The Dalesmen formed around 1960 first gig Mansfield Shoe Co. Support act to; Gene Vincent,Hermans Hermits,Wayne Fontana, Outlaws, Bill J Kramer.
Jeff Coulson (bass), Geoff Walker (lead guitar), Ken Horne (rhythm)Mac Mills (drums) Keith Mills(Lead singer)1960/64 Terry Keithley (lead singer)1965/67
Pic 1 & 2 L to R Jon Jayes, Steve Hurd, Maurice Higgs, Ian Bainbridge.,
L to R Ian Bainbridge, Steve Otter, Steve Hurd, Jon Jayes
Our earlier amplification was through a Bird 10watt amp, a small Selmer bass amp and a Selmer 10 watt lead amp. Later we used Linear Concorde 30 watt amps and home made speaker cabinets with Fane and Celestion speakers. We could never afford the Vox or Carlsboro amps of the day. Ian played a Burns Sonic guitar, Steve a Framus bass and I made do with a Hofner Colorama and a treble booster. The drum kit was made up of a variety of items all covered with the ‘Fablon’ to make it look like a decent kit. Nevertheless, the sound and raw R&B, must have been acceptable for us to be invited back to some of the venues again and again. Uncomplicated days of musical youth. A good grounding for the future but nothing to set the world on fire.
THE DOLOMITES1963 – 1966At the end of 1963, four of us at the Ellis School discussed forming a band, and by the beginning of 1964 Ian Bainbridge (lead guitar), Jon Jayes (rhythm guitar), Steve Hurd (bass) and Maurice Higgs (drums), were practising together on simple instruments. Initially, we were an instrumental group playing Shadows music, calling ourselves the Dolomites out of desperation, with a gig to play at the weekend and no name on the drum kit. We had recently had a geography lesson studying Italy with Mr Clarke at school, hence the name. It seemed like a good idea at the time!After a couple of initial gigs in the Percy Andrews canteen in Bulwell, Maurice left and we found a replacement drummer, Tony Richards. Due to musical differences, Tony left shortly afterwards and Steve Otter answered our ad for a drummer. We began buying slightly better equipment, but couldn’t afford the Vox amps or Fender and Gibson guitars which some bands were using. We built our own speaker cabinets with Linear 30-watt amps and bought a PA system.As we were all only 14 or 15 years old, we had to rely on what transport we could – friends, relatives or hiring a driver and van at thirty bob a trip from gig fees. We performed at various venues over the couple of years that we played together, quickly leaving the Shadows music behind and concentrating on R&B, with me (JJ) playing the harmonica and Steve Otter and Steve Hurd singing.During our short time together, we played several times at the Fox on Parliament Street, Maid Marian in Arnold, the Apollo in Bulwell, many times at the Hendon Rise Social club, miners’ welfares in Basford, Hucknall and Ripley and many other places, with around 60 appearances in the months we played together. All that whilst studying for our GCE’s.Our final appearance was at the Country Hall in 1966 after leaving school and getting ‘proper jobs’. The two Steve’s played in Germany for a while with other bands, making an appearance on German TV. Ian and I did very little by way of playing and I gave up the guitar for some 25 years.Steve Hurd eventually moved to Frome and has played in several bands, Steve Otter still lives in Nottingham and Ian moved to Canada, concentrating on finger style playing. I bought another electric guitar in the mid 90’s, moving to Scotland for 20 years and eventually playing there in a Salsa band and a swing band.In 2014, I moved to Leicestershire and formed a big band, playing an assortment of music from swing to jazz, blues and rock n roll. There are now 26 of us in the Belvoir Big Band playing in and around Leicestershire.It has been a long journey from having that first plastic, 4 string ‘Tommy Steele’ guitar back in the 1950’s, but it was most enjoyable. I still have much to learn even in my 70’s, but I’m happy on the back row of the band supporting all the other players with variable rhythm playing. May it long continue.The Dolomites weren’t a huge band of the 1960’s, but I would like to think that we made some small contribution to the music scene in and around Nottingham during that era, giving our audiences some enjoyment on a Friday or Saturday nights.