Yesterday I posted a video of a band which has been going since the earliest days of ‘groups’, from the 60’s right through to the twenty-first century! here is a tribute I wrote to them several years ago. You will find another video at the end.
Many, many years ago, at the time when Elvis was King, a young man was standing with his schoolmates in assembly.
“Psst! Pssst! Psssssst! Sparshott!”
“You want to be in a group?”
A roar came from the stage; “SPARSHOTT – TO MY OFFICE NOW, BOY!”
It was in this manner that Geoff not only got Bari a detention for talking in assembly, but started a friendship which has continued for more than fifty years and right up until today. The lads were all about 14 and they practiced in Geoff’s bedroom… his parents did not live in a mansion but a conventional semi-detached house in Reigate. What tolerant neighbours they must have had!
They began to gig, initially as the Wanderers, playing in youth clubs all around the area. After various different line-ups, the Sabres were formed with Bari on drums, Mick on vocals, Geoff, Guy and Chris on guitars and various background vocals.
They played all the greats, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Cliff, the Shadows… This was before the Beatles or the Rolling Stones!
Over the years they have married, had families and rocked on with various reunions over the years. The line-up has changed as Chris moved away but he was replaced by Bernie.
Geoff and Bernie live in London, and Bari has moved to Somerset, but the boys still rock and in their 50th jubilee year in 2011, they had several gigs in Surrey. Their latest bash was to celebrate a somewhat more famous anniversary, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Diamond Jubilee gig took place in the most wonderful restaurant, the Jai Ho in Horley, Surrey. The restaurant is in what used to be a pub, the Coppinger Arms in Surrey. The Jai Ho serves the most delicious food and has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere… just the place for the Sabres to play, and play they did! See the gallery below!
Why have the Sabres lasted? Why do people still come and listen and dance to them and have a ball? Because they are great musicians, they know each other so well that they play great music… and above all they are great friends!
Sadly, since I wrote this post the great Mick King has died. He was a tremendous personality, a tremendous band mate, and a tremendous friend.
The Sabres beat group from the sixties re-unite for a recording session at Abbott Street Studios London in 2012. Clips from Move It, River Deep, Walkin’ the Dog and We Gotta Get Outta This Place.