Friday July 17 1992

Buckie Pop Group swing into the 60’s groove again

The clock will be turned back to Beatlemania, Flower Power, Miniskirts, flared trousers and kipper ties at Elgin on Saturday night.

That’s when former North-east pop kings the Copycats get back together in the Town Hall, to mark their 30th anniversary.

Some of the biggest names of the beat boom – such as the Hollies, the Kinks, Gerry and the Pacemakers - graced the same stage


And the Copycats played with many chart-toppers, including the Beatles.

The Copycats first dreamed of pop stardom as schoolboys in Buckie – and the fact they did not make the big-time had nothing to do with lack of talent.

Singer John Stewart said “We thought we could make it big. We had lots of good times – but we didn’t get the breaks. Maybe we weren’t pushy enough”

The group’s original line up was John, Iain Lyon, Bill Cameron, Rob Lawson and Ali Ewan.

They first came to prominence in 1963, when they were runners-up in the London final of a beat-group contest in 1964.

Although Ali Ewan left to join the RAF, they turned professional in 1964, touring Germany regularly, playing in France and London and making records.

John left in 1969 to join the family butchery business, but Iain, Rob and Bill carried on and were joined by another Buckie musician, Alex Ziggy Slater,

They finally decided to call it a day in 1972 and returned to Buckie – not quite pop millionaires, but with a wealth of memories.

Bass player Bill, the group’s historian recalled how they appeared twice on the same bill as the Beatles in Glasgow and Edinburgh – and “jammed” with the fab four in a pre-concert sound check.

“We were 17 year old nobodies and they were very friendly towards us” said Bill. “When they played, the atmosphere was magnetic – I have never felt anything like it since”

The Copycats have played together occasionally since disbanding – including a 25th Anniversary at Buckie’s Fisherman’s Hall.

But Saturday could be their swan song. “It’s a question of what do you do next – 35 years and then 40 and then collect your pension book”, said John.

But the Copycats have won a new generation of fans – their ‘60s followers bring their children along, now grown up and many of them married.