scottish beat bands

Besides the great influx of visiting musicians, the ’60s music scene in the north of Scotland was a great time for Scottish bands developing their craft. In the early 1960s, there were dozens of skiffle and beat groups springing up throughout the north of Scotland. Featured below are a couple of local favorites plus articles from the time…

The Playboys b

Malcolm Strachan of The Playboys: “We played all over the north from 1963 to 1965 from Dundee and Alyth right up to our furthest northern most gig at Dunnet Bay close to Thurso in Caithness. Our gigs were solo gigs or supporting loads of bands, The Hollies, Lulu and the Luvvers, Dave Berry etc We even played on the same bill as Johnny and The Copycats at Inverurie and Ardersier as i remember.
We headed of to London in June 1965 and recorded a single with Tony Secunda which was never released. Did most of our bookings through The Brian Morrison Agency who was very good to us and we used to support The Pretty Things as they were his top band.We supported The Who twice, The Nashville Teens, Them featuring Van Morrison, Unit Four plus Two, The Applejacks, Alan Price Set, and more.
We were very strong vocally but did not write our own material, which means only one thing. The Marmalade were in London who wrote their own material and were struggling a bit and we also used to go and see The Action at The Marquee Club who did the same stuff as ourselves and were better than we were in every department. It was a great few years and would not have missed it for the world. ps.I also saw The Beatles at The Beach Ballroom in January 1963,met them and have their autographs.Not bad for 3 shillings.”


Included with cassette tape of Playboys live in concert [circa 1964]

The Playboys who were performing around the north of Scotland were featured in a one hour recording from one of their live performances.

The Playboys a

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My research began in 2007 as a visitor to the north of Scotland. Growing up a few miles from San Francisco, I would frequent the active music scene on weekends besides being a fan of British BEAT music and never missing Shindig! on television. When first visiting the small community of Elgin in 2007, I was surprise to learn how the Beatles and many other vocalist and musicians came to perform during the early days of their careers. In the early 1950s, Albert Bonici began promoting dances though it had been an ambition since his teenage years. When he and Henry Robertson co-organized a string of jazz dances in the north Scotland, they could not have predicted the enormous success of the venture. Albert Bonici became one of the most respected promoters in the UK having arranged a high volumn of music venues throughout the north of Scotland which delighted music lovers during the height of the jazz and beat music era. Whilst known for booking the Beatles at the beginning of their 1963 tours, Albert Bonici brought most of the top British acts to north-east Scotland besides working with Scottish musicians to boost their careers. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and also a tribute to a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Albert A Bonici hosted many up and coming bands who went on to gain international acclaim for their contributions. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

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Posted in 1960's pop music
4 comments on “scottish beat bands
  1. david buchan says:

    I was the original lead guitarist of the playboys davy buchan

  2. Patricia Buchan says:

    My husband played in the original Playboys 1963/64 they played all over Scotland from far north to as far down as Perth. Playing before bands like Lulu and the lovers, Searchers etc. I have a photo of the original band but not sure how to post it on here.

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