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The Uptown Band

From: Dublin

Active: 1967-69

Style: beat/flower power



The Uptown Band was established by manager Ted Carroll in 1967. Brendan Bonass had previously been in Rockhouse and The Inmates / The Kult. Brush Shiels was recruited on bass from C&W act Rose Tynan and The Rangers. Shiels suggested Phil Lynott, who he'd seen fronting the Black Eagles, for the lead vocalist position, but the message sent to Lynott never reached him and Dick O'Leary was the eventual choice. Ted Carroll was later ousted in favour of new manager Larry Mooney, a move not popular with Brush Shiels who left and Bob Bolton (ex Some People) came in on bass. Bernie Cheevers was briefly a member of the band and recounts the events that led to Shiels leaving the Uptown Band slightly differently. He says Pat Nash and Brendan Bonass went on holiday to Spain without informing the rest of the band and Brush Shiels suggested Bernie as replacement. They played for two weeks and the change was accepted as permanent until Nash & Bonass returned and suddenly Shiels & Cheevers were out. They then formed Skid Row.

The Uptown Band was caught up in the flower power rage of 1967. They wore capes onstage, had the best light show in Dublin and regularly showered their audience with flowers. The onstage antics were taken to extremes by organist Dave Lennox AKA 'Mojo'. At a memorial concert for local DJ Jon Hodges in the Moulin Rogue in South Great Georges Street, he attacked an inflatable rubber duck filled with tomato ketchup and water with an axe, splattering the audience with fake blood while the band churned out a cover of Arthur Brown's "Fire". According to some reports, Jon Hodges open casket was present during this concert, at the foot of the stage -- which seems very odd! -- and was splattered during the above proceedings).

Brendan Bonass and Bob Bolton both left in 1968 to reform The Stellas with Deke O'Brien. Bonass was later in Chosen Few and Stepaside among others. Bolton was later in The Chosen Few, Stepaside, Swarbriggs, Beats Workin' and The Negatives. Pat Nash (drums) joined Granny's Intentions in 1969 and played on their LP. He was later in the Woods Band. Dave Lennox later in Under River, Elmer Fudd and Funky Junction and played with Joe O'Donnell and Rory Gallagher's Band. Brush Sheils formed Skid Row with Ted Carroll as manager and the frontman he'd wanted all along in Phil Lynott.

See also: Black Eagles, Granny's Intentions, The Inmates / The Kult, Stepaside

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