Dave Hall: Lead Guitar. Mike Hurst: Lead Vocal.
Bill Hart: Drums. Paul Nicol: Bass Guitar.
"Changing their name to The Trekkershow in 1967, Bill Hart left the Shyms and joined them on drums replacing stickman Dave. They were now headed for the night-club cabaret circuit after a mega-successful early to mid 60's playing full-on rock 'n roll to rapturous Lankyland audiences. Time's were changing rapidly in the R 'n R business as it reached the end of the incredible 1960's era. Many top bands moved on and into new forms of musical group entertainment which brought TV fame to the likes of The Grumbleweeds, The Black Abbotts and The Rocking Berries.
Mike Hurst - Bill Hart - Paul Nicol - Dave Hall
Extremely popular with take's on Elvis Presley from Mike, along with the band boasting full-on vocal harmony, they showed off their many talents to perfection by covering rock classics like Amen Corner's 'Bend Me-Shape Me' and The Boxtops 'The Letter'. Dave played classic Jimi Hendrix guitar on Purple Haze whilst the boys softer side came through by handling polished vocals on Gene Pitney's 'I'm Gonna Be Strong' with somewhat amazing ease.
'Into the cabaret scene they went, full of confidence.'
Into the cabaret scene they went, full of confidence. A short tour to the South Wales Vallay's at the time of the twin national tragedies of foot & mouth cattle disease and the Aberfan spoil-heap incident in 1969 gave them time re-style their old act. Undaunted by these local disasters and professional to the the hilt, the band members were billeted out for the week-long tour, to different local families for hospitality, good food and safe accomodation. During the long dark rainy days they spent their time rehearing, planning new idea's and practicing intricate comedy routines in order to trial them in front them to their adoring Welsh fans at the evening show's in the packed-out social clubs.
'The band were in for an unexpected and massive internal shock.'
Back to Lankyland they came, but unfortuately the band were in for an unexpected and massive internal shock. Mike decided he would leave the band to concentrate on his religeous studies as a Jehova's Witness. Bill also believed it was right too that he would leave also purely for personal reasons and move home with his then girl-friend and family to London.
Barry replaced Bill on drums and The Trekkershow became a working three piece oufit. Shows at such places as Blackpool Opera House became deriguer. Never quite topping the bill but backing up as such to many established 'stars', Blackpool always did and want to supply the very best of showbiz attractions to a huge audience and these guys were a huge part of it!
'Dave would introduce himself as "Ventriloquist - Dave Tent - The-Bent-Vent"'.
A slick 20 minute comedy show twice nightly and several matinee's in the weekly Holiday season earned them a superb reputation at all levels of the business. Part of the act would see a small luggage trunk appear on stage and Dave would introduce himself as 'Ventriloquist - Dave Tent - The-Bent-Vent'.
Opening the trunk and 'speaking' to the dummy inside it, out of it Dave manhandled Paul
the bass player. To the audiences astonishment Paul was now playing the finest dummy I've ever seen since Wigan's Eric Ashton wrong footed the entire Widnes team at Wigan's Central Park to score a wonderful winning try. Paul was small but not tiny and just how he fitted himself inside that trunk is anybody's guess?
Many winter and summer seasons saw them play extensively on the social club circuits and in and around the early 1980's they eventually called it a day. Paul Nichol moved in as compere at a local Preston Club and Mike Hurst went solo first and then in a duo later on... for many years after."
Bill Hart May 2010
PS: Sadly, Mike Hurst passed away a few years ago.
The earlier days before Ray Lewis joined the band, saw The Trekkers hold their own with the best of the bands on the northern curcuit.
Dave Hall, Paul Nicol on 'base' guitar and Barry Roberts - held the sticks first..
Dave Hunt replaces Barry
"This is a rare pic that was never meant for public gaze hence the word 'scrap' scrawled across it. It shows Paul and Dave camping-up a mock 'kiss'. They were always up for a belly laugh anytime, on or off stage and this is typical of them 'treading a fine-line' so to speak! I worked closely with the band later on as The Trekkershow and I can only describe it as a kind of 'Benny Hill' type humour. Drummer Dave Hunt's body language says it all!"
Bill Hart: December 2011
Pop music trends of the time however, were seen that a guitar, drums band had to have a good front-man if you were to make it good in the big-time - so enter Ray Lewis on lead vocal. However, in order that The Trekkers maintained a degree of independence and autonomy - they insisted being billed as Ray Lewis WITH The Trekkers.
MIKE HURST with THE TREKKERS
Dave Hall - Mike Hurst - Dave Hunt - Paul Nicol
"A promo' pic, circa 1966/67 passed to me by the band when I worked backstage the Bolton Casino Club at that time."
Ken Hampson: October 2010
Touring in the South Wales Valleys'. Antics on a day off..
The off-stage comedy began to kick-in and the late 1960'- 70's cabaret circuit was not far away..
Dave - Mike - Paul - Dave
That's a 1960 Sunbeam Alpine in British Racing Green - Dave Hall's car; plated SWM 469.
I bought it from him for £469 in 1968.
Dave later went out and bought a Sunbeam Tiger with a 4.5 litre Ford engine.. Sulk!
Bill Hart: December 2011
"As far as I know Mike Hurst & The Trekkers were the only group in Lankyland to have a 'roadie'. His name was Doug' Larby, a lovely man, he used to drive the van, set up the P A system and check the sound was okay. I know Bill Hart - Lanky Beat author - later joined The Trekkers - but did they ever tell you Bill, about the time Doug crashed the van?
I believe he went off the road down an embankment. The van rolled over and over Dougie came out with bumps and bruises but the van and the equipment inside, i.e. the amps, P A system and drums were a complete write off. The next day they rang the L.E. Agency and told them what had happend and said we are at Bolton Casino tonight; who are we on with? When they were told you are on with The PACT they said thank goodness for that because we know The PACT and they will let us use their equipment.
Paul Nicol and Dave Hall always kept their guitars with then so they turned up for the gig with just two guitars and a pair of drum sticks. They thanked us for letting them use our equipment but just before they went on stage. I said to Mike Hurst 'do you remember setting up your P A system for us at Wigan Casino and there was an almighty feed-back when the curtains opened?' He said, 'yes I do.' Then I said, 'well its pay-back time.' Mike said, 'oh no. What have you done?' I said, 'I've done nothing - I was just winding you up.'"
Tony Bird: January 2011
Spotlight on Mike Hurst..
Note the hair styles - Teddyboy's quiff with a DA.. All pre-Beatles hair stuff..
*Pics by Doug Larbey
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