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who's in the picture
Left to right: Chris Martin, bass; Richard Brown, lead/rhythm guitar; Jim Tidmarsh, lead/rhythm guitar. Our first gig was at the church social and since our vocalist (Chris Davis) was unavailable we did a complete instrumental set of six numbers. The local paper were interested and posted this picture which showed us in our choir robes (we didn't actually play in these).
where was the band based
Chingford, London, UK
Shadows, Ventures, Duane Eddy, Bert Weedon
Myself and a group of friends were members of Chingford (North London) Parish Church Choir and shared similar musical interests - early R&R and instrumentals - and had decided individually to learn to play guitar a couple of years earlier. In about 1962 (we were all about 14 and 15 years old) we started playing together & roped in another friend from the choir as a vocalist.
Our first gig was at the church social and since the vocalist was unavailable we did a complete instrumental set of six numbers. The group were unnamed at this stage.
After a number of months, we were approached to play at a number of local 'youth club' functions in and round Chingford and Loughton (N London/Essex borders). One problem was that we didn't have a drummer !! Chris Davis went to school in Loughton and introduced classmate Nigel Pegrum as drummer and we had a couple of years of success locally as 'The Strangers', 'The Corsairs' and 'The Sands of Time' - we seemed to change the name quite often.
In about 1964 we were approached by a local agency who wanted to promote us but our parents objected since we were all coming up to our GCSE exams which we would sit in 1965 so the group folded - with one exception. Nigel Pegrum decided to leave school at 15 and became a pit drummer with holiday camp group Butlins. After our exams, Chris Martin, Richard and myself did limited gigs as an instrumental group, but very half heartedly.
brushes with fame
Drummer Nigel Pegrum played with Steeleye Span for 17 years, starting in the 1970's, before becoming a successful record label owner, producer and session musician.
extra info on Nigel Pegrum from John Warburg
Born 22.1.1949, in Theydon Bois, Essex), Nigel Pegrum went onto play in Spice, who had David Byron lead vocals (born David Garrick, 29.1.1947, in Epping, Essex died 28.2.1985, at home in Reading, Berkshire); Mick Box lead guitar (born Michael Box, 8.6.1947, in Walthamstow, East London) and Paul Newton bass (born 21.2.1946, in Andover, Hampshire).
Spice grew out of a band called The Stalkers originally formed in 1965, who were an Essex based semi-pro r & b group. The original members included Mick Box lead guitar; Brian Pendleton drums and one other on lead vocals, who was eventually replaced by David Garrick (Byron), Pendleton's cousin. Box and Byron then formed Spice in Dec 1966. An early line-up of the band included Nigel Pegrum drums and Barry Green bass (born Barry Ian Green, 12.12.1950, in London), who became famous in the 70's as singer Barry Blue. Blue was replaced by a chap called Alf in Early 1968, who in turn was ousted by Paul Newton in Mid 1968. Around Jul 1968 Pegrum was replaced by Glasgow, Scotland drummer Alex Napier. The band lasted until Dec 1969, when the band added organist Ken Hensley (born Kenneth William David Hensley, 24.8.1945, in Plumstead, South-east London) and became Uriah Heep. I know that Spice made some recordings and released a single.
where are they now
Chris Martin went to university in Durham and we lost touch. Likewise, Chris Davis went off to university and lost touch. Richard and I haven't met for nearly 30 years but still exchange Christmas cards - he is now an architect.
I stopped playing after getting married in 1973 and started to raise a family. In the early 1980s I renewed my acquaintance with the guitar and now play some solo gigs to backing tracks. I'm a member of a local award winning Male Voice Choir and regularly play a solo spot during our concerts. I'm also Choir Director of our local Catholic church and accompany the choir for mass on Sunday mornings. I have recently found a niche for myself in arranging traditional sacred music for guitar and small choir !!
My wife is a Governor at our local primary school which stages an ambitious musical every year - last year was 'Grease' and I took part with my guitar. This year is to be 'The Sound of Music' and I shall be involved as vocal coach and provider of backing tracks.
Apart from Nigel Pegrum, whose career I follow with interest, I have no idea whether the others are still involved in music. All I know, is that now I'm recently retired from a long career in investment banking, and I can now call myself a full-time musician - a lifetime's ambition realised !!!