Six Across
SIX ACROSS - A SHORT HISTORY Six Across began life as The Blue Dominoes Skiffle Group in 1958 and, due to a change in musical direction, quickly became known as The Heralds. By 1959 the band had become one of the best-known in and around the Derby area. They were the first band to play at the then recently-opened Mecca Locarno dance-hall on Babington Lane [now a Chinese restaurant!]. The line-up, at that time, was Kevin Lawless [vocals], Tony Bryan [lead guitar], Graham Hinckley [rhythm guitar], Dick Clarke [bass] and Pat Price [drums]. In 1959 the Heralds underwent major changes in band-members - Kevin Lawless was replaced by Terry Wild on vocals, Graham Newton joined as rhythm guitarist replacing Graham Hinckley and Pat Price was replaced by Mick Lancashire from Arthur Coyne's jazz band. By 1964 the band had both further changes to its line-up and a second change of musical direction by bringing in a tenor-sax player by the name of 'Kip' Wilks and a new drummer named Mick Plimmer. It gave The Heralds a chance to break free of the many Cliff Richard and the Shadows tunes that the group performed and prove that the band could handle a far greater range of material. This lead to the band expanding its vocal-harmony talents and, once again, Terry, Tony, Graham and Kip rose to the challenge. A couple of years later, in the mid-60s the band changed its name to Six Across - by now it had become one of the premier bands in the East Midlands and was traveling the length and breadth of the UK. It had also become one of the bands managed by Nottingham agent Phil Smith. Nottingham became the band's adopted city. The band continued through into the early 1970s albeit with one or two further changes in its members. The most significant being lead guitarists, Keith Gillard followed by Mick Payne who stayed with the band until it folded in the mid-70s. Mick still performs as a solo artist in Thailand. It was in 2002 that their musical paths crossed again when Terry Wild called past members to say that a band reunion was on the cards. Musicians from Six Across met up in the Moon Hotel, Spondon in Derby to discuss the project. It was all about getting together as many Derby groups from the 60s as possible, in order to raise cash for BBC Radio Derby's Money Mountain charity. Terry was on the committee that organized the event. It was held at McCluskey's in Babington Lane, Derby on Wednesday, 9th October 2002. The significance of this choice of venue being that it was at this Mecca dance hall, formerly known as The Locarno, where it all started for the band back in 1959. This was a mecca [no pun intended] for Derby bands in the 60s with, on occasions, upwards of ten bands performing in one night. These specials were run on a Friday night, maybe a couple a year, for a short while. It's a fair bet that there wasn't a band in Derby that didn't play there around that time! Terry stayed as lead singer throughout the remaining time from 2002 - 2005. The last gig that he did was at the Vernon Arms, Spondon on Friday 23rd December 2005. Terry suffered health problems in the last few months of his life and died on the 20th August 2006. We, sadly, also lost our drummer around that time, Mick Erwin - he replaced Nottingham-born drummer, Bob Bentley, who re-joined the band in the early part of the 2000s. Bob had been a member of Six Across during the latter part of the 60s. The band decided to continue performing and the current line-up consists of Kip Wilks, Dick Clarke, Graham Newton, Ken Cook [keyboards] and Paul Boule [drums] Graham Newton 29 March 2013 Codnor Derbyshire Click on images to enlarge
Back row, L to R: Graham Newton, Terry Wild, Mick Payne and Kip Wilks Front row, L to R: Bob Bentley and Dick Clarke.