Rockers strum down memory lane
A little bit of rock’n’roll history will be made in Southend next month – and Standard readers can claim much of the credit.
More than 40 years after they split, Southend band The Paramounts are reuniting for a one-off gig in the town.
The show, scheduled for Club Riga, on the Saturday before Christmas, is a guaranteed sell-out.
And the reunion is a direct result of the flood of nostalgic letters and photos sent to the Echo’s sister paper, the Standard, by readers with fond memories of Southend’s coffee-bar scene and the Sixties’ bands it spawned.
Many letters focused on the Shades coffee bar, on the seafront, owned by Paramount guitarist Robin Trower’s dad and a regular haunt of the band in the early Sixties.
The band made it into the charts with a version of the Coasters’ Poison Ivy in 1964, while Trower and vocalist/keyboard player Gary Brooker would go on to become legends with hitmakers Procol Harum.
The Riga show will bring together Brooker and drummer Mick Brownlee, though the remaining lineup has yet to be confirmed.
There is a suggestion original bassman Chris Copping may fly back from Australia, but if not, his place is likely to be taken by Leigh musician Dave Bronze, who has played with top names including Eric Clapton and Procol Harum.
Mr. Brownlee said: “We’re still pulling it together at the moment. But one way or another, it’s going to be one hell of a night!”
Also on the bill will be rock’n’rollers the Rockerfellers, who inspired the Paramounts in the first place.
Mr. Brownlee said: “It’ll be a real treat to see those guys play again. They were a really good band and, so far as I know, it’s still almost the original lineup.”
The gig will take place on December 17 at Riga, next to the Cricketers, in London Road.
For details, visit www.rigamusicbar.co.uk
Thanks, Dave; and Jill, for the typing
More about the Paramounts
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