The Salty Dogs
The Salty Dogs were a band who played around the Nottingham area in the mid-1960s, from about 1965 to 1968. The original line-up contained four lads who all met up at Mundella Grammar School: Phil Kirwan on guitar and vocals, Maurice Moore on guitar, vocals and harmonica, John Turner on bass and Richard ‘Stan’ Staniland on drums. They played the music of the bands they were listening to – bands like the Beatles, the Animals, Spencer Davis Group, Small Faces, the Who, the Rolling Stones, Them, the Kinks and then they started listening to and playing the music these bands were covering – Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Jesse Fuller. At the very first gig, some girls who were impressed by the band, suggested they go to a newish club in Nottingham, the Dungeon. They did and heard the original versions of the music they were listening to, the sound of Black America, and this became a big influence and soon the Salty Dogs, now more of a Mod band, added to their repertoire the songs of Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Solomon Burke, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, as well as the odd self-written one. The band played at various schools and youth clubs but pretty soon was on the pub and working men’s clubs circuit around the East Midlands, performing regularly at venues like the Maid Marion, March Hare, White Hart (Lenton), Carlton Hotel, Red Lion (Ripley), the Apollo. These were fun times - on two occasions at the Apollo, fights broke out in the audience in the middle of the same song, “We Gotta Get out of This Place” (Animals), and maybe they didn’t like this version or this song. Then at the larger venues such as Digby College, the Nottingham Palais, Mansfield Palais, the Sherwood Rooms. On one occasion, they appeared at the Sherwood Rooms as support for Junior Walker and the All- Stars. There were other gigs at various venues further afield. Later, the band became influenced by Pink Floyd and developed a more psychedelic sound. They added John Briley on keyboards and vocals and changed the name to the Velvet Explosion. Occasionally, other musicians would sit in on sessions such as Tony Crosby, who played in blues bands and Rik Kenton who played possibly in the Hound Dogs and later, briefly, with Roxy Music. For the technically-minded, the Salty Dogs used Hofner, Rosetti and Framus guitars, had Marshall, Carlsbro and FAL amplification and used Shure and Beyer microphones. The band split up when some of the members left Nottingham, each going their separate ways. Phil moved to Birmingham and played in the band Slender Loris amongst others and now plays in Dreams a tribute to Fleetwood Mac. Maurice played solo in some local folk clubs, then stopped performing for many years; eventually he was drawn back and after singing in Open Mics and the like, joined the Khan Band for a brief time and now plays in MozMicDawn, still singing some of the songs he sang in the Salty Dogs, as well as writing and recording original music and creating podcasts of his musical influences from those days in the 60s. John Turner died a few years ago and John Briley went into record production.