aka The Fabulous Phantoms

Line-up #1

  • Pete Bocking - lead
  • Keith Shepherd - bass
  • Pete Howarth - piano
  • Graham Smith - drums
  • Trevor Jones - rhythm


Line-up #2

  • Dave Blackley - vocals
  • Mike Macconnell - lead
  • Pete Howarth - keyboards
  • Graham Smith - drums
  • Barry Tipping - bass


When the Skyliners broke up I had intended to have a break from playing in a group but the Phantoms manager persuaded me to join them, which I did for a short time.

But again, as happens I decided to leave for musical reasons and 3 of the four members asked if they could join me and Dave Blackley (ex Skyliners) in starting another group. We agreed to keep the Phantoms name and the new line-up was Dave Blackley, vocals, myself Mike Macconnell, lead guitar, Barry Tipping, bass guitar, Graham Smith drums and Pete Howarth keyboards.

We had a lot of fun playing all the usual venues and at one point backed Susan Maughan, on tour, with her number one hit 'Bobbies Girl'. I remember that she went down really well at all the venues except at the Cavern Club, Liverpool where her ballerina dress looked really out of place!.

I played with the group until the end of 1963 but had to leave when my day-job company sent me to Edinburgh to work for 12 months. That was the last time I played with a group.

Dave Blackley went on to sing with the N.D.O. then became a cabaret singer then on to own a club in Dubai I think.

Graham Smith joined 'The Toggery 5' then owned his own photography shop/business, Mr Smith's in Stockport, and I'm not sure what Barry and Pete went on to do (it's a long time ago!)

It would be great if anyone could let the site know or give any other bits of information.

Mike Macconnell

My Father is Pete Howarth from the Phantoms. He always told me they renamed themselves The Fabulous Phantoms after appearing in Blackpool on a revolving stage and 2 of the other bands were also called the Phantoms?

Paul Howarth - 10/1/13

Hi I remember seeing the Phantoms at a gig at the cavern club in August 1962 - Mike Berry was their singer for that night. On the same gig the Beatles were on. It was the only time I saw the Beatles live on stage, lucky it certainly was.

Peter from Liverpool - 5/3/13

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