Legendary band to reform for one night
Paramounts’ Riga reunion
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 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 guitarist Robin Trower’s dad and a regular haunt of the band in the early Sixties.
The band went on to chart with a version of The Coasters’ Poison Ivy in 1964 and members 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.
“We’re still pulling it together at the moment,” said Mick Brownlee. “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.
“It’ll be a real treat to see those guys play again,” added Mick. “They were a really good band and so far as I know, it’s still almost the original lineup.”
The December 17 event at Riga, next to the Cricketers, in London Road, will be the second reunion sparked by our nostalgic stories.
DJ Brian Ayling’s event at the Ekco Social Club on December 2 sold out in days and he has a second gathering planned for the spring.
“The interest the paper’s articles has stirred up has been quite amazing,” said Riga’s Dave Kitteridge. “Gary Brooker always plays at Riga close to Christmas and these gigs always sell out. They’re usually packed with people who know Gary from the old days.
“This year, as it happened, a couple of the guys from Gary’s band couldn’t make it, so we all thought: ‘why not try and get the Paramounts together instead?”
Reunion – Riga’s Steve Cattermole and Dave Kitteridge with a signed photo of The Paramounts to be auctioned on the night for the Bosom Pals charity
Photo: STEVE O’CONNELL
Thanks, John; and Jill, for the typing
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