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They may not be sweet 16 anymore – or even sweet 60 for that matter – but having buffed up their blue suede shoes and dusted down their faithful amps they still know how to rock’n’roll.
A group of veteran Swindon rockers, who last year made a comeback almost half-a-century after once setting the local scene alight, have just released a CD and have a gig line-up next month.
Rockers Reunited – average age 70, a year or so older than the Rolling Stones – are also looking to play other shows in Swindon, the proceeds of which will all go to charity.
Bass guitarist and retired telecommunications consultant Nigel Norman 70, said "We were really amazed at how well the gig in Swindon was received last year. We hadn't done this since the Sixties.
“It was a one-off show that went down a storm. The response from the crowd was incredible. It took us back about 50 years. What was great though, was that we could still do it.”
Channelling into the wave of enthusiasm that followed the performance at Stratton last December the boys recorded a CD at Swindon’s Drive Studios, laying down their all-time favourite tracks. The 22 songs feature the time-honoured likes of Summertime Blues, Shakin’ All Over, All Shook Up, Blueberry Hill, Peggy Sue, Great Balls of Fire, The Wanderer and other evocative reminders from what the band consider the genre’s classic era: ’58 to ’63. The CD will be on sale at their Rock’n’Roll Bonanza at Stratton Community Leisure Centre on Saturday, November 9 where they hope to raise more than £4,000 for the Swindon Therapy Centre for Multiple Sclerosis.
Back in the Sixties, the current members of Rockers Reunited played for a clutch of Swindon bands who enlivened the town’s music scene with – to paraphrase Chuck Berry - some of that rock’n’roll music (any old way they chose it.) They played for assorted combos including the Strykneens, All Things Bright, Aquarius, Vince & The Vigilantes, The Satellites, The Sapphires, Us Limited, Clive & The Cyclones, The Strangers, Power Four, The Offbeats, and Whispers.
But when old fashioned rock’n’roll made way for the emerging eras of psychedelia, progressive rock and soul their drapes went into mothballs and they gradually went their separate ways.
Some 40 years later Nigel had become the owner of a website - www.SwindonMusicScene.co.uk – focusing on bands and musicians that were part of the Swindon scene, from rock to pop, dance to jazz, dating back to the 1930s.
He also helped organise the Majestic Dance Night, an annual ball held for the last 13 years in memory of Swindon's long gone Majestic Ballroom.
During that period these nostalgia drenched annual soirees, featuring traditional post war dance bands, raised an impressive £76, 000 for Swindon’s Prospect Hospice For a number of reasons the 2012 Majestic Dance became the event’s swansong. But with a final flash of inspiration the committee, before disbanding, thought that a spot of good old fashioned rock’n’roll would pepper up the proceedings.
Perhaps with a nod to the Blues Brothers Nigel recruited some of his rock’n’rolling pals from a distant decade: Dave King (vocals) Dave Prosser (drums) Geoff Exton (keyboards) Neil Pike (rhythm guitar) Keith Hart (lead guitar) and, of course, himself on bass.
The aptly named Rockers Reunited went down a storm, reeling off encore after encore, and are now gearing themselves up to repeat the feat.
Nigel said: “As the news spread around the town there was a general feeling that the band should carry on and do a charity night by ourselves.”
He said the proceeds from the gig and the CD would go to the therapy unit “a really worthwhile local charity.”
He added: “We are offering to play for any event as long as a reasonable donation is made to charity. We’re raring to go.”
l Further details about the gig, the CD and the old Swindon music scene can be found at: www.RockersRe-United.com Nigel can also be contacted at: email@example.com
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