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Amboy Dukes (UK)






RECORD COMPANIES / LABELS (Current & Past): Polydor

OFFICIAL WEB SITE: Not in Existence


Formed in Reading, Berks in 1965, by Dave Kislingberry, who took the name from a paperback novel. The musical focus of the band was from the outset centered on American blues/soul and R & B artists such as Ray Charles, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave etc. and eventually included the odd Ska tune (known as Blue Beat at the time) from the likes of Prince Buster, Roland Alphonso etc.
Original active (semi-pro) line-up was a five piece, consisting of:
Dave Kislingberry (Vocals and Trumpet)
Mick Lambden (Trumpet and vocals)
Trevor Lock (Guitar}
Dave Elam (Bass Guitar)
Mick Jerome (Drums)
(All from the Reading area).

Once the band had established itself and had become busy enough to become a full time unit, the line-up changed to a seven piece:
Dave Kislingberry (Vocals and Trumpet)
Trevor Lock (Guitar}
Art Claridge (Bass Guitar)
Mick Jerome (Drums)
Rod Lee (Trumpet)
Ken McColm (Tenor Sax)
George Hall (Baritone Sax and Flute)
(Again, all from the Reading area, with the exception of Rod Lee who hailed from Leicester).

This was the line-up that was signed up by the Rik Gunnell Agency following a recommendation from Geno Washington. This led to the band working in many of the well known (at the time) London clubs such as The Flamingo in Wardour St, The Ram-Jam Club in Brixton, The Marquee and Tiles. First as a support band, to the likes of John Mayalls Blues Breakers, who were hot at the time as Eric Clapton had just been elevated to ‘God’ status, Georgie Fame, Zoot Money etc, and then as a headline act in their own right. As a result of a long residency at Peter Stringfellows, Mojo Club in Sheffield, the band also became popular across the north of England.

During 1966 Art Claridge was replaced on bass by Pete Howard (also from Reading) and George Hall left the band for personal reasons leaving a 6 piece line-up.

The band was signed to Polydor in ‘66 and in the same year the same line-up recorded “Turn Back to Me” (Released Feb ‘67). George Hall was drafted in on flute for the recording.
Short of a B side, “I Never Complain About You”, written by Trevor Lock and Dave Kislingberry, had to be recorded in one take as we had run out of studio time. Recording was at Advision Studios in New Bond Street, and produced by Jeff Cooper who wrote “Turn Back To Me”, the engineer was Eddie Kramer.

Early in 1967 the second record, ‘All I Need’ and the B side ‘Doing the Best I Can’ was also recorded at Advision Studios, again with Eddie Kramer engineering but this time produced by Terry Kennedy. This was the same line-up as before but augmented, for the recording, with Ian Green on Hammond Organ, late of the touring version of the New Vaudeville Band.

During 1967 Buddy Beadle (ex Ram Jam Band) had been added to the line-up on Baritone sax, creating a seven piece once again. (Buddy was from South London).

This was the line-up that recorded “Highlife in Whitley Wood” pts 1 & 2. and was recorded at Polydors own studios, which I think were somewhere just north of Oxford Street, and also produced by Terry Kennedy. “Highlife in Whitley Wood” was in fact two separate Ska numbers that featured in our stage set. Part 1 was track called “High Life” which I think by Roland Alphonso, and Part 2 I am fairly sure was based on “Gun The Man Down” by Prince Buster. The “Whitley Wood” thing was a spur of the moment ‘bright idea’, and was a reference to a suburb of Reading where one of the band hailed from.

Around this time Steve Gregory (ex Alan Price Set) replaced Ken McColm on tenor sax resulting in the line-up that recorded “Judy in Disguise”. (Steve was from West London).
Dave Kislingberry (Vocals)
Trevor Lock (Guitar}
Pete Howard (Bass Guitar)
Mick Jerome (Drums)
Rod Lee (Trumpet)
Steve Gregory (Tenor Sax & Flute)
Buddy Beadle (Baritone & Alto sax)

A single of “Judy in Disguise” by John Fred had been brought from the States by our manager, John Gunnell and given to us on the basis it was not going to be released in the UK!!!
It was recorded in a small studio in Denmark Street, again produced by Terry Kennedy
The harmonica featured was played by a guy we knew as “Moxy” who we met in the pub!
The B side “Who’s Foolin’ Who” was an Arthur Connolly track that had featured in our stage set, and was recorded at the same session.
I was replaced in early 68 by Eddie Spevok, so the subsequent history is a bit of a blank, but subsequent line-ups have been outlined by Dave Kislingbury (Kissyy) on this website.

Subsequent to the bands final demise, Buddy Beadle and Steve Gregory became members of Gonzalez and later Steve was the sax featured on George Michaels “Careless Whisper”. More recently they were both on tour with Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames backing Van Morrison. Pete (Skan) Howard became a sound engineer at the BBC and eventually set-up Skan PA Hire, going on to become a highly successful independent sound engineer. Sadly Pete passed away in December 2007. Trevor Lock is currently with ‘Magic’ a Queen tribute band.

By Mick Jerome 2012.


Parent Category Page Links: Music Artists / Outfits - UK

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