|1. RnB with The Figures and vocalist Barry Walker.|
There used to be a brilliant little record shop in Koek Road near the Orchard Road market where we could obtain almost anything pop, rock, blues or middle-of-the -road. The Beatles and The Bee Gees were probably the most popular at the time.
|2. Cliff Richard @ a record shop Singapore 60s.|
The music played was very diverse; The Straydogs – Rhythm & Blues; The Trailers – Cliff & The Shadows; of course The Quests who were very original at the time; The Dukes – almost all of the current hit parade favourites, as did The Shades of Blue. Heather and The Thunderbirds played originals and songs of the day, The X-Periment and Fried Ice were also great and us, The Figures / The In-Sect who played a lot of blues and soul music.
|3. Fu Manchu? No, they are Pietro and The Warlocks|
When all was finished we would head for an old converted house called The Fireplace. From memory I think it was a private club of some sort where a couple of Danish hippies,so the story goes, painted the whole house in the most amazing colours and together with the lighting really made it look fantastic! I dread to think what might have been going on in there but what a place. The music played was also brilliant and certainly went with the ambience.
One other place to frequent was The Pub in the basement of the Hotel Malaysia at Tanglin Circus. It was probably the original IN place. I recall a guy with a bald head and really long pony tail who dressed in old Chinese style although he was European. They were called Pietro and The Warlocks; towards the end of their last set he would swing his ponytail round like an aeroplane propeller - quite a showman he was.
The standard of musicianship among the local bands was exceptional and when I think back, some of the instruments and amplification were not good but could the local guys play and get good sounds from them.
There was also a programme called Talentime. Who can forget Johnny Tan or Sugiman Johari (right) the Johnny Mathis of Singapore. Also there was Jenakarama where all the top Singaporean talent got to appear, a little like England’s Top of the Pops but the artistes chose what they performed or sang.
The local music paper of the day was Radio Weekly which always had one or two interviews with local bands and singers.
In early 1970 I returned to London where I finished my army career returning to Singapore six months later. I was amazed at the changes in around six months.
The T-Set the band I was with played at The Pub on a six months contract which included occasionally playing in other areas of the hotel, sometimes the roof garden or the ball room depending on what was happening. Does anyone remember the residency of Maurice Woodruff the world famous star reading man who apparently could tell your fortune? One evening he was on stage and had a heart attack and died. Very unfortunate... (check Comment page below about Woodruff).
|5. It Figures; Barry Walker's @ microphone.|
also a local band playing at the Roof
Top of the Oberoi Imperial Hotel called Log Stock and Barrel who were really
good Nik Mohamed (ex Siglap 5 and The Dukes ) was their bass player and a guy
by the name of 'Kupeh' was their drummer but also played really good guitar and
was a very good vocalist. The whole band were really good.
|6. The T-Sets from England @ The Pub Penthouse Disco, Hotel Malaysia.|
|Barry still remembers how great The Blackjacks are other bands were.|
Check below Heritage Fest posting for Comments by readers about Barry Walker.
Images numbered 1, 4, 5, 6 are from Barry Walker (Copyrights Reserved).