The Bridgebeats (Stalybridge)

info courtesy Peter Quinn and Giz Vandekleut

Visit their website:

Youtube video of the 1963 group

Line-up included

  • David Bruce - vocals
  • Peter Quinn - guitar and keyboards
  • Trevor Ferreira - lead
  • George Robinson - drums
  • Giz Vandekleut - bass 
  • Barry Yates - drums, replaced George
  • Clifford Plant - lead, replaced Trevor

The Bridgebeats were first formed by Peter Quinn in 1962. There were a few different band members throughout 1962, but in 1963 the line-up was Peter Quinn (guitar and keyboards), Trevor Ferreira (lead guitar), George Robinson (drums), Giz Vandekleut ( bass) and David Bruce (singer).

The Bridgebeats played all round the Manchester area, including the Bodega, Oasis club with little Stevie Wonder, the Top Ten Club, all the universities, the toast rack in Fallowfield , the College Theatre Club (where we played resident for 6 months), Queens Ballroom Blackpool, Cavern Club Liverpool, Warmingham Sporting Club and all the Palais de Dance clubs through out the country.

In 1964 we won an all bands competition sponsored by Palais de Dance.

In 1965 the band had some member changes with George (replaced by Barry Yates) and Trevor (replaced by Clifford Plant) leaving.

Whilst based in Stalybridge, the Bridgebeats got a record deal with Phonogram (Philips) in Holland and we were asked to go to Holland to record a single.

The label suggested we change the band name to something easier for the Dutch to pronounce and so before getting on the ferry from Immingham to Holland, we did afew more Manchester gigs changing the band name to CAZ which was from the number-plate off the Morris J2 ambulance we'd just bought for the trip. (That would have been another van to the picture of the earlier J2 above).

When we arrived in Holland, the Dutch manager Luke Penninx had got us some gigs over there but we soon fell foul of the Dutch authorities because we needed work permits and it wasn't just one gig.

Back then in the dark ages, these permits were only being issued on an exchange basis, ie. a Dutch band had to come and gig in England and then we'd be allowed to play in Holland.


Well, other than 'A mouse in a Windmill in old Amsterdam' there wasn't a lot of call for Dutch pop in England. So the manager rented a Circus Tent, called it The Beat-tent, and it being portable, we got round the restrictions and travelled about Holland playing in that.

The first tent he rented was a mistake. It was an inflatable but the increased air pressure inside caused a lot of 'slap-back' echo and made us sound as though we were playing in the Alps.

This was not good for the Dutch who were not renowned for their yodelling until their band Focus and Jan Ackermann had a hit with that song, was it Sylvia?)

Anyway, I digress, we normally used vocal echo via a Watkins Copycat but this tent was just too much so it had to go and was changed for one with poles and ropes ... and big hairy arsed blokes to put it up and watch it fall down, which it did from time to time.

Very dangerous things 'big tops' are.

One of the conditions of being allowed to get away with the tent idea was that we gave work to Dutch bands as support acts and maybe Focus supported us before we changed the tent and thats perhaps where they got the yodelling idea but anyway, amongst many other Dutch supports, there was Golden Earing, later to record Radar Love and Shocking Blue who later recorded the single 'Venus' which was covered many times.(Bananarama).

I remember some time later (before their hit) being asked to play some bass for Shocking Blue and at the time saying I didn't want to play with 'any F---ing Dutch bBand'. Yes folks, another great wise decision with many more to follow - idiot!

Meanwhile the Circus tent owner, Toni Boltini, inconsiderately wanted his tent back but we were having a good time and wanted some more gigs.

We'd met a black soul singer named Davy Jones in Holland (he wanted us to back him) and he'd played in the German Clubs. He (the lying bastard) said we'd enjoy playing to the Germans.

He said he'd had The Beatles as his backing band there and though we thought he was telling 'Porky Pies' (to put it mildly) many years later, sure enough in various books, we found photos of him and The Beatles standing behind him, doing the job that we turned down.

Bridgebeats Davy Jones

More images - click here

Anyway, lambs to the slaughter, off we went to Germany in the J2 Ambulance.

Things had been good in Holland. What with all the gear and the weight of the 'fatted' band members plus new roady Peter Gayle, (but minus his mate Nick Turner who offered to play sax for us but we didn't fancy that so instead he went back to England to join some outfit called Hawkwind and immediately had a hit with 'Silver machine...or was it washing machine..)

A close shave for Nick Turner there, cos he nearly joined us - phew.

I remember the van's bodywork almost scraping the road. It looked like a sick chicken trailing its wings. There was no room for a sax, let alone some bloke to blow the thing.

Where the heck was Germany anyway? What, no more Rolls Royce?

The Roady luckily had some of those world atlas map pages in the back of his pocket diary. It did show where Hamburg was but Stalybridge and Ashton under-Lyne were not listed. There was no going back!

Whilst in Germany, the group played at the Star Club, Hamburg and the Star Palast, Keel.

The newspaper cutting shows the 1936 Rolls Royce the group used to cruise around Holland in. It'd been bought from an Undertakers in Denton near Ashton-under-Lyne for about four hundred quid and taken to Holland before the band got there.

The manager was planning to do rentals with the Rolls but the group commandeered it for their own use. What a way to pick up the 'birds' eh! Though sometimes they'd run away in fright if they saw the car late at night.

It looked quite frightening. Well, we thought it was the car they were running from!

The picture is from one of the Dutch pop magazines called 'Kink' so excuse the quality. Its the only picture we've got of it.



Then in 1967, the band unfortunately disbanded - members all going on to play in different groups.

Giz the bass player set up a very successful recording studio in Blechingley just outside of London - called 'House in the Woods' and went on to play with different people including Cliff Richards. He now lives in France.

Peter Quinn went on to play with several professional bands up and down the country, including Sounds Important, as did Barry Yates.

In 2007 the band got back together with members Peter Quinn (keyboards), Barry Yates (drums), Paul Blake (guitar), Peter Stratton (singer) and Ian Kitchen (bass) 

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