History

Well, not so much a "galaxy" far far away, more like a small village just outside Lancaster in the north west of England called "Bolton-Le-Sands"...

The year - 1997
The beer - "Carlsberg Export"
The venue - "The Royal Hotel"

David Spowart and I were having a few drinks and a game of pool in our local, "The Royal"...

(Before I go any further my name is Paul Walsh and I'm the sound engineer and general "behind the scenes" kinda guy with the band. This lets them concentrate on what they are good at (the only thing!!) playing great music!)Pool in the Royal

Anyway, as usual I was winning the pool! David (nicknamed "Dee") started talking about a guitar that he had in his possession. I have always been a frustrated musician and was keen to learn more about it. Dee said that he was in the process of knocking up a tape of a couple of tunes he had written, Great I thought! Being a big fan of amateur music I couldn't wait for a copy...

Dee's Tape

As promised, Dee produced the tape and I gave it a critical listen. The quality of recording wasn't the greatest but his talent in writing and musicianship was obvious. I suggested that Dee should turn up at the "Royal" one night with guitar in hand and hide in the locals corner and play a few tunes. Dee decided it was a good idea but he would have to think about how he would do it...

Me, Dee & ColinI mentioned the idea to my cousin "Colin Bleasdale", Colin had played in a band ("Out of Order") a few years earlier and may have been able to lend some advice...He did better than that! He offered to dust off his guitar and join in!...Suddenly we had the makings of a band!

The news of the impending arrival of a musical supergroup soon spread! A close friend of ours at the time, "John Brotherton" ("J.B") could also play guitar, however he had never played in a live situation, undaunted, the four of us set to work trying to get some kind of sound together to play in our local "The Royal"...

Backing Tracks

Original "Bombers" LineupAs I mentioned earlier, I was just a "frustrated musician" who couldn't even play the spoons! However I did have a good grounding in technology, computers and sound systems etc. So I found my niche as the guy that did all the backing music! We used midi tunes downloaded from the Internet. I then stripped them down to just drums and bass and maybe a little keyboard (All we had was 3 guitarists!). I then transferred this "backing track" onto normal cassette tape! (I still shudder when I think of those days!).

I guess things appear to be going smoothly...However, we JB, Colin, Dee & Me!still have a small problem...NO F****** SINGER! Luckily "J.B" saves the day and steps into the limelight...A couple of rehersals later and we think that he is definately "The Man!"

(At this point I have to point out that Dee hasn't mentioned that he may be able to sing, He probably doesn't know it himself yet! We would have never put J.B into that situation knowing that a top drawer vocalist was sat in the corner fiddling with his guitar!)

First Gig

First ever Bombers Gig!So...The line up is complete! Our big day performing at the local arrives! We have hired a PA system that none of us know how to use! It's supposed to be my job to look after the PA but all I really knew was what the letters stood for...("Phat Arse" apparently!). J.B knew "most" of the words to the songs! He had a music stand with the lyrics available if he needed them (pro stuff 'eh!). Colin just had his guitar and amp (apparently his amp went up to 12 because "Spinal Tap" had one that only went to 11). Dee was as cool and laid back as ever, I sat nervously looking at all the knobs on the PA just praying that things would be okay! The crowd starts arriving early and basically the whole of the village turns up!

Somehow we managed to fudge through our first ever gig as "The Lancaster Bombers" Things improved "a little" after that. After a few months J.B decided that he had had enough and left Colin, Dee and myself to carry on.

Royalty

Royalty CD coverWe did one or two more gigs before Colin left and J.B returned! Guess he couldn't resist the temptation that we were going to be huge rockstars! We decided to have a name change and decided on "Royalty" after our favourite local "The Royal"."Royalty" Dee & JB

This was the first time we got "serious" as J.B and Dee went into a local studio ("Lowfold Audio" of Lancaster) and under the watchful eye of the resident sound engineer and owner "Martin" recorded one of Dee's own tunes "Today would be nice". This is where we suddenly found out that Dee had an excellent voice and we didn't even know it!

Dee's earlier band "Toxic Generation"Unfortunately things with "Royalty" were less than regal and again J.B left. Dee decided that he still wanted to do something with music so he set about contacting friends who could play. He still had some contacts from an early band that he had played the drums with "Toxic Generation".

Proper Band

First "Proper" Lineup!After a short search we had a new band line up. This time a "proper" band with a real drummer and bass player! Step into the limelight Andy Beck & Dee"Steve Thistlethwaite" - rhythm guitar. "Andy Beck" - bass guitar. Dee's sister "Jo Spowart" - drums. And of course Dee on lead guitar and vocals. "The Lancaster Bombers" had taken off again!

This line up lasted around 12 months and we played a lot of good local gigs. The "Bombers" now were a serious line up with some great talent and ambitions! During this period Dee returned to the studio, this time with the landlord from our local, "Jeff Iveson"! Jeff was drafted in to play the drums on a couple of tracks.

Bar Staff & Jeff from "The Royal Hotel"One track was another self penned work from Dee called "Are we ready folks". This was actually a song about last orders and it mimicks the cry from Jeff during last orders of "Are we ready folks...Can I have your glasses please" etc. The other track was a cover version of Fastball's "The Way". I guess you've noticed the pub theme that seems to be continuing!

First Mission

The Lancaster Bombers "First Mission"Having been inspired in the pro studio we decided to have a go at doing our own CD at home. "The Lancaster Bombers - First Mission" took us around 6 months of hard work with us all learning as we went on! I did the mixing and recording etc on the PC. (When we listen to it now...It's crap!!)

Richard joins the band (Press ganged!)After some fantastic work, Andy Beck left the band and in came "Richard Whinam". Richard is actually a lead guitarist but we didn't want one of them! Consequently Richard had to quickly learn the bass as well as an ever growing set list! In typical style, Richard pulled this off in a matter of weeks!

Sad Farewell

Unfortunately it was now time for Steve to leave the band due to other commitments. This was a sad point in the band's history as Steve was a very popular and dedicated member. The "Bombers" were now a three piece! with me still hanging on as sound tech!

Wedding Bells

That's about it for now! (2002) We are now going strong and one point of note is romance! Jo and Richard have got engaged! I guess that means another unpaid wedding gig! I say "another" because I am due to be married also in about three weeks! (17 Aug 2002) and I'm not paying either!

Written by Paul Walsh July 2002

Jo at her own wedding17 Aug 2002 was "yonks" ago now! My wedding with Diane was fantastic!! The band rocked hugely as usual!!! Rich at his own wedding!

Also, Jo has now married Richard and yes! They did play at their own wedding!...The show must go on!

Dee gets married to Katy next year! So I guess the Rock n Roll times of a band of single people hunting for non existent "groupies" is over!!

Diane and I had a daughter in 2005 "Olivia Susan" and consequently Diane has stopped doing the band bookings and handed the reins over to Jo.Jo & Rich's Wedding

Diane & Me Me & Diane's wedding

 

 

 

 

A BIG thank you to:

Colin Bleasdale, John Brotherton, Andy Beck, Steve Thistlethwaite, Jeff Iveson, Martin from Lowfold Audio and all the people that have watched us sweat!

We wouldn't be here now without you!

STOP PRESS:

At the moment (Oct 2007) we are training a new stand in drummer called "Liam Gallagher" believe it or not! He's just 18 and keen as mustard. We are looking at having him for around 12 months while Jo takes a break from the drums but continues backing vocals. It's currently an exciting time for the band with a big change in line-up...for a while at least!