From Belfast to the Land Down Under
The website fascinates me in so
much as the old photos of Belfast bands throw up so many of my old
mates from years ago from Katmandu to The College Boys, Cousins,
Freshmen, Green Angels etc. My great friend and ex school mate the
late magnificent Gerry McIlduff ex: Fontana, Green Angels, Jimmy
Johnson, Plattermen, Pogues and Pretenders deserves an epitaph on
your site. Gerry was my inspiration and motivator. A Drummers
drummer who is sadly missed.
My own experience dates back to 1966 through to 1997 when I first
came to Australia. Chronologically my playing days were;
Sack of Woe (1966) a Carrick based pop band playing Betty Staffs
Nite Set with Roy Walker (1967/8) resident in the Talk of the Town
Night Club Belfast
Capri Showband (1969) based in Newtownabbey, managed by CT
Hurricanes Showband (1969/70) based in Belfast, but primarily
Headband (1970) formed out of the Hurricanes playing Chicago, Blood
Sweat & Tears etc and
gigging in 'Just Jerrys' in Belfast and featuring Brian Scott on
Keyboards who later became an integral part of Light with Jim
Armstrong formerly of Them. Also lead singer was Davy Taylor who
later formed Otis & the Elevators playing Blues Bros Material.
Dave Glover (1970/71) minus Muriel Day with Johnny Anderson on
Trombone and a rhythm section featuring another ex cabaret band
called Roadhouse. Roadhouse featured Ian Andrews on keyboards, ex
Misfits from Belfast whose drummer was John Wilson of Rory Gallagher
Various cabaret bands from 1971 to 1977.
Witnesses (1977/78) resident in the Railway in Antrim featuring Tony
Morelli, Gerry Rice, Trixie Hamilton, George Mullen and Joe 'Boots'
Clarke from Canada and all original Witnesses members. Also Ned Mc
Crudden on keyboards and myself. The band took over the residency
Bronco (1979/82) featuring Kenny Mc Dowell on vocals ( ex Them, Mad
Lads and College Boys).
An absolutely brilliant band who never got the recognition we
Sk'boo (1982/88) formed out of Bronco and Light and featuring Kenny
Mc Dowell on vocals, Jim Armstrong on Lead (ex Them) Alan Hunter on
bass and myself. Again a brilliant band playing blues, rock etc and
mainly resident in the Errigle in Belfast. Belfast rocked for 6
years and was probably the last great rock band hewn out of 60's
boys playing such material.
1988/1991) Jim Daly Blues Band featuring the late great Jim Daly (a
mentor of Van Morrison) on keyboards, Ronnie Greer on lead (
probably Ireland's best blues guitarist) and Torry Mc Gahey ex
Freshmen on bass. We played various blues festivals in Ireland and
England. Ronnie and Kenny Mc Dowell are currently playing together
in their own blues band doing various festivals across the country
1991/97) Dusty Hagan Band featuring Dusty Hagan on vocals and Barry
Mc Crudden on Keyboards, Tenor Sax ( ex Cousins). Dusty was ex
Pennyfeather and Apartment, two great Belfast bands.
We recorded a CD in 1997 titled 'Dusty Hagan Band live at Cutters
Wharf'. The band's keyboard player and MD at that time was Mark
Dougherty who later became MD for Peter Corry and one of the
Riverdance European touring shows.
As you can see my experience covered a lot of areas but not so much
actual showbands. More local N Irish and Belfast pop/rock/cabaret.
However they were great times and may jog a few memories for