An Interview with
(Bass player with The Tremmers)
Tell us about the early days with Jeff.
A: Back in the 60s in Leeds there were four
or five groups that were any good. Jeff was in one, The Tremmers,
I was in another, The Lightings. We used to see each other
playing at various locations in Leeds. If I had a night off
I'd go to see The Tremmers and vice versa.
I think I first actually spoke to Jeff in
a club called The Tropicana where I was playing. That was
when Jeff first approached me to join the Tremmers. After
about a week thinking about it I decided to join.
Jeff and I wrote a couple of songs together
which we recorded at a studio in Leeds. The master tape was
apparently destroyed in a fire a good few years ago. There
was a bass player between Rod
Brookes leaving and me joining but I can't remember his
name: tall, blonde, horn rimmed glasses, Jeff might remember.
His name might have been Ken.
Q: The Tremmers had a black singer
in a "white" band. That would have been quite unusual
for the times.
A: Gary Steele was the lead vocalist of the Tremmers when
I first joined, prior to that they had two singers. Having
a black singer back then was unusual but he was a showman
who got the audience on his side. As to what happened to him?
The last time I saw him was in the late 60s, probably 1969/70
when he'd unfortunately been arrested for robbery so he probably
went to prison.
Gary Steele asn't his real name, Graham
was his first name and either Spencer or Robinson was his
surname. I haven't seen or heard of him since then.
The Tremmers: Paul Cardus (left), Gary
Steele, Stan Drogie, Gerry Layton, Jeff Christie.
Q: You and Gary joined 5-Man Cargo,
whose song was on the flipside of The Outer Limits' first
A: The Tremmers split up after an audition for a summer
season at Butlins. We were told that the group had passed
the audition but not the coloured singer. When it came to
a vote to accept or decline Butlins, Gary and myself were
outvoted so we went our separate ways.
Gary and I then formed an R&B/soul group
called 5-Man Cargo which contained two university students.
We had plenty of uni gigs. There was always fierce competition
between the two groups.
The reason for two groups on one record?
Well, the RAG comittee at Leeds Uni decided that its two most
popular "house" bands should have a side each ..
The Outer Limits on one side with When
The Work Is Thru, and on the other side was 5-Man Cargo
with What a Wonderful Feeling
written by Carter/Lewis of Ivy League fame. We had recorded
this once already with Ken Lewis but I was told Gary wasn't
a good enough singer so it never got released. We got permission
to use it for the uni record.
Q: You also played with The Outer
A: I think I stood in for maybe two gigs with the group
but I certainly never toured with them.
Q: What was your reaction to Jeff's
A: In June 1970, I was laid on a beach in Newquay, Cornwall,
where somebody had a radio playing Johnny Walker doing the
lunchtime rundown of the charts; suddenly this song Yellow
River was blurting out. I remember sitting bolt upright,
I turned to my wife and said "I know that voice"
and when it was announced as No.1, Yellow
River by a group called Christie, I thought the coincidence
was too great and I remember saying "He's gone and done
My wife hadn't got a clue what I was talking
about, she knew nothing of my past in groups. I didn't compare
it the Outer Limits because I knew they were long gone and
Jeff hadn't been grouping for some time. Part of the chord
sequence reminded me of a Motown number we used to do.
Q: What have you been doing since?
A: Since those days I've been living in the East Midlands,
working for a living and playing in a threesome (lead-bass
and drums) doing MOR rock at RAF camps, WM clubs and private
functions in the Lincolnshire, South Yorks, Notts, Derbys
and Cambs area.
I packed in a couple of years ago as things
were getting a bit stale, no new material and no rehearsals.
But I am still hanging on to my gear in case I find another
I went to see Jeff at his house in Leeds
about 30 years ago.