Carl Dene and The Escorts 

Line-up included

  • Alan Forshaw - guitar and vocals
  • Keith Lord - bass guitar
  • Viny Dawes - lead guitar
  • Ian Mackensey - vocals
  • Geoffrey Harlech - drums
  • Mick Hartly - drums
  • John Fitzpatrick - drums
  • Mick Rothwell - lead guitar
  • Kev Curtis - vocals
  • Iean (Jock) Mackenzie AKA Carl Dane - vocals

Carl Dane and the Escorts appeared at the Yew Tree with Karl Denver in 1961 and Barbury Club (changed to the Palace Theatre) in the same year. Appeared all over Manchester and Lancs.

 Group members Ian "Jock" Mackenzie (lead vocals), Alan Forshaw (guitar and vocals), Vinnie Dawes (lead guitar), Keith Lord (bass guitar), Geoffrey Harlech (drums). Later Geoff the drummer left and John Fitzpatrick became the new drummer. Vinnie Dawes left then Mick Rothwell joined as the new lead guitarist. Later jock Carl Dane left but recomended a mate of his who had been frontman singer with the Powerhouse Six, Kev Curtis.

We then changed our name to Kev Curtis and the Four Escorts. Kev went to Butlins that year and came first in singing contest singing a Little Richard song backed by Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Ringo Starr was on drums at the time and Kev had a photo took with Rory and Ringo at the time. Wonder what happened to the photo? SEE BELOW!!!

One venue we played in Southport, the Hurricanes came down to watch us. They said to us they heard we did Runaway, could we play it when Rory gets here - he runs it from Liverpool.

One of group said "He's a bit daft like that". He shook hands and said "I'm Ringo" and then Rory Storm came in and said "Ringos only the drummer".

We had a great night and got rebooked. Will send some info later. 

Alan Forshaw 1/10/12 

Being there at the creation of the group was exciting for us all and we practised in upstairs rooms in pubs and in a back room where Keith worked at Radio Rentals. we were originally The Escorts with me on rhythm guitar but soon I became lead singer and renamed Carl Dane and the Four Escorts.

The venue Alan mentioned in Southport was the Kingsway club just opposite the pier, I remember it very well.

At one time we had a club going at the Bulls Head on the Rock in Bury which we called the Wilton Club with a huge Irish lad on the door named Seamus St John. Afterwards we would go in Thomsons chippy opposite the Odeon and Mick would have steak pie steak pudding meat pie fish and chips and when he'd eaten that he would order the same again, boy that guy could eat. We had a couple of drivers, a great character called Jim and occasionally a Polish guy called Stan who took us to gigs in an armoured personell carrier.

At one venue, the Black Swan in Irlam a big fight broke out and snooker balls started flying about. Things went strangely quiet behind us and when we looked round Geoff had all his drum kit packed away and was sat on them in 5 minutes flat.

Our stage gear was black trousers white shirt and red satin cummerbund and tie. I wore black trousers and either a blue or gold lame jacket.

We had a repertoire of around 60/70 songs and instrumentals including:

  • Runaway ( my big number)
  • What'd I say
  • The Wanderer
  • I remember you
  • Shakin' all over
  • Mick did a lot of Shadows stuff 

Equipment consisted of a Watkins Dominator amp and a Watkins Copycat echo unit. Three guitars including bass went into that amd as well as my mike, they don't build them like that anymore.

We were paid between £8 and £12 a night and occasionally as much as £15.

Out of that we paid the driver had £1.50/£2.00 for ourselves and put a bit away for equipment. Kev Jackson (Kev Curtis ex Powerhouse Six) and I have been close friends for nearly 60 years and still have the odd pint together. I visit Keith but have not seen Mick or Alan for a few years, we must get together!!!.

Mick was and probably still is one of the best lead guitarists to come out of Manchester. When he left the Escorts he went over to Sweden and joined one of their biggest groups the Red Squares.

Vinnie Dawes went to live in Australia and lived on a boat in Sydney harbour doing marine engine repairs. Sadly he passed away a couple of years ago.

My great regret is leaving the group because a girl I was going out with at the time was jealous of the attention I was getting from the girl groupies. A month later she dumped me and though I tried sadly I could'nt get back with group.

I joined a group called the Smokestacks and another band but my heart wasn't in it anymore. Later in life I became a very competent keybord player.

In 1961 Kev, Vinnie and myself went to Butlins at Phwelli were we got to know Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. I was the only one with a camera so only appeared in the diving board picture.

Happy days indeed.

Iean (Jock) Mackenzie AKA Carl Dane  27/4/14 


Group at The Barbary Club (Palace Theatre), Bury in 1961. The line up consists of:
Carl Dane (Ian Mackensey) - Vocals,  Alan Forshaw - Guitar, Vinnie Dawes - Guitar, Keith Lord - Bass Guitar, Geoffrey Harlech - Drums


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