Executive Honorary Members
Sir Paul McCartney
Sir George Martin
(The Original Quarrymen):-
During a holiday in Mullion, Cornwall, last August we visited an establishment called 'The Moonshine Club' to attend a theme night called '60's Revival'. Topping the bill was 'St. Cecilia'.
"St. Cecilia - you're breaking my heart - who is she" I said to my bother-in-law. "She's the patron saint of music." He replied. "Never heard of her - hope she's a good singer" was my answer. Boy was I in for a big surprise!!
The night began with songs from the 60's by local band 'Jakarta', and things were starting to swing. After 'Jakarta' we heard a couple of songs by Mandy (one could fall in love with Mandy, especially with the voice she had).
It was now time for 'St. Cecilia', and what a crowd-puller this woman must be, I thought, because there were over 800 people in the audience and it was standing room only.
‘St. Cecilia’ came on-stage to a big roar from the audience, and to my surprise two guys appeared, with a lot more hair than I had, and both were dressed in Beatle suits.
They went straight into their opening number which was The Beatles 'She Love's You' and then another. 'Something' came next, a number by the Seekers and then string of Beatles songs, 'Hey Jude', 'The Long And Winding Road', 'Band On The Run', 'Love Me Do', 'All My Loving', 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', 'Twist And Shout'. St. Cecilia also played the songs of Gerry And The Pacemakers, Jerry Lee Lewis and Rory Storm And The Hurricanes. They finished with 'Please Please Me' but came back for an encore with 'Ticket To Ride'.
These two guys were terrific and they sounded like the real thing. Believe me if you haven't seen ‘St. Cecilia’ before this you just must go to a concert.
The question was: would I be able to meet them? I spoke to the compere, Tony, explaining that I was from Beatles Ireland and that I would like to meet and interview ‘St. Cecilia’. Tony said he would see what he could do and would I wait. About ten minutes later Tony arrived back and said, yes they would see me. He took me back-stage to meet ‘St. Cecilia’ and I was introduced to Chris Frazier and Ian Walker.
The following is the interview which took place.
What made you become a 60’s tribute band?
Ian – We were brought up in the era. This is what people wanted and we found everyone enjoyed it.
Chris – Back in the 80’s we played a variety of music by the bands of that time. We just followed the trend of the time – except for the music of The Stones, because we can’t stand them. But for the last ten – fifteen years we’ve been playing 60’s music.
In your performance you played about 80% Beatles music and the rest was from other bands. – Why do you play more Beatles songs?
Chris – O-Yeah – it’s because we grew up in the 60’s and The Beatles were the band of the time and their music is still popular today. You only have to look at the amount of young people (who weren’t even born then) who love The Beatles now and you also find that the people who were teenagers at that time still love it.
Ian – We also found that not everyone always likes Beatle music but they still like music from the 60’s, and that’s why we play songs from Gerry And The Pacemakers, The Seekers, The Fortunes etc. We were thinking of doing Cilla Black songs but I haven’t got a voice or hair like her!
Chris – You haven’t got the body either!!!
Do you have a favourite Beatle, and why?
Chris – It’s Lennon – he was the madder one, was way-out later on in life. His music was great and John and Paul made a great musical team.
Ian – For me it’s Paul - from the beginning I liked his music; from when he was with The Beatles and afterwards with ‘Wings’. I still like the music he does now.
Do you have a favourite Beatle song?
Ian – Oh - that’s a hard one - there are so many great songs - let me think about that one for a minute.
Chris – Like Ian said it’s very hard, and a lot depends on how you feel at the time. You may love one song one week but by next week it could be a different one. We find that if we hear a Beatle’ song on the radio - say ‘Let It Be’ which we haven’t heard played for months on end, then we’d be saying, "yea, what a song - lets play that one because it’s fab," so we play it. Because it’s our favourite song at the time we play it over and over again and then after a while we find it’s like, gone stale - but by then we would have another favourite. I think the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album has to be the best for me and from a solo album point it has to be John’s ‘Imagine’ - great album.
Ian – What! - a minute up already - God - so many Beatle tracks and I can’t find one! No but seriously I think the songs by Paul with The Beatles were great but my favourite has to be when Paul was with ‘Wings’, ’Band On The Run’ that’s the one I like the most. Paul and John were a brilliant team together and made some great songs, but I think Paul was better by himself, and any song by Paul is brilliant.
Have you met any of The Beatles?
Chris – Oh yes, I’ve met them all! (laughing). No, I haven’t met any of them but I would love too; it’s a pity John isn’t around because he would have been the one to meet.
Ian – No, I haven’t either; but if I had a chance to meet Paul I would be there talking to him before you could say, "Paul would like to meet you!"
Back in the 60’s when The Beatles were together, Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best. At the time how did you feel about it?
Chris – At that time - mmmm - well I’m not telling you how old I was then, but at that time it really didn’t matter because there were a lot of groups around and you would go and see a band one week and when you went to see the same band a week or two later there would be a different person in the group than before; but the music that they played still sounded the same.
Ian – Chris is right. You just didn’t worry about it. I mean, it still goes on today and people don’t make a fuss about it – some times it can be for the better. I think people say, ‘what the hell’, the music still sounds the same and that’s what counts the most.
The Beatles Convention is on in a couple of weeks. Have you played in Liverpool?
Ian – Yes, we have played in Liverpool, but not at a Beatles convention. We’ve played in theatres, nightclubs etc. Some of the bands that play at the convention are great; you just have to look at The Bootleg Beatles, Gary Gibson and don’t forget The Ludwig Beatles. We (St Cecilia) are playing here on alternative weeks and The Ludwig Beatles the following weeks. For any big Beatle fan that’s the week to come as they are only playing Beatles music, and it’s funny really because we haven’t them yet, and the staff here are always saying you have to meet them.
Have you played in The Cavern Club?
Chris – No, we haven’t because we’re a tribute band of the 60’s and not just of The Beatles I think that’s why we haven’t played at a Beatles convention. If we were asked to play just Beatles songs – like at the convention we would. We have our Beatles costumes as well as our Sgt. Pepper outfits, so there is nothing to stop us.
How did you become St. Cecilia?
Chris – I live in Lincolnshire and was with a local band.
Ian – I’m from London and was with a blues band, and I moved to Lincolnshire. I moved in close to Chris, we became friends and, as they say, the rest is history.
Chris – As for ‘St. Cecilia’ – well, she’s the patron saint of music isn’t she? Back in the 70’s there was a band called St. Cecilia; they were a five-piece band and had a hit called ‘Leap Up And Down and Wave Your Knickers In The Air’. The band went down to two members whom I knew well. When they were finished for good I asked them if we could use the name ‘St. Cecilia’ and the answer was ‘yes’.
Have you ever played in Ireland?
Chris – No, we haven’t. In the 80’s we were asked to play in Ireland but at that time, because of the bombings and that we were a bit scared and just didn’t fancy going over at that time.
Ian – We played all over Europe and most places around the world, but sadly not Ireland. But yes, we would love to come over and play.
Chris – Don’t think that we don’t like the place, we in fact love it, we’ve been to Ireland plenty of times for holidays and that, but not as a band.
Ian – Oh – yes, we love to play golf as well, and believe me Ireland have some of the best golf courses.
I would like to thank Chris and Ian for giving me their time, and hope to see them playing (as a band) in Ireland soon.
Bits and Pieces