Emperors of Rhythm - Paul Stevens and the Emperors of Rhythm 

Lineup included:

  • Paul Stevens - Vocals
  • Alan Harding (Alan "Bush" Fraser) - Bass
  • Victor Winston 'Vic' Farrell - Lead
  • Eric Farrell (Kingy) - Drums
  • Eric Michael Stewart Jr - Rhythm
  • Rod Clare - Bass
  • Terry Morton - Guitar
  • Chas Barker - Vocals
  • Eric Stewart - Guitar/vocals



30 Jan 1965                                              27 April 1962



L-R Rod Clare, Eric Stewart, Chas Barker, Vic Farrell, Eric Farrell


"My brother, Alan (also known as Bush) was in a group called Brent Wade and the Wanderers with Terry and Eric before The Emperors. I used to work at The Blue Note when John Fogel owned it. Pat Dempsey (ex Ivans Meads) worked there and managed a group, can't remember the name but the lead singer was called Tony and I remember going to the Cavern in Liverpool with them, also to the recording studio at Nield & Hardy record shop (InterCity Studies, later to become Strawberry Studios).

I also met Viv Annis there who married Ian Starr (Richard Kent Style). His dad had a hairdressers on the corner of Whitworth St and Princess Street called Lou Starrs and was well known.

Viv and Ian lived in Withington and Didsbury and always had a full house. I went to his 30th birthday and there were several well known people there. When I worked at the Blue Note the DJ was called Les and later it was Dave Lomas and Dave Phillips."

Denise Forrest (nee Ireland)




Vic, Paul, Alan and Eric (at back)

'The Emperors of Rhythm', developed from 'Jerry Lee and the Staggerlees' , The bass guitarist with the blonde hair was Rod Clare, and the band used his fathers Builders van as their transport.

Lead Guitarist Vic Farrell joined the Hollies at one point, but didn't stay with them, and Eric Stewart became lead guitarist in 'Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders', and later became the Lead Vocalist/Guitarist with 'The Mindbenders', until he went on to become one of the 3 founder members of Manchester's International hit group. '10cc' , Kevin Godley, Lol Creme and Eric Stewart.

Elvis Stringbender - 14/9/10

My dad is Paul Stevens who came from Rochdale and his first group was Paul Stevens and The Javelins,with his good friend Maurice (MO) Critchlow on Rhythm, Pete Bantoft on Lead and Frank Harrop on Bass who came from Failsworth, Droylsden and Gatley respectively.

They were resident at Flintstones Cave in Oldham, Globe Hotel in Ashton and used to play at the Princess Club, Luxor Club and Salford Dockers on a regular basis.

He then reformed the Emperors of Rhythm with Vic and Eric Farrell and Rod Clare and was resident at Rochdale Carlton and Blackburn Locarno as well as appearing regularly at Cavern Club and Lowlands Club in Liverpool and Oasis, Twisted Wheel, Kingfisher and Manor Lounge etc.

Later he formed The Opposition with Les Hilton (lead), Rod Clare (bass) and Bernie Burns (drums) before fronting The Corvettes and then joining Belfast recording group The Banshees as lead vocalist and cutting his first record with them at Abbey Road Studios for Columbia called YES INDEED.

He then joined Australian recording group,The Gibsons and released TWO KINDS OF LOVERS (Deram) before having his first hit with them called MAGIC BOOK (Deram) which can be heard on U Tube, before releasing his first solo disc on Page ONE Records called Hey, Mr Love.

He became resident compere at Talk of The North, College Club, Fagins and Sheffield Fiesta and represented England (and winning) the Golden Orpheus Song Festival in Bulgaria (appearing with Roy Orbison).

After returning from a successful career in OZ, he reformed The Emperors, with Pete Cowap on lead and was resident at Rochdale Football Club, Nell Rackers and the Lancashire Lass in Rochdale. 

Steve Watson - 21/5/11

The Travellers were involved in the semi final of a competition with Paul Stevens and the Emperors of Rhythm at Liverpool Locarno in the early sixties. The competition was won by a Liverpool group called The Connoseurs. I remember one of the group saying just prior to the result " no hard feelings to the winning group lads"

Dont know if the Emperors remember that but we all felt at the time that the result was fixed!

Dave Brierley - 17/11/12

Hi Dave Brierley, ex Travellers.

Yes, I do remember that fixed contest in Liverpool, won by that awful local group The Connisewers!! A real home town verdict!! We were not allowed to enter the heat at Rochdale Carlton as we were resident there every Saturday, so we won the heat at Blackburn Locarno and your group won in Rochdale and were excellent. I remember singing Everythings Alright by the Mojos and thought that we both had done enough to win it. WRONG!!

We played the Cavern Club shortly after with The Beatles and all the scousers kept coming up to us and telling us that we had been robbed there!! Great memories, Regards

Paul Stevens - 28/11/12
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