14th Dec, 2019

60s hit-makers Pinkertons to turn back the clock at reunion gig

Andy Morris 7th Nov, 2019

THE REUNION of a fondly-remembered Rugby band which scored a top ten hit in the 60s takes place on Friday (November 8).

Pinkertons – also known as Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours – will headline a 60s-70s show at the Railway Club in Hillmorton Road to raise money for the local Air Ambulance and Myton Hospice.

The band formed in the 60s when pop group manager Reg Calvert and his family moved to Clifton Hall near Rugby, bringing with them an entourage of flamboyant musicians and singers – described as a ‘school of rock’ by Reg’s daughter Susan Moore, who has published a book about her memories of the time.

She said: “Tony Newman decided to visit Clifton Hall to request an audition for The Liberators, the group he’d recently joined. Arriving early – 10am – he rang the doorbell. Everyone was in bed. Reg got up, irritated by being awoken. Seeing a nervous young man, he asked: ‘Haven’t you heard of such a thing as a telephone?'”

Never one to refuse an audition, Reg booked the band to appear at the Benn Hall – but the guitarist left in the meantime to form another band.

Former St Andrew’s Benn High School for Girls pupil Susan said: “Tony, who had only just learnt guitar, stepped in as a replacement. The drummer, Rex Barton, was so nervous, he began to be sick on his drums and the guitarist, Chris Pottle, broke a string.

“My mother Dorothy Calvert was running the dance and she called out, ‘tune up’. Mishearing, the group ‘turned up’ the volume.

“The audition was not a success, but the Liberators were given a second chance and with much rehearsal and improvement, they were often booked to appear at the dances.”

Reg agreed to become the group’s manager and, after changing their name to Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours, he organised a recording session at Decca Records for a song Tony had written, ‘Mirror Mirror’. In 1966, the record soared up the charts to number nine.

Susan chronicles her parents’ story – including Clifton Hall, a visit from the Beatles, Reg’s venture into ‘pirate’ radio, and his death by shooting at the hands of a rival – in her book Life and Death of a Pirate.

She will be selling raffle tickets and signing copies of the book at the charity gig, donating £5 for each book sold. She is also giving a talk at Percival Guildhouse on November 18 for Rugby Family History Group. Visit www.regcalvert-plays.co.uk for more information.

Pinkertons will be supported by Red Thunder and Mama Don’t Allow at the charity gig. Tickets are available from the Railyway Club or Michael Hill Jewellers in Bank Street.

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