The Plattermen were a showband whose roots stretched back to the late 1950s. As Brian Coll & The Plattermen, they were a well-established, well-known showband whose hayday was in the mid-60s. This band released several inoffensive, anaemic, country-tinged records on the Emerald Gem label, i.e. records like this:
In 1967, Rob Strong and Alan McCartney joind the band on bass and guitar respectively.
These beat/R&B-oriented musicians were sometimes at odds with the brass section
and the country-tinged material the band included in their set.
Brian Coll left in 1968 to form The Buckaroos, though his record label continued to
issue albums credited to the Brian Coll & The Plattermen name well into the
1970s. He later pursued a solo career as a cabaret artist.
Coll's replacement was Simon Scott.
The Plattermen dropped the country material from their live set and became a Blood Sweat & Tears/Chicago style rock outfit with Rob Strong's soulful vocals backing up Simon Scott and occasionally taking the lead. Their sound had elements of rock, jazzrock, blues, soul, R&B and funk. They continued to play the ballroom circuit and continued to draw good crowds. They were able to cross the line from club band to showband and vice versa without compromising their material. In 1971 they announced they were moving in a heavier direction. Ken Stewart described their show at the Television Club Dublin in 1971 as Afro-rock, complete with fire eaters onstage. They appeared on RTE "Caught In The Act" pop show in Oct 1971 and UTV's "Their Kind of Music" in July or August 1972. Finally their debut LP emerged on Dolphin Records on the 1st of December 1972. Many of the songs are Strong & McCartney originals. While some of the material is a little underwhelming, and some of the brass backing band is a little overwhelming at times, it has some great tracks on it, including the killer "African Wah-Wah". This LP is well worth tracking down.
In 1973 they issued a single for Vertigo Records under the name Hammer. This single is excellent with some especially rabble-rousing vocals from Rob Strong. The band also appeared on RTE TV's "The Musicmakers" during this period.
This phase of the band came to an end in 1974. Rob Strong formed Las Vegas and later went solo.
The Plattermen continued as a pop band during 1974-78 with Simon Scott as sole frontman.
In the late 70s, a singer named Rock Stewart was often billed as Rock Stewart & Plattermen,
though there was no link to the band.
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