FRIDAY 17 MAY 2013
Pete Maclaine and the Clan
supported by The Stretch Band

Your Host Paul Wilde introducing the evening.


Hi Manchester Pop Fans. Great to report that my recent event to celebrate The Hollies 'Debut Single' and fifty years of Manchester Pop was a great success. 200 people packed the Urmston Men's Club in South Manchester to enjoy a night with a difference. Marrying live entertainment with rare video, some interesting chat and a free for all on the dance floor where there was some serious jiving going on!
It was really buzzing and a big thanks to those who attended - none more so than those that entertained. Headlining was the local legend that is Pete Maclaine backed by his band The Clan. Together they played a sterling set - songs that inspired the beat groups all those years ago. Rock'n'Roll hits with some great renditions from a lineup that included Pete on lead vocals, Graham Attwood on sax, Gerry McLaughlin on lead guitar, Brendan Day on drums and Dave Barrow on bass guitar. A group of seasoned musicians who have known each other for years while in different groups on the local circuit. Graham was in the legendary Pete Bocking 6, Gerry in 'Gags' and a resident at the Band on the Wall. Brendan remains drummer in the Steve Gibbons Band and Dave Barrow was a member of 60's beat group The Measles. A band we saluted by playing their 1960's release 'Kick's much to Dave's embarrassment as it illustrated his 'beat look'!


For this was an opportunity to celebrate local artists from an era that I feel gets overshadowed which is the driving force behind my column. So next I focused on the audience and to another forgotten hero of Manchester Beat which was Johnny Peters. With great pride I was then able to offer a tribute by playing his 1965 Decca release 'When You Ask about Love'. It reminded us of his great voice and the fact he was produced by Andrew Loog Oldham who went on to manage The Rolling Stones. Also in the crowd was Alan Herricks, Bass guitarist with Bobby Dell and the Dellstars, another legendary group from the 1960's warmly remembered. While I had no recording to offer the audience I did acknowledge Alan and look forward to printing an article in the near future on his days in the Dellstars.

Roy, Paul and Pete courtesyof Phil 'Blanny' Blanchard

But to start the evening was a group that featured two stars who play to packed theatres in Holland. Unknown in Manchester these Urmston lads are one half of The Scorpions UK who had top ten hits in Europe in the mid 1960's including 'Hello Josephine'. Today they remain household names overseas topping the bill on sixties package tours above Herman's Hermits and the likes. So with Graham Lee on Lead Guitar and Tom Unthank on Drums they joined the house band 'Stretch' to open our special night. With Ralph on bass they belted out sixties hits to set the mood for what was to follow. Beat numbers that got toes a tapping and the crowd singing. Graham & Tom were members of The Chancellors in 1963 and Graham since played in Herman's Hermits and with Wayne Fontana.


With the evening in full flow we got to the main event - a brief chat with Pete before a spellbinding live performance!

Pete however, recalled playing at the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool on the same bill as The Beatles. And the fact a poster for the event recently sold for £27,500 which he wished he'd pinched for himself to reap the reward. Pete is a warm and engaging chap who deserves to be remembered when the Manchester Music Hall of Fame comes into being. It's got to happen soon to honour these great artists who are part of our musical heritage.

One such legend is Graham Nash who sent a message realising we were also celebrating the 50thanniversary of The Hollies debut release '(Ain't That) Just Like Me'. It read...

"I'm so proud to have been a partner in the Hollies and over the years, our music indeed stands the test of time. Music soothes the savage beast as they say. We brought so much pleasure to millions of people and I salute my partner Allan Clarke for being one of the great lead singers in the world… Here's to you Allan." Graham Nash.

He has since acknowledged my work and labour of love which is immensely gratifying. I hope we did him justice as we raised a
glass to The Hollies on their special anniversary



And to continue we also paid homage to Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana, The Mindbenders and Herman's Hermits whose own backyard we were in - how could we forget that! And so we finally came to the end of the night and from the feedback a fine evening was had by all - the following email may illustrate this from two ladies who attended wearing Beatles sixties t-shirts making it all worthwhile. Cheers girls and here's to the next one! Paul Wilde


Hi Paul - Just want to say how much we enjoyed Friday night once again, thanks to your hard work and dedication. It's so good to meet with like-minded people to share happy memories and celebrate a decade which will never be matched.  Rushing home from school and swapping the drab bottle green convent school uniform for the three quarter length leather coats barely covering our miniskirts. Although it really didn't matter what you wore underneath, as in the Oasis we danced in our coats regardless of the conditions down there in the cellar of noise, complete with condensation running down the walls which all added to the atmosphere.  Ahhhh happy memories! Shelagh and Chris


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