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THE BRETHREN

BACS +1

Blackburn

Back Row : Rob Rose: Lead Guitar. Kevin Miller: Rhythm Guitar. 

Martin Tatlow: Drums. Jerry Tattum: Bass Guitar.

Front: Geoff Marsden: Vocal - Percussion. Barry Smethurst: Vocal - Harmonica.

 

"I'm Jerry Tattum formerly of Blackburn and early 60's band 'The Brethren' - usually mis-spelled Bretheren – even by ourselves, earlier known as 'BACS+1'. I now live in North Virginia, just outside Washington DC, where I settled with my family 26 years ago.

 

  I found the site while investigating what might be online re: E Lancs bands who were contemporaries of the late and, most likely, unlamented Bretheren (sic). There was much that interested me but nothing moreso than the bio of The Electones aka “Barry I’Anson & The Electones” - see below. 

 

  The Electones and The Brethren played many of the same venues - in particular the NelsonImperial, The Mocambo Club in Darwen andEast Lancs CC.. but never at the same time.

 

  The Electones had a higher profile than we did - not least because we short-sightedly passed up the opportunity to be managed by theatrical agent Jim Blundell who, I think, managed The Electones - or, maybe was an agent or other person-of-influence. However, I don’t recall viewing The Electones back then with envy - more as a fan, I’d say.

 

  What struck me as a serious omission in the segment on the Electones – specifically re their set list – was their regular opener - a typically original choice - which was an amazing rendition of 'In a Persian Market’. Lead guitarist Jim Hopwood’s trademark Gretsch - Chet Atkins sound lent the number an 'impact' tone that I still recall to this day.

 

  Like many of our contemporary bands’ members, I’d guess, we now look back with a 'what if..' attitude, not to say, regret, that we The Brethren opted for the security of modest but regular income rather than summoning up the cojones to head South and take our chances in the Smoke!

 

 Instead – having 'settled' then – we settle still with nostalgia for highs no greater than, say, all-nighters on the Mersey showboat 'The Royal Iris' supporting the likes of Jackie Lomax & The Undertakers. But that’s life, and not all bad, even allowing occasional peaks like meeting up recently with ex-Accrington 'Warrior' - now California resident, Jon Anderson and chewing the fat over Saturday afternoon visits to Reidy’s Home of Music -Blackburn - in the early 1960’s and slavering over the first Fender Strats' to ever grace East Lancs' shop windows.

 

 

 Needless to say that earlier meeting with Jon had remained in my memory, but not his! And no, I’m not saying that Jon’s gone all 'big-time'. I doubt The Brethren were ever on The Warriors’ radar anyway. The good news:- he’s still a Blackburn Rovers fan, after all these years, and watches them on the same TV station I do."

Jerry Tattum: November 2010 

 

PS. "Oh. Should perhaps also mention a recent reunion at his Portland,Oregon home with ex-schoolmate -QEGS, Blackburn and sax man Chris Mercer. The ex Bluesbreaker and session man to the starsfor 16 years - still gigs on a regular basis. I'd have loved to to have quizzed him into the early hours on experienceslike sharing the bill with Jimi Hendrix at Filmore West - S Fran' - and Blue Boar - Watford Gap - link-ups with every British 1960's rocker you've ever heard of, but instead we reminisced mostly about memories of schooldays. Next time, maybe?"

 

Update:

  "We used the then Standard Commer - or was it a Morris van and decided to have the band's name down each side. The band member - I forget which one -  who sent instructions to the guy who did the 'coachwork' - large posters in reality - added the extra 'e' and signed us as The Breth'e'ren. Rather than divvy-up the price of a re-do we embraced the extra letter. A little short-sighted, probably!

 

  Finally, I note from the Sunday Times letter on the Lanky Beat page that at one time, at least, you had a Chorley address. Coincidentally, although The Brethren were a Blackburn band, our Fan Club was run by a Chorley lass. Wish I could remember her name."
Jerry Tattum: December 2010

 

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