It is the night of March 8th 2008 and a packed room at The Shakespeare’s Head in Southgate Street were looking forward to a night of real rock and roll from Leicester’s longest running rock and roll band; WARLOCK.
WHAT A NIGHT IT WAS!!!!!!
The article in The Leicester Chronicle issue dated December 2007 which detailed Warlock supporting Little Richard at The George Hotel in Hinckley, has certainly brought back memories for quite a lot of people. Some of whom were in attendance on this memorable night. I also have had strangers, to me that is, coming up to me in the street and saying, “Hello Brian,” of course, maybe they have read my book; ‘Memories of a Leicester drummer.’ One day a lady I have known for some time said, “I didn’t know you were a drummer.”
Tonight someone called the audience; ‘Friends United’ which I thought was a very good description of the fans that were there. Included were Diana Sanders who besides being a fan of Warlock also co-ran the Warlock fan club with her sister. Veronica Smith who co-ran the Little Richard Fan Club, Veronica’s friend Wendy, Linda and Brian Cox, who are recent Warlock fans, Mike and Sue Pruden. Mike is a guitarist who has played with Warlock sometimes, Mick Winn, the bass player when I was the drummer and Geoff Overon accompanied by Tom Lane who sometimes plays drums for Warlock
Coincidentally, in the December Chronicle article on the right hand side of the same page there is an article about The Shakespeare’s Head. It’s a small world! Isn’t it?
This is Ken and Veronica looking at some Richard Penniman (Little Richard) fan club issues.
This is the present line-up of Warlock. Ken Spencer, Andy McDonald and Mick Wilkes.
When I arrived, Warlock were nearly set-up so I looked around the room to see who I knew. Sitting at the bar was a gentleman who was very familiar but I was unable to remember where
we had met before. I asked him who and where we’d met and he said, “I remember you but I don’t know where from.” When I told him I used to be the drummer for Warlock, he then remembered seeing the band in Market Harborough. Other people spoke to me; some of the ladies even kissed me!
Ken Spencer and Mick Wilkes were the founder members of The Warlocks in the 1950’s.
These photographs are of The Warlocks in their original stage outfits (and age)and today.
Ken Spencer and Mick Wilkes 1950’s Ken and Mick 2008
Ken Spencer Brian Rushin Mick Winn.
The same three Warlocks but a little bit older
As you can see in the second photograph, Mick Winn and myself were asked, (even urged) by some of the audience if we were going to join Ken for a number.
It was rather nice to be remembered by these people so I asked Ken if he would allow Mick and me to join in with the entertainment for just one song. He agreed readily and, even, rather excitedly and suggested that we play ‘Rockabilly Rebel’.
Mick suggested that we start the last session of Warlock’s programme, but I said, “If we do, we might be asked to do more that the one we had agreed.” So it was agreed that we play the last song of the second set.
When it came time for the last song of the second session, Ken announced that Mick and I were in the audience and would we join him to play with the band.
With some trepidation, I settled behind Andy’s drum kit, picked up the sticks and Mick picked up Mick Wilkes Bass guitar. Ken started and, as if I had not stopped playing drums since the 1980’s, except for a couple of times when Ken asked me to go with them to their bookings, I joined in and felt that 20 years had dropped off my life. I couldn’t see the audience although I had my eyes open, I was concentrating so much.
After I came off the drums I was approached by Veronica Smith who said, “You’ve not lost it, Brian.” Later, other people said similar things to me and Mick Winn.
Towards the end of Warlock’s programme, a lady joined in. Wow! What a singer! I felt my neck hairs rising. Could this lady swing! Her name is Linda Cox and I found out later that she and her husband Brian attend Ken’s ‘Born To Boogie’ nights at the Crow’s Nest pub. These are run by Ken and his long-time friend Tiger John McWhirter and if you like real music I suggest you attend at least once. It is on every Wednesday night and, if you can play or sing, you might even be able to join in.
I would like to remind you that copies of my book ‘Memories Of A Leicester Drummer’ £6 plus postage, can be obtained from me, Phone 0116 2885737 or from the publisher,
Reprint. Phone 01509 267450. or on the internet. http://www.reprintuk.com/