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BIG BEAT FOUR, THE

Last updated: 17-11-2017

Lead Vocals: Peter Read aka Ricky Southern

Guitar: Rodney Kidd (2)Mick Large

Guitar: Mike Lorenz

Piano: Andy Field added member

Bass: Pat Barriskill

Drums: Denny Royal (2)Luke Watson

 

The Big Beat Quartet as they were originally called had evolved from The Neptune's SG with the addition of ex Blue Star Kidd on guitar. They first appear in early 1959 playing at the rebuilt and newly opened Raven PH, Nch.

 

In June 1960 the band became the first resident rock ’n’ roll band at The Grosvenor Ballroom, Nch, which was at the time known for its jazz and dance orchestras. In April 1961 Read took on the stage persona of Ricky Southern, a pseudonym he then kept throughout his time on the scene, with the band going out as Ricky Southern & The Big Beat Four.

 

Thorpe St Andrew schoolboy Kidd had been skiffling from the age of thirteen, at first strumming a washboard, like many his age. He formed a skiffle group at school called The Blue Stars. “We would often play The Lewis Buckingham Club, entertaining the old folks, they loved it. I’m pretty sure one day a double booking saw us turn up and play with The Neptunes and that’s how the band got together,” said Kidd, who went on to play guitar.

 

On folding in 1962 some of the Norwich Offbeats bolstered the ranks of the band namely Lorenz, Field and Watson. Kidd left the band just before it folded in 1962 and joined up with established local outfit The Continentals, in return departing Continental Large briefly joined The Big Beat Four before joining the King’s Lynn Offbeats. Barriskill then moved on to play for The Contours, while Read temporarily fronted The Jetblacks before joining The Cadillacs. Watson, Field and Royal would all later play for The Continentals, although in early 1963 many of the band reunited to form The CBO Incorporated, an acronym of the bands many of the group had been involved with - The Offbeats, The Big Beat Four and The Continentals.

 

Royal takes some time out after the band fold while he brushes up on his qualifications at College. He returns to the scene in late 1962, filling in for measles ridden Watson but ends up joining the group.

 

Selected advertised supports:

03/01/61 The Grosvenor Ballroom, Nch -

Shane Lee & The Chancellors

                       

Residency:

The Grosvenor Ballroom, Nch Jun60-Feb61          

 

NB: It is a posibility that Continentals drummer John Pratt plays briefly with the band in late 1961 due to notes made in his 1961 diary

                        

(Kidd -The Blue Stars) (Field -The Offbeats) The Neptunes <

> CBO Incorperated / The Continentals (Baraskill -The Contours) (Southern -The Jetblacks)