Bruce and The Spiders (Blackpool)

Although Blackpool based, the group have been added to the site because of Dave Rossall's links with the Australian band "Rev Black and The Rocking Vickers" 


  • Dave Rossall - lead guitar
  • Peter Haliwell - drums
  • Stuart MacGarry - rhythm guitar
  • Tom Ellison - bass 
  • Dave Fulcher - bass (joined 1966)

left to right, David Rossall, Stuart McGarry, Peter Halliwell, and Tommy Ellison in 1965. 

After Dave Rossall left for Australia, two of the remaining Spiders, Peter Haliwell (drums) and Stuart MacGarry (rhythm guitar) joined Phil Coggan and Nick Gribbon as the reformed Wild Ones.

Bruce and the Spiders were one of Blackpoo'ls truly professional bands. Their agent/manager was Jeff Bates Promotions. He made sure they worked about six nights a week and kept up with top ten material.

Equipment included: Guitars, two strats and a precision bass, Ludwig drums, two Vox Ac 30's for the pa.and I think Reslo ribbon mikes. All the band sung, I remember the harmonies being excellent.

They played mostly Blackpool but did also gig around the north.

Phil Coggan

They were the greatest band in my eyes and Stuart McGarry was one hell of a singer who went on to have a spell with the Rocking Vicars. With his voice he controlled the band and should have gone on to greater things.

Stuart worked with the Black Abbots for 8 months with Clive Jones and Russ Abbott. Me and my wife was very fortunate to meet Stuart on North Pier and had great pleasure talking about the old days.


Tom left the group in 1966 to join Rhythm Unlimited who had great success playing at Pontins in Blackpool during the Summer seasons, and had many gigs around the North of England during the winters up to 1970.

He had a great stage presence and could have gone onto greater things. He is now living in Bournemouth Stuart McGarry did play with the Rocking Vicars for a short while and David Rosall played with the Rev Black and the Rocking Vicars


My friend Pauline and I met "The Spiders" in a small club in Bolton called The Drumbeat in 1964/65. We were big fans until they split. What a fantasic band, They were all superb musicians. Oh! what happy memories we have of those days.

They played at venues in Bolton on a regular basis. Crompton Way Casino, Bolton Palais and more.

We once went to watch them play at Blackpool Tower they were support band to The Hollies and The Yardbirds that night.

Dave came to see me just before he emigrated. I later moved to London and lost touch with the North West music scene. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who knows where Dave, Pete, Tom or Stuart are now.


I am still alive and kicking,Wow! Reading this brings back memories,What you up to these days Phil Coggan? The last I heard you had gone back to Wales,and that must be 30 years ago,

Yes myself, Ciggy and Mogsey kept the Vicars going for quite a few years - packing them in on the local pub and club scene. But once they started putting zimmer frames on stage for us, we decided to call it a day.

It would be great to hear from anyone who used to come and see us.

STUART McGARRY - Spiders, Vicars

Remember the band camping in Abersoch in 1963. I think I was 15 and they had this old van with Bruce and the spiders written on it.

Howard Adams

I played bass for the Spiders. I am not sure when I joined but about 1966. We had keyboards then (Dave) Jack on drums and me. These were the New Spiders along with Dave and Stuart.

I left the Carpet Beggers to join the Spiders - we had some great times with the Vicars and the Wheels.

I met up with Brian Rossi some years later - he was a great guy and I am sure Blackpool will miss him.

Jimmy Rigg

My sister and I remember the Vicars - does anyone know when and for how long Stuart McGarry was with them please.

Pauline Wilson

The Vicars were a great band and i followed then throuout the 60s and 70s but like you I can't remember Stuart Mcgarry being with them. Stuart was definatly with Bruce and the Spiders but I can't remember him with the Vicars either so maybe he was with them before they split.

Walter M I followed the Vicars through the 60s and early 70s. I remember Stuart being with Bruce and the Spiders but can't recall him with the Vicars. Maybe he was with them towards the end, or maybe stood in for someone ?

James B

I remember having a crush on Stuart many many years ago. In the days of the Spiders, my friend Janet and I used to go to their gigs.and I did have a date (as we used call it way back ) with Stuart but alas don't think I was really his type- ,but I thought he was gorgeous then. 

Ah - but we were young. Think I was bit to shy way back then. Anyone know where he is?

Wyn Bennett

Knew Phil Coggan VERY well in the mid 60's. Stayed at Peter Halliwell's in St, Anne's when his mum and dad were away!! They were then in Lee Wade and the Wild Ones - those were the days!! Even went down to Fochriw in Bargoed and met Phil's mum and dad, think his brother was training to be a teacher. Happy days!!! Frightening to think it was over 40 years ago. Yes, knew Harry Feeney and 'Ziggy' Shaw too. My white Ford Anglia knew its own way to Blackpool and how it got to South Wales and back I'll never know, 'she' was a star!!

Lesley Jay - 1/6/10

Hi Lesley! So you remember those days too! Staying at Peter's house, great times, and your trip to Wales, I've not forgotten anything!
Take care,

Phil Coggan - 4/7/10

Hi Stuart M, I saw your post on the Vicars page asking about me, well i'm still around, I finished with bands about eight years ago, but I still mess about with my studio.

Email me. (email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for Phils email address)

Phil Coggan - 4/7/10

As I had lived in Canada up until December 1969, I missed all the fun of the 60s music scene in and around Blackpool despite having been born there.

I did play bass with Nick Gribbon and Ciggy Shaw for a short while in the 1985/6 version of the Vicars. Both Mogsey (Steve) and I worked for a local taxi company and one morning he tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I fancied being a part time vicar!

I said owt for a laugh and spent an interesting 12 months with them. Now and again I bump into Harry Feeney. I haven't seen Stuart McGarry or Ciggy for years. And I presume Nick is still working locally 8 days a week!!! If anyone knows their whereabouts, please tell.

Am working abroad at the moment. Paid jams, a little bit of studio work and occasionally hit the bars with a 3 piece rock outfit. If its in yer blood there is no known cure. I blame Ed Sullivan!!! Cheers.

Mike Andrew - 1/4/11

My name is Neil Williamson and I played in the Australian version of Rev Black & the Rocking Vicars which Dave Rossall formed when he arrived in Australia in 1966. Dave was lead singer (Rev Black) and I played keyboards.The group remained together until 1969.

Dave often used to speak of his days in England playing with Bruce & the Spiders-I remember them too as I also emigrated to Australia from England in 1965.

They were great days. Sadly Dave Rossall passed away in January 2012 aged 65. He was a good mate of mine.

Neil Williamson - 24/12/13


Comments powered by CComment