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Rockola John Pope Paul Burchill Ivor Bennet Rowland

Formed in 2001 Rockola consists of: Rowland Barter Piano & Vocals, Ken Young Drums & Vocals, Paul Burchill Guitar & Vocals, Jon Pope Sound Engineer & Vocals, Ivor Bennett Bass Guitar & Vocals.

Rockola is a popular five piece rock band based in Somerset. There is a multitude of experience within the band, you'll find details if you click on the biographies (via the tabs above or the faces in the pic above).

With five vocalists and vast repertoire of songs, the band is able to perform for functions as diverse as rock'n'roll clubs through to wedding or birthday parties.

The Rockola Club - the band holds a very successful monthly rock'n'roll evening called 'The Rockola Club' at Bedminster Down Ex-Servicemen's Club, Bristol (BS13 7DY) at 8pm on the 2nd Friday of every month.

Newcomers are always welcome, you'll find a friendly atmosphere and a wonderful crowd of boppers. These events are rock'n'roll to bop to!

Party Celebrations - for these 'Rockola' put the emphasis on a broader song selection. Popular events are wedding and anniversary celebrations and birthday parties for all ages. During a typical evening the band performs two hours of live music (two one hour sets) and provide recorded music during intervals or dining times. However, evening schedules remain flexible to suit individual needs. Some of the artists we cover in our party set include: The Beatles, REM, The Beach Boys, T. Rex, Status Quo, Tom Petty, Shakin Stevens, Roxy Music, Robbie Williams, Van Morrison, Thin Lizzy, The Kinks, The Eagles, Dire Straights, The Clash etc.

Charity Fundraising - 'Rockola' have organised and performed in many large scale fundraising concerts featuring a multitude of rock talent that includes such names as 'The Bruvvers' and 'Roger Cook' with ticket profits and donations raising substantial sums for worthy charities.

To hear the band now - listen to the 'Rockola' sound samples on this website.

Rockola CDs - there are two available via this website called 'Live at The Club' Volumes 1 & 2.

Rockola Enquiries - Tel 01275 333102 or 332629.

 

 

Rockola Gig List 2017


Please note: due to unforeseen circumstances, the Rockola dates for this year have altered from those previously posted. This is the current Rockola Club gig list (at 12 April 2017), and it will be updated asap:

Friday 7th July
at Scotch Horn Centre, Brockway, Nailsea  BS48 1BZ

Saturday 12th August at Bedminster Down
Ex-Service Club, Winford Grove, Bristol, BS13 7DY

Friday 13th October  TBA

Friday 8th December  TBA

For more info call: 01275 333102  or email: bennettialfred@gmail.com 

CDs

CD1

CD2

CD 3

Rockola Enquiries - Tel 01275 333102 or 332629

CONTACTS

Rockola Enquiries - Tel 01275 333102 or 332629

 

ROWLAND BARTER

Rowland and Fenderr bass
On stage with The Ramrods in 1961, 18 year old Rowland playing his beloved 1960 Fender Bass. Tragically the bass was lost in 1966 in transit on the way to a Manchester gig with David & Jonathon. 'I never got over the loss' says Rowland, I loved that Fender bass'

ROWLAND BARTER BAND BIOGRAPHY

I was brought up in a musical household, one of seven children who all loved music. We had regular sing songs with mum on piano and dad leading the singing. Mum was musically educated, a gifted pianist, she could sight read the most difficult of music. As a young lady she played at her local cinema in Frome providing musical accompaniment for the silent movies of the day.

At age ten, I had classical piano lessons (not cool for a lad in those days) and sang in the church choir, but one day heard Elvis and Lonnie Donegan being played on a wind-up gramophone in the street outside the house and was instantly smitten.

Later, my older brother Harry became the singer in an art college skiffle group called 'The Vampires', who with the oncoming of rock'n'roll changed their name to 'Jimmy Francis and The Graduates. I was invited into the band on piano and I did my first gig age 14.

Jimmy Francis & The Graduates. Piano and later Bass guitar. 1958-59
Dale Rivers & The Ramrods. Bass guitar, founder member. 1959-63
The Burlington Berties. Bass guitar, founder member 1963-65.
David & Jonathon and The Issue. Bass guitar. 1966-68
The Bristol Comets. Piano. 1992-96
Country Pie. Piano, vocals. 1993-2000
FX 2000. Piano, vocals. 1994-2003
Rockola. Piano, vocals. 2001-2009


ROWLAND BARTER MUSICAL HIGHLIGHTS

The Beach Boys 1966 British tour. My professional musical career started on The Beach Boys 1966 British tour. Playing bass guitar with David & Jonathon and the Issue (Hit song 'Lovers of the World Unite') as opening act. 'Good Vibrations' was at the top of the UK charts, very exciting times.

Performing at The Record Star Show, Wembley Empire Pool 1967 with David & Jonathon and the Issue. Also appearing were: Cream, The Kinks, The Troggs, The Move, The Tremeloes, Gino Washington, The Alan Price Set, Freddie & The Dreamers, Lulu, Chris Farlow & The Thunderbirds, Gene Pitney, Dave Berry & The Cruisers, Paul Jones, Julie Felix, The New Vaudeville Band.

Signed to Dick James Music 1968 with an exclusive three year songwriting contract.

Recorded two songs at EMI Abbey Road in The Beatle studio.

ROWLAND BARTER SONGWRITING DISCOGRAPHY SELECTION

'Send for That Girl' recorded by 'Johnny Kid & The Pirates'.
Written by Rowland was the last single by Johnny Kid released in 1966 at the time of his tragic death.
This song is also featured on many Johnny Kid & The Pirates albums.

'Don't Cry on The Weekend' recorded by 'The Drifters'. Charted at No 3. A hit single B side
written by Rowland and brother Harry.

'The Cut is Deep and Wide' recorded by 'The Drifters'. Hit single B side.
Written by Rowland and brother Harry. Both Drifters tracks feature the main man Mr Johnny Moore on vocals and feature on Drifters Hits albums right up to this day.

'Such a Peaceful Day' single recorded by 'David & Jonathon' (pseudonyms of legendary songwriters Rogers Cook & Greenaway). Written by Rowland and produced by Sir George Martin.

'Anticipation Grows' single recorded by 'Roger Cook' written by Rowland

'Paperchase' single recorded by 'Roger Cook' written by Rowland

'Drink, Drink Yer Cider Up' recorded by 'The Wurzels'.
Written by Rowland, Harry and Roger Greenaway. Features on many a Wurzel album.

'Broken Wings' recorded by 'Ken Dodd'. Album track written by Rowland Barter & Chris Gunning.
They teamed up to write another 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' and this was the result.

'Wild Cat' single by 'Merlin' also an interesting version by 'The Troggs'. Written by Rowland & Harry.

'Part Of a Man is Broken' & 'Believe Me'
2 singles recorded by Rowland under the pseudonym 'Michael St John' written by Rowland & Harry.

Radio and TV Jingles. Rowland went on to write and produce jingles for major corporate clients including British Telecom.

'The Chew Valley Symphony' for Piano and Orchestra. Written and performed by Rowland during 2002/3.
Available on CD recorded at Jon Pope's Bungalow Studio. Produced by Jon and Rowland.

Rowland as Michael St John
Rowland released 2 singles in 1977 under the pseudonym Michael St John,
'Part of a Man is Broken' and 'Believe Me', both songs written together with brother Harry

KEN YOUNG

Ken

Ken age 16 with his first Premier drum kit

Child

Ken started playing drums age 11 using just a snare and hi hat until he managed to save up and buy his first set of drums - a Premier kit - age 14.

Teenager

Ken joined his first group ‘the Apparitions’ which later became ‘Medium Rare’ whose line up of Glenn Agg, Lee Barnes, Ron Moore and Edwin Starks, were a popular band in the Bristol area in the early 60’s. Medium Rare were signed up with Vincent Rudman Agency who in no time had the band travelling around the country with 3 to 4 gigs per week. During which time the band supported many top bands of the day such as Status Quo, Walker Brothers, Procol Harum, Amen Corner, The Move and the Nashville Teens to name but a few. The band played in venues such as Bournemouth Pavilion and Torquay Princess Theatre and the Bath Pavilion regularly together with nearly every Town and Village hall in the South. Medium Rare continued on the road for three years. On splitting up Ken then formed a band with Lee Barnes and Ray Elder (who went on to join Shag Connors and the Carrot Crunchers) called Rostrum.

Early 20’s

It was in this band that Ken took over lead vocals in addition to the drumming. Rostrum were then spotted by a Bristol businessman who was opening a new nightclub in King Street called the ‘Poor House’ and were offered full time residency playing 6 nights per week and with Gerry the keyboard player broadcast cover versions on Radio Bristol. Ken left a year later to join Rowland Barter as resident band in a supper club in Queens Road called ‘El Rancho’.

Musical Highlights

It was during this time that Ken did some other work with Rowland recording at Air Studios in London and recording with Reg Presley of the famed ‘Troggs’ band in one of Rowland’s song writing projects. Ken continued playing with Rowland in venues around Bristol for the next 6 years and together formed various band over the last 18 years. Some of the highlights have been backing Roger Cook singer songwriter (famed for ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing’ and ‘Talking in your sleep’) at 3 charity events. In recent years returning to the Bath Pavilion having played there 40 years earlier found the dressing rooms had not changed since playing there as support act to Status Quo who had Pictures of Matchstick Men at number 1 in the charts. The Groups Galore event at the Bristol Colston Hall had Ken drumming and singing with Rockola and Dale Rivers and the Ramrods.

Up to date

Ken continues to play with a great bunch of guys in Rockola and spends his spare time teaching people of all ages to play drums and can only wish that some of them enjoy similar musical experiences to enrich their lives. See http://www.kenyoungdrumlessons.co.uk/

Ken hippy

Ken at age 17 in the days of flower power

PAUL BURCHILL

Paul

PAUL BURCHILL – BAND BIOGRAPHY

Started aged 12, playing a homemade guitar - self taught with friends. Totally inspired by Hank Marvin, The Shadows and Duane Eddy.

Joined a school group which morphed into the 'Renegades'. They played around the first Bristol Group circuit during 1963/4.

Brief stints with other Bristol bands followed, which included 'Johnny Hastings & the Tributes'. I left when they went to Germany to seek their fortune. I decided it was safer to remain in insurance – boring!

Joined Bristol University Blues Group, the 'RBQ' (Rhythm & Blues Quartet) and played Groups Galore at The Colston Hall in 1965.

Joined up with Mike Tobin in 'Obsession' playing the 'Granary' Bristol and other venues.

Paul, with Philpott

Then 'Dawn', with John Tippett, Tony Bird and James Warren. We had a spell recording original material in various major London Studios financed by Herman's Hermits management but which came to nothing.

'Renegades' reformed in 1985 for a further 20 years rock'n’roll – all our yesterdays!

I also enjoyed a long spell playing guitar with Tony Osborne in 'Last Resort', specialising in up market charity balls.

In the last few years, have play live and recorded with 'The Korgis' hit songs include 'Everyone Got to Learn Sometime' and 'If I Had You'.

In 1998 joined this funny lot from Chew Valley then called 'Country Pie' playing country rock music.
We changed to 'Rockola' in 2001 and we’re still going strong!

Currently recording an original album with singer 'Lacie Hall'.

JON POPE

Jon
Jon presenting a programme on local radio
Jon with guitar
Jon writing one of his early compositions

JON POPE – BAND BIOGRAPHY

Jon Pope has been singing since birth, from a family of seven children who were well known in local talent contests performing songs from 'The Sound of Music'.

Started playing the guitar in early teens to accompany his efforts at song writing. Joined his first band at 16 performing 60's hits and some original songs in a band called 'Hot Spice'. After a period of little success joined 'The Rock Philharmonic' which although successful, had too many members to be a commercial venture and eventually left when they became 'City Lights'.

Jon continued writing and playing with Geoff Badham, and eventually got recognised after a spot on local radio,consequently recording several original songs at Vineyard Studios in London. Like many, became the victim of unscrupulous operators and was for several years disillusioned with the music industry. But as he says "It kind of gets in your soul" and soon returned to look after his brother's band, 'Sidewinder', later becoming 'Careless Talk' and eventually reforming as 'Back To Scratch'.

During this period Jon was engineering and writing songs for the band and long after their demise continued PA engineering duties for many local bands and events. His back room studio soon became far too restrictive and after moving to a bigger house constructed a purpose built studio where many a long night has been spent honing the latest project.

Jon was approached by a group of local musicians and formed the band 'Luce Blewes', which reformed 10 years ago and are currently known as 'Last Orders'.

He continued his love of creating live sound whilst engineering for bands including 'Country Pie' and 'The Bristol Comets'.

"The first time I heard Jon sing", says Rowland, "was 1994 at a charity bash in aid of St Peter's Hospice. It was organised by our band at the time 'Country Pie'. It was a big gig, four bands, plus four guest artists and starred singer songwriting legend 'Roger Cook', it was an immense task for any PA crew and desk engineer. Jon was great, he was so laid back and made it all look so easy. But that wasn't all, he also sang that night with 'Luce Blewes' (his band at the time) and he was really special".

Without hesitation, Rowland asked Jon if he was interested in forming a duo and they had a successful seven years as popular duo called 'FX 2000'.

"Being a great vocalist and PA engineer, it was obvious that Jon would also be a fabulous asset singing with our band 'Country Pie'" said Rowland, and in 1995 Jon became a band member.

Meanwhile the band was changing from country rock to rock'n'roll, Rowland was forming 'Rockola' the band you know today, and the rest as they say, is history.

IVOR BENNETT

Ivor
Ivor aged 15 with hair, and the electric guitar he built himself (the one on the right)

IVOR BENNETT BANDS BIOGRAPHY

I started to learn the guitar when I was 14 on a guitar I made in the woodwork class at
school. Beside being almost impossible to play it also suffered from picking up
conversations between aircraft and the control tower at Lulsgate airport, which was very annoying. However I was very keen to learn and after many hours of practice I new enough chords to play 'rhythm guitar' on 'Shadows' tunes played by my mates.
We did our first gig when I was 17 and we called ourselves 'The Press Gang'.
Due to popular demand I stopped playing when I was 21.

I started playing again about 18 years later, this time playing bass with Rowland and Ken and others in a band called 'Chew Valley Rock' playing dances in our local area. After a few years we changed our style and became a country band for a couple of years calling ourselves 'Country Pie'. 'Rock and Roll' drew us back and we became 'Rockola' in 2001.

Ivor, Country Pie
Ivor on stage with Country Pie at one of their charity functions in aid of The Children's Hospice

IVOR BENNETT MUSICAL HIGHLIGHTS

The Colston Hall, Bristol. Having seen so many of my Rock Hero's on stage at the Colston Hall over the years it was a thrill to perform there with Rockola in December 2003 and 2005.

The Bishop Sutton Theatre Company
I was the musical director of The Bishop Sutton Theatre Company from 1990 to 2004. Having an interest in the theatre, I really enjoyed this job until 'Rockola's runaway fame!' drew me away.

LINKS

Chew Valley Symphony
A musical celebration of the Chew Valley, in Somerset, composed and played by Rowland Barter in 2004, and still available on CD

Ken Young Drum Lessons
Rockola's drummer is also a successful teacher

Country Pie
Band which featured Rowland, Ken, Paul, Jon and Ivor, from 1993 to 2000

Peter Oakman
A friend of the band, writer of 'Picture of You' etc

The Bruvvers
Friends of the band (and Joe Brown)

Roger Cook
A friend of the band, writer of 'Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue' etc

Bob McCloud
Another friend of the band, a songwriter guitarist who has made downloads of his CDs available free (but a donation to MIND is requested)

Bishop Sutton Society
The site that aims to be the hub of information, news and everything else for the Somerset village of Bishop Sutton, where Rowland and Ivor live

Biografix
This Rockola website was created by Biografix (Rowland Janes, music play list at http://blip.fm/profile/rofm/playlist), with words as provided by the band