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More from the Southend Standard

Friday 23 December 2005

One fan’s view – James Rawlinson writes…

What a Saturday night!  Here we were, children of the Sixties, still rocking at the Cricketers – and what a band!

The Paramounts.  From Ole’ Black Joe to What’d I say Oh Po Pah Do to St James Infirmary – the original Paramounts no less!

Gary, Rob, Chris and Mick at their very best.  You could see it in their faces, hear and feel it in their music – the real rock n’ roll years.

From the time The Paramounts took to the stage, those lucky enough to be part of the Sixties were transported back to that tiny cellar on Eastern Esplanade – The Shades.  The atmosphere engulfed the audience and the performers.  Gary Brooker, still leading the band as if the last gig for the group had been only last week, not 40 years ago.  Robin Trower playing guitar with the feeling only he can.  Chris Copping feeling every bass note he played from his soul.  (If I remember rightly, Chris was the first person many remember who could play the bass guitar without a plectrum.)  Last but not least, Mick Brownlee, at home on his beloved drums.  Mick has worked consistently over the years to keep rock’n’roll and the real rhythm and blues alive in Southend.

Many bands have let the advancing years affect their performance, but not The Paramounts.  Their delivery of each number was as good as it ever was – in many cases better!  No wonder The Rolling Stones once suggested The Paramounts were the best rhythm and blues group in the UK.

And let’s not forget The Rockerfellas – almost the original lineup – who did a great job as the opening act. 

I’m simply a fan of The Paramounts.  I now live near Peterborough, having left Southend in 1980, but I made sure I was at both the reunions, the one at the Ekco Club and Saturday’s Club Riga gig.

Our thanks go to Len Trower and the Blonde Shirley for allowing their coffee bar to be used for live music.  They shaped the lives of a generation of music-lovers – as did The Paramounts, by showing us just what music to love!

Thanks, Dave; and Jill, for the typing

More about the Paramounts' reunion