The “Masons” was about the only gig Mrs Isley handled so we signed up with Ivan Birchall Entertainments of the Cloth Market in Newcastle.
Pretty soon we were getting loads of gigs all over the North East. It was quite an adventure. The workingman’s club scene was thriving then and they were great places to play. We could do rock material with no problems and eventually started to introduce our own songs and had no problem playing our own stuff which you could not do in the clubs nowadays.
Mick Simons introduced us to drugs, which we took to readily as we had our rock band credibility to keep up. There was a certain brand of cough medicine on the market which, which would get you pretty high if you drank the whole bottle. We became cough medicine junkies! All that is, except Mick Glancy, the singer. I recall playing a dance hall in Amble one time. We came off stage pretty pleased with ourselves. However Glancy was having none of it.
Wide-eyed and perspiring he says “Shit guys, you gotta stop doing the cough medicine, I can’t sing those songs at that speed!”
All was going swimmingly. We were always off somewhere gigging. We had our two trusted roadies Wilf and Les who were part of the team. Wilf was another Steel Works apprentice I don’t know where Les came from but he had the obligatory van!
Then Mick Glancy tells us he is quitting to go to University in London. However we were very lucky. We put up ads in the music shops in Newcastle (where we all hung out Saturday afternoons) One guy called us and we picked him up one Saturday afternoon and took him back to the Leadgate band room. I think we did about three numbers but I particularly recall Chicago’s “25 Or 6 TO 4”. It was incredible and we gave him the job on the spot.
Now we had our new singer, Pete MacDonald.