Eastbourne band 1960’s – Billy & The Urchins and 70’s chat.

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supplied by Len Smith – Eastbourne Bands from 1960 on

Len Smith… Here’s one from early 60’s any idea of names, only one I recognise is Billy Contreras!  Looking for photos of bands like Mandragora, Virus, Morticians, MTA, Tall, Dark & Gruesome, etc. for my Eastbourne Bands site.

Colin Pierce… Billy & The Urchins

Tony Ball… Myself Tony Ball on Framus bass, Billy on vocals, Pete Richards guitar and I think the drummer may have been Mike Osullivan?

Chris Brown… Hello Len, hope all is well with you. I have a single titled I Made Her That Way by The Urchins released in 1967. Do you know if this was the group & had Billy Contreras & Roger Salmon in it? They had been The Beaux. I think there were 2 other members, but I have no idea who they are. If you can confirm this & advise any more like who the other 2 were I would be much obliged.

Len Smith… Chris by 1967 Billy and Roger were performing as Kaine & Abel following a spell as Beaux. I do not believe they added any other members until 1970. So unlikely that your 45 is by our Urchins.

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supplied by Len Smith

Gary Sykes… I was in an 80s rock band called Taor. Used to jam with simon williams from mandrahora, and coke from virus. Remember playing “rock at the redoubt” and various gigs at the archery tavern.

Dave Nattress… On Eastbourne bands or maybe more accurately, bands that played Eastbourne area pubs. Back in about 1977/78 I saw a band called Ptarmigan (as in the Scottish bird) in a pub in South Street, Eastbourne. Corner pub opposite the Police Station I think? Great sound, recall the singer has very long wavy hair. they did an incredible “Tears of a Clown” – Smokey Robinson. Anyone else recall them? Also at the Gun in Chiddingly, similar time, about 1977/78, a band call Nightrider. Saw them there a few times. Maybe they came from the Newhaven area?

Tim Moose Bruce… I remember a couple of Eastbourne based bands who play at the Star Inn at Norman’s Bay in the late 70s. Band called Boris, who did Eagles and Wishbone Ash songs with good twin lead guitar work. The other band Tuxedo Junction had great vocal harmonies which were used to good effect on songs by Supertramp and 10cc.

Tom Flynn… I played drums with Billy Contreras and Colin Pierce in Blinker after we disbanded Middlemarch, the folk-rock band with Joe Flynn (electric violin), Tim Morfitt (guitar and vocal), Chris Tunwell (bass), Nigel Barker (guitars and vocals) that played all the Eastbourne and Sussex area pubs in the mid-1970s including the Cavalier near the seafront, The Beach pub opposite the Fishermens Club, The Six Bells at Chiddingly and elsewhere. The other big band at that time was Denis Rayment’s Bandit with Eddie Tutt on bass and Mick ‘The Sticks’  McKiernan on drums. It would be nice to hook up with anyone still around as I moved back to Eastbourne recently. Join me on FB.

Jeni Townsend… Hi Tom, my friend Julia and I came to most of your gigs. I seem to remember she dated one of you guys – but can’t remember who but I do remember sitting for hours in Tim’s parent’s basement listening to you rehearse!

Lynn Graham… Anyone remember Johnny and Bruce who played in The Lord Nelson in the 60s?

Connections: Billy Contreras by Len Smith

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supplied by Len Smith. Eastbourne Bands  from 1960 on.

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Len Smith… Connections: Lets start with the legend that is Billy Contreras. 1 The Urchins, 2 Beaux, 3 & 4 Kaine & Abel, 5 Pig Bin Band. There are a few more that I dont have pic, including a while in 60’s with The Sabres and 70’s with Blinker. Still going strong a couple of years ago with Colin Pierce and the still gets up on the mike now and then for a guest appearance at local pubs!