Procol Harum

the Pale

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home

The Southend Scene (Paramounts-era)

from The Southend Standard, 2 December 2005

A few of my memories…

I am Micky Law of Micky Law and the Outlaws – I remember those old days with a lot of affection.

I and my band were on the Rock Across the Channel along with Bob Scott and the Klansmen, Cliff Richard’s Shadows, Vince Taylor’s Playboys and others whose names have long slipped my mind.

I do however remember the great performance on the way home by The Playboys with Bobby Woodman on drums.

We appeared with Vince and the Playboys on many occasions and have many memories – I wonder if the girl who lost her shoe is still around?

We also appeared with many great bands and singers at that time and had the privilege of appearing with some truly great local bands, like The Barracudas.

Everybody was at the Thursday night gigs at the then London Hotel.  The Monotones, The Whirlwinds, Colin Dale and the El Dagos, and of course the fantastic Tommy Mills.

As far as groups go, nobody was better than The Rockerfellas – and they’re still going.  In 2002 I had the pleasure and honour of singing with them during a gig at the Tollesbury Yacht Club and they are still just as good.

Well, these are a few of my memories – hope they are of some interest.

Galton Road

Across the Channel
I have been reading with much interest your articles and letters regarding Southend’s rock’n’roll years.

One reader mentioned the Rock Across the Channel.  I was on both trips, in 1962 and 1963.

The Royal Daffodil arrived at Southend Pier, after leaving London Bridge, at around 9am.  Already the people who boarded in London were in full party mood – it didn’t take long before we joined in.

The first trip was very good.  I remember a tall, bearded photographer going round taking photos of people.   He was charging 25 shillings and would send them to you by post.  It is now 43 years later and I still haven’t received them!

The second trip was better. Like the first, there were great groups playing rock ‘n’ roll all the time.  I met Gene Vincent, who told me he had a road accident and that was why he had a limp.  He sang all his greatest hits.

There was no sign of Jerry Lee Lewis and rumours were rife that he was not on the boat.

However, on the return journey from France, when we were 45 minutes away from Southend Pier, I spotted him making his way to the lounge area to the grand piano.

Me and my mates went in hot pursuit and we actually stood beside him at the piano.  He was absolutely fantastic when he sang Great Balls of Fire.  The atmosphere erupted with everybody up jiving – it was uproar.

Both these trips were organised by Peter Tomlyn, who ran the Palace dance hall and The Crown dance hall in Rayleigh.

In closing, the last time I went to a rock ‘n’ roll show was in 1976, at Talk of the South to see Bill Haley and The Comets, when I met a few old friends that I hadn’t seen in years.

London Road

Good old days – a Southend Standard ad from the Sixties shows some of the bands of the time

Rock brought us together

Hello to all our old mates from the Sixties.

I also went to the coffee bars in Southend – the Capri, Jacobean, Zanzibar.

But most of all I remember the dances on a Saturday night.

I met my husband there one New Year’s Eve, and we’ve now been married for 40 years.

We won’t be able to make the reunion as we’ll be on holiday, but we hope you all have a great time.

The Cedars
Great Wakering

Thanks, John; and Jill, for the typing

More about the Paramounts

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home