Bridgebeats were first formed by Peter Quinn in 1962. There were a
few different band members throughout 1962, but in 1963 the line-up was
Peter Quinn (guitar and keyboards), Trevor Ferreira (lead guitar), George
Robinson (drums), Giz Vandekleut ( bass) and David Bruce (singer).
Bridgebeats played all round the Manchester area, including the Bodega,
Oasis club with little Stevie Wonder, the Top Ten Club, all the
universities, the toast rack in Fallowfield , the College Theatre Club
(where we played resident for 6 months), Queens Ballroom Blackpool, Cavern
Club Liverpool, Warmingham Sporting Club and all the Palais de Dance clubs
through out the country. In 1964 we won an all bands competition sponsored
by Palais de Dance. In 1965 the band had some member changes with George
(replaced by Barry Yates) and Trevor (replaced by Clifford Plant)
in Stalybridge, the Bridgebeats got a record deal with Phonogram (Philips)
in Holland and we were asked to go to Holland to record a single. The label
suggested we change the band name to something easier for the Dutch to
pronounce and so before getting on the ferry from Immingham to Holland, we
did a few more Manchester gigs changing the band name to CAZ which was from
the number-plate off the Morris J2 ambulance we'd just bought for the trip.
When we arrived in Holland, the Dutch manager Luke Penninx had got us some
gigs over there but we soon fell foul of the Dutch authorities because we
needed work permits and it wasn't just one gig. Back then in the dark ages,
these permits were only being issued on an exchange basis, ie. a Dutch band
had to come and gig in England and then we'd be allowed to play in Holland.
Well, other than 'A mouse in a Windmill in old Amsterdam' there wasn't a lot
of call for Dutch pop in England. So the manager rented a Circus Tent,
called it The Beat-tent, and it being portable, we got round the
restrictions and travelled about Holland playing in that. The first tent he
rented was a mistake. It was an inflatable but the increased air pressure
inside caused a lot of 'slap-back' echo and made us sound as though we were
playing in the Alps. This was not good for the Dutch who were not renowned
for their yodelling until their band Focus and Jan Ackermann had a hit with
that song, was it Sylvia?) Anyway, I digress, we normally used vocal echo
via a Watkins Copycat but this tent was just too much so it had to go and
was changed for one with poles and ropes ... and big hairy arsed blokes to
put it up and watch it fall down, which it did from time to time. Very
dangerous things 'big tops' are. One of the conditions of being allowed to
get away with the tent idea was that we gave work to Dutch bands as support
acts and maybe Focus supported us before we changed the tent and thats
perhaps where they got the yodelling idea but anyway, amongst many other
Dutch supports, there was Golden Earing, later to record Radar Love and
Shocking Blue who later recorded the single 'Venus' which was covered many
times.(Bananarama). I remember some time later (before their hit) being
asked to play some bass for Shocking Blue and at the time saying I didnt
want to play with 'any F---ing Dutch bBand'. Yes folks, another great wise
decision with many more to follow - idiot! Meanwhile the Circus tent owner,
Toni Boltini, inconsiderately wanted his tent back but we were having a good
time and wanted some more gigs.
met a black soul singer named Davy Jones in Holland (he wanted us to
back him) and he'd played in the German Clubs. He (the lying
bastard) said we'd enjoy playing to the Germans. He said he'd had
The Beatles as his backing band there and though we thought he was
telling 'Porky Pies' (to put it mildly) many years later, sure
enough in various books, we found photos of him and The Beatles
standing behind him, doing the job that we turned down. Anyway,
lambs to the slaughter, off we went to Germany in the J2 Ambulance.
Things had been good in Holland. What with all the gear and the
weight of the 'fatted' band members plus new roadie Peter Gayle,
(but minus his mate Nick Turner who offered to play sax for us but
we didn't fancy that so instead he went back to England to join some
outfit called Hawkwind and immediately had a hit with 'Silver
machine...or was it washing machine..) A close shave for Nick Turner
there, because he nearly joined us - phew. I remember the van's
bodywork almost scraping the road. It looked like a sick chicken
trailing its wings. There was no room for a sax, let alone some
bloke to blow the thing. Where the heck was Germany anyway? What, no
more Rolls Royce? The Roadie luckily had some of those world atlas
map pages in the back of his pocket diary. It did show where Hamburg
was but Stalybridge and Ashton under-Lyne were not listed. There was
no going back!
Whilst in Germany, the group played at the Star Club, Hamburg and
the Star Palast, Keel. The newspaper cutting shows the 1936 Rolls
Royce the group used to cruise around Holland in. It'd been bought
from an Undertakers in Denton near Ashton-under-Lyne for about four
hundred quid and taken to Holland before the band got there. The
manager was planning to do rentals with the Rolls but the group
commandeered it for their own use. What a way to pick up the 'birds'
eh! Though sometimes they'd run away in fright if they saw the car
late at night. It looked quite frightening. Well, we thought it was
the car they were running from!
in 1967, the band unfortunately disbanded - members all going on to play in
different groups. Giz the bass player set up a very successful recording
studio in Blechingley just outside of London - called 'House in the Woods'
and went on to play with different people including Cliff Richards. He now
lives in France. Peter Quinn went on to play with several professional bands
up and down the country, including Sounds Important, as did Barry Yates.
In the summer of 2007 the
band got back together with original members Peter Quinn (keyboards) & Barry
Yates (drums) along with the skills of Paul Blake (guitar),who has played everything from rock to pop over the last 40 years
not just in this country but all over europe.
Peter Quinn asked his old friend and ex band mate from the seventies Peter Stratton (vocals)
if he would join the band, Peter is an amazing vocalist who has worked all over the UK plus Ireland , Spain and Canada
AND on bass
Ian Kitchen who has played in rock and pop bands since the seventies.
In 2013 the
band lost Bass player Ian Kitchen due to unforseen circumstances and eventually managed to secure the services of Ex "Echo and the Bunnymen" bass player Julian Phillips .
In April 2014 Neil Howarth joins the band on Bass, his bass playing skills have seen him
playing all different types of music with different great bands all over the UK , Ireland and Europe
In November 2014 Mike Fowley joins the band on Lead guitar, Mike has worked all over the UK and Europe and has backed famous singers like P.J.Proby etc.
The band today have
got a great sound & vibe...and it just shows with the amount of venues asking them back
for more & more!
After reforming, The Bridgebeats are the number one 60's
Cover Band in the Northwest!
PETER QUINN (The Gaffer, Keyboards, B.Vocals)
BARRY YATES (Drums, B.Vocals)
MIKE FOWLEY (Guitar, B.Vocals)
NEIL HOWARTH (Bass, B.Vocals)
For More Information on the
band & Equipment used for gigs, you can email
the band at :-