd learned to play long before TV was invented, and they could really play. In about 1964 I helped orgnanise a KBGS?KGGS school dance together with Rick Battarbee. I can't recall the name of the local 'beat band' that we booked, but they were good, and comprised ex KBGS pupils.
I believe that Keighley now boasts longstanding and highly successful folk and blues clubs, but in my KBGS days there were little if any live music venues in Keighley. What are others' memories of exposure to live music in KBGS days? Can anyone remember the name of the local band we booked for the school dance?

Re: Live music

Virtually none, as you know my musical interest are classical, but I remember my sister raving over the Walker Brothers, who performed at Victoria Hall. She was in ecstasy cos she touched one of them !

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-64

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Live music

The only live music I recall in Keighley during my youth was played by Brian and the Vigilantes.
Clearly I didn't have your determination at that age, Allan.
Ah ..... I did see Joseph Locke once when I was primary school age. Does that count?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958-65

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Live music

Joseph Locke used to stay at our house when he went shooting with my dad. He gave me a pony once.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 55-60.

Current location (optional) Harrogate

Re: Live music

I am aghast that no one has included the Friday night dances at Keighley Baths Hall where some of the country's top big bands appeared, sharing the stand with local bands. This would have been in the '50s. I used to go with John Turner and Billie Rooke. We would get a place (standing) on the balcony at the shallow end and watch the "show" from there.Although I missed Ted Heath, The Squadronnaires et al, I did see the bands of Eric Delaney; Ronnie Scott; The Kirchen Band (Basil and Ivor). This latter had a talent competition and Trevor Richardson (talented musician) and I entered - Trevor on Piano and me on a BIG, BIG BAND drum kit. There was always a House Match next morning at Rose Cottage: KO 0915. Sod's Law.

I went with my sister and bro-in-law to see The JATP (Jazz At The Philharmonic)tour. This was a show of American Jazz musicianship put together by Norman Granz. They made several tours. I saw them in Leeds. Among their number were Dizzy Gillespie; Stan Getz; Coleman Hawkins; Roy Eldridge; Oscar Peterson; Ella Fitzgerald. Although they had toured Europe several times - this was the first tour to include Britain (1957).

At the time,I was in 6A1 and and Sam Riley was form teacher. In form period (after registration on Thursday pm)he expected each of us to take our turn with a 5 minute or so talk on a subject of our interest. I got in my 10 pennorth after I had seen the JATP and baffled (bored) the rest with a list of the "Greats" whom I had seen and heard live. (I remember describing it as an evening of "real,cool jazz). Led by Sam, they all questioned the meaning of "cool". It then had a special meaning referring to the style and mood of the music. Nowadays it means "owt" from what I can detect

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1952-60

Current location (optional) Nirvana

Re: Live music

Mention of 'The Squadronnaires' reminds me that they used to alternate Saturdays with 'The Ambassadors' as the live dance band in the Mechanics Hall, throughout the whole of the fifties. I wonder, did they continue into the early sixties, until the place burnt down? And when the Mechanics was gone, was there any other venue in Keighley to take over the Saturday night dances, the 'Cons' etc?

And Terry, the Trevor Richardson you mention, was he the same one who went to Parkwood (but not KBGS) and subsequently became a musician in one of the Guards Bands?

Doug

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick, Cumbria

Re: Live music

Terry, sounds like you were a real gone cat, man! I remember hearing my parents talk of the Ambassadors. I take it they were the local dance band in the days when people properly danced, and going to the dancing was what you did on a Saturday (or a Friday) night? Proper musicians who, if they played fretted instruments, took the BMG and formed local banjo, mandolin and guitar clubs. There must have been equivalents for the brass instruments, and even drums! Now, getting back to my memory loss, was there a band called the Beatniks in Keighley in the late fifties, early sixties, and could they have been the band we booked for the school dance in 1964?

Re: Live music

Two bands seemed to have had majority use of the Mechanics. The Ambassadors - Bob (Zog) Sugden's dad was a member (piano I believe). The other band was The Commanders (a term with a more recent meaning !)

It was indeed the same Trevor Richardson, Doug. He came off a musical family - his mother and dad were the regular Saturday night entertainment (piano and guitar - with Trevor occasionally on drums) in the pub (??) at the bottom of Goulbourne Street on Halifax Road.

As far as big band concerts go - St George's Hall in Bfd was a happy hunting ground - Jack Parnell; Ted Heath; Johnny Dankworth (and Cleo!); Humphrey Lyttelton - as well as Nina and Frederick and Marty Wilde!!. Those were the daze.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1952-60

Current location (optional) Nirvana

Re: Live music

I think Ernest Clewer was a trumpeter in one of the Mechanics bands. He worked at DSG with my father, and think is alive and kicking in Hillworth, Oakworth rd

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-64

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Live music

Thanks for that, Terry. The 'Commanders', not the 'Squadronnaires'. The pub at the bottom of Golbourne Street? Would that be the Globe, maybe? Still there, isn't it, whatever its name?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick, Cumbria

Re: Live music

It was The King's Head, Doug.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958-65

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Live music

You are right Brian. Ernest Clewer is alive but perhaps not kicking. He made front page in the Keighley News today for having to wait two hours for an ambulance after falling and breaking his hip. He got a new hip the following day.The report does mention that he was "a former semi-professional trumpeter".

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1954 - 1960

Current location (optional) Embsay, Skipton.

Re: Live music

My brother Arnold (ex KBGS)played piano with the Ambassadors. BobPickles played clarinet. His daughter (ex KGGS) became an excellent flautist playing with many professional outfits. Albert Cowling a relation of Alan Cowling (ex KBGS) played drums. Jack Feather - Sax and Jack Nicholson - Bass.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959-64

Current location (optional) Keighley

Re: Live music

Do you know,David, where Bob Sugden's dad fitted in? I know he was an Ambassador. Bob (Zog) started on clarinet and graduated to tenor sax.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1952-60

Current location (optional) Nirvana

Re: Live music

You forgot Billy Taylor, David, from Cross Roads. I think he also played sax from memory. Bobby Pickles was band leader of the Ambassadors, lived at Haworth and worked at the Gas Board. On my last Saturday night in England in January 1954 at the Cross Roads Cons, Bobby announced that as this was Billy Walsh's last dance in Cross Roads before emigrating to Australia, we are going to play a dance especially for Billy, "Walking my Baby back home" First and last time that has happened for me. Billy Taylor's family were neighbours of ours in Cross Roads and I had known them all my life. His dad Maurice was a founder partner of the Bronte Bus Co with Mr Snaith but opted out when they moved from Cross Roads to Haworth.
Of the Big Bands to visit Keighley in the 40s and 50s, arguably the most popular was The Saints. I could never afford to go at my young age, but I well remember them at the top of the posters around the place.
I made up for it in future years and have seen many of the big bands which came down under over the next 20-30 years. I think that Ted Heath was the first I saw with vocalist Lita Rosa-I fell in love with her! Acker, Kenny Ball were favourites but in 1964 I fulfilled a dream, I saw Lois Armstrong, live in Wellington with his All stars. It cost me over a weeks wages but worth every penny. I still have the programme! Just about three weeks ago we were doing some Christmas shopping and while my wife was in the womens area, I filled in the time browsing in the bargain dvd bin. Lo and behold I found a DVD made in Sydney in 1964 of Louis and his boys. It is in black and white. Believe it or not the price was reduced to $4.95. Bill had to have to have it so went to the checkout and they said that the price was wrong, it was now $2.95! Christmas came early for Bill. Cheers.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1947-51

Current location (optional) Auckland, NZ

Re: Live music

Yes David, I remember Bob Pickles, clarinetist, and his daughter Jane on Flute. They lived in Exley Rd a few doors from my Uncle Fred in Exley Cresc. We met at their house once and played a Mozart Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano . I also once played with Jane - a flute/organ piece at Lund Park Methodist Church.I remember her going off to play with the National Youth Orchestra.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-64

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Live music

Hi Terry. I don't recall a Sugden in the Ambassadors but I'll try and find out.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959-64

Current location (optional) Keighley

Re: Live music

Terry
There was a Bobby Sugden in the Ambassadords.
He was one of the piano players

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959-64

Current location (optional) Keighley

Re: Live music

Thanks for your researches, David.
His son, Robert (alias Zog) was in the same form as me from Year 1 to 6th form. They were an Oakworth family as I believe and Dad was employed with the local gas co. Zog went on to Sheffield (?) University.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1952-60

Current location (optional) Nirvana

Re: Live music

What do want if you don't want money? Saw Adam Faith (with you Allan?) at the Essoldo (?),saw Long J Baldry at Ilkley blues, and I seem to remember seeing The Rolling Stones there :all I recall is Not Fade Away, or I'm imagining it.Blimey, that's a long time ago. I think " Dylan at Keighley " will be his next Bootleg Series fronm the archives. Ahhhhhh've beeeeen a moonshineeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer for many a long yeaaaaaaar, spent all my money on whiskyyyyyyyy and beeeeeeeeer.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958=64

Re: Live music

Adam Faith! Yes! Had forgotten about him. The Stones were at a dance hall in Burnley, I think....The only Dylan I remember from Keighley days was the Magic Roundabout one....

Re: Live music

The Stones appreared at Nelson Imperial Ballroom. On the same bill that night were the Nomads from Keighley. The Nomads were also booked to play at Nelson on the same bill as the Beatles. Unfortunately it was at the time that Beatlemania erupted and the gig had to be cancelled.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959-64

Current location (optional) Keighley

Re: Live music

Yes, must've been Nelson, not Burnley. I do remember it was a ballroom and it was packed. From the back of the hall you could see very little apart from Mick's upper lip.

Re: Live music

Jimi Hendrix at the Troutbeck Hotel, Ilkley, just before Purple Haze had us all 'acting funny, but don't know why'! And of course, all those London R&B bands at Bingley College of Education, when the chaps were not busy chasing the skirts...

Re: Live music

Hendrix played the Troutbeck! Missed that one!

Re: Live music

Check the T&A archives for a more in depth report. Including some Keighley girls who had it away with Jimi and the Experience!!! According to the lead groupie.

Also I think the gig was shortened by an intemperate police intervention.