Updated January 2021
Paul Fleetwood lead guitar
Bruce Brigden drums
Jim Millard (Millward) lead vocal
Len ? bass guitar
Steve Pritchard lead vocal
Paul Fleetwood would like to hear from anyone who remembers his band who were active around Dudley, West Midlands during the 1960s. They were unusual for having two lead vocalists. Paul has sent photos and his own story of the group that can now be seen below.
The band was originally formed around 1962 from members of a youth club at St Andrews Church, Netherton and was called "The Druids". However as in all bands, we went through various changes in line-up until around 1964 when most of the final line up emerged.
This being myself (Paul Fleetwood) on guitar, and Bruce Bridgen (the only other original member) on drums, Len ?? - bass guitar (unfortunately try as I might and asking others I cannot remember Len's surname), and Jim Millard (Millward) vocalist. This line up is the one shown on the photo above wearing the jackets and polo neck shirts.
The band extended it's line up with the addition of Steve Pritchard, which was probably around 1965. Steve came in as vocalist when Jim suffered a problem with his vocal chords and was considering packing in his singing career.
However with the addition of Steve it became obvious that Jim Millard wasn't called on to do all the vocals and they very much complimented each other so it was decided that the group would become a five piece but not the usual three guitars, drums and vocals but two guitars, drums and two vocalists.
The band played at lots of local pubs and clubs in the West Midlands area and also at the famous "Plaza" in Old Hill. In fact we played there a week or two after The Beatles had played there and had "escaped" through the toilet window!
We also played Dudley Town Hall, Stourbridge Town Hall, and Kidderminster Town Hall. At two of these (again the memory is not what it was), we were support to The Tremeloes (after the departure of Brian Poole), and The Animals.
We performed mainly covers versions of the usual pop records of the day but also Jim had started to write some material of his own which we introduced into the set, these songs were in the "Rhythm & Blues" style.
The bottom left photograph was taken when we performed at a Christmas Carol concert at St Luke's Church, Wellington Road, Dudley where we had become well known having played at the Crib Club there, and the line up from left to right is; (myself), Bruce Bridgen, Jim Millard, Steve Pritchard and Len.
The band split up in 1966 following, as always, a silly disagreement just at the point when we were being looked at to do a recording demo.
Some of the members moved on to other bands and I became involved in the local folk scene - helping to form and run the "Tavern Folk Club" which started at the Lamp Tavern in Dudley, eventually becoming a well known folk venue at the Liberal Club in Dudley.
After some 40 years I decided it would be great if I could try and contact the guys and following noting the name Bridgen on the Friends Reunited site managed to contact Bruce's brother who put me in contact with Bruce. Unbeknowing to both of us, we were both members of Enville Golf Club but had never crossed paths there.
We met up in February 2009 at The Fox pub in Stourton for a drink and chat over the old days. By this time I had just taken up playing the guitar again having bought a Burns Bison electric guitar. Bruce had not played drums since the seventies.
However it's strange how these things happen but Bruce was contacted shortly after our meeting by an acquaintance who asked if he still played drums as he and a friend were looking to form a band. They were also after another guitarist so you can guess where this is leading - yes we are both playing in a band together again after all this time.
We've been getting together weekly and perform numbers mainly from the 60's and 70's with a few later numbers thrown in. It would be great if we could get in touch and possibly meet up again with Jim, Steve and Len and anybody who remembers us may know their whereabouts. We also had a 'roadie' called Algy - I think!
Jim came from Dudley, Len I think was from the Stourbridge area and Steve came from the Cannock/Rugely way. Steve was actually from a show jumping family and whom I saw some years later on T.V at the Horse of The Year Show and other televised show jumping events. His parents had a stud farm and he also had a brother who was a show jumper. I've tried through the British Show Jumping Associations web site to find someway of contacting him with no luck so if anyone out there recognises him or the others from the photographs then please get in touch. Perhaps someone will recognise us?
Written by Paul Fleetwood
Update January 2021; Steve Pritchard former singer with the band is still singing when possible. Also sang in US and Canada. Now living in Germany. Best wishes to all my former band mates.
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