BANFFSHIRE ADVERTISER, THURSDAY, MAY 23, 1963


Wednesday at Fisherman’s Hall


Big  Beat  Bands  At  Buckie


Dancers from a wide area will be flocking to Buckie Fisherman’s Hall next Wednesday for a three-ban dance. Staged by Buckie and District Round Table, no. 694. This dance features three “beat” groups, “Johnny and the Copycats”, “The Apaches” and “El Cid and the Commancheros” and the proceeds will go to the Freedom from Hunger Campaign and the local playing fields project. Buses will be running to and from the dance rom over a wide area and the organisers are looking for a full house.


Formed seven months ago, “Johnny and the Copycats” have done more than many groups have done in a lifetime. With the drive they have they give the teenagers what they want – from Blues to Beat, ballad to Country and Western. They are a well-balanced group and made a big hit in the Aberdeen Beach Ballroom Sunday night concerts. They have also been the guests there on Monday night Beat sessions. Considering the length of time they have been in business, the ground they have covered and the dancers they have entertained, they are now in the top bracket. Their average age is sixteen which makes them the top teenage group in the North.


Singer Johnny Stewart, one time “Apache” singer is a versatile all-rounder who has proved himself a good showman. Lead guitarist Iain Lyon, the life and soul of the “Copycats” is a great stylist and is a progressive player. Baby of the group Alistair Ewan plays rhythm guitar and is a most natural player. Bass guitarist Billy Cameron is reckoned to be the best in the North. The 5th member of rhe goup and leader Robert Lawson took up drumming seven months ago and has covered a lot of ground in that short space of time.


After a nine months lay off, the “Apaches” are in harness again. The original group was the North of Scotland Rock Champions and the new set-up is no different except for three new faces, the drummer and the vocalists. They have a good sound and with an excellent girls vocalist included in the line-up, they have a greater range of material to play from and produce a varied and entertaining programme. Their intentions are to become top line professionals and they can do it. Wednesday night’s dance is their first public performance since their come-back.

The original “Apache” leader, Douglas MacLennan plays lead guitar and in his old job at rhythm guitar is John Rennie. Taking over where he left off on bass guitar is Billy McKenzie. Drummer Les Nicholson is a new member but has a lot of experience behind him. The other new members are singers Ken Lawson and Margaret Riddoch.


The third group playing on Wednesday “El Cid and the Commancheros” is a group with positive ideas on the music they play – Big Beat – Big Sound – with a hint of Rhythm and Blues seeping into their programme. This group has been formed for six months but has plenty of experience having been regular entertainers at Aberdeen Beach Ballroom and great favourties in Aberdeen and the South.


At the moment they are negotiating for a possible three weeks’ tour of Germany. This is an indication of their progressive ideas and positive aims. Wednesday’s performance is their first appearance in this area.


Nearly all the members of this group have had experience with other groups. Singer Sid Weaver has had professional experience with the “Misfits” “Midnights” and “Deputies” before joining the “Commancheros”. Lead guitarist Ian Taylor is another ex “Midnighter” with a lot of experience. Rhythm guitarist Eric Bruce has been a “Commancherro” from the start and is a fine player, capable of playing lead if called on,bass guitarist Billy Richardson played with the “Deputies” and “Blue Tones. Organist George Munro joined the “Commancheros” lately, previously playing with the “Strangs” and “Blue Tones”. Leading the group is drummer Jim Lurian, also experienced with the “Deputies” and “Blue Tones”.