Portsmouth music scene

The Diplomats

Meet the "Rock" Groups No 12 Where so much music is allowed

REMEMBER the old song, "Momma Don't allow No Music played in here "? It has a great speciality number, especially when a trad band handled it. Led in by the drums (which Momma "didn't 'low")` then this piano, clarinet and trumpet (Momma didn't 'low those, either). It ended as a solid beat that welded the outfit into a defiant whole.
" Momma," one felt, was left out on a musical limb. Now meet a Portsmouth "Mum" who DOES "'low music played in here,"' who remembers another generation which used to I dig noisy numbers (and frolic through the Charleston with just as much energy as the most devoted Twist expert. She is 46-year-oId Mrs. Kay McKeon, who lives at 1, Angerstein Road, North End. You could say that Mrs McKeon has stayed young in heart because,... well for one thing, she LIKES rock'n'roll.
And she gets plenty of it, her 17-year-old son Geoff plays the lead and rhythm guitar in one of Portsmouth's newest rock goups, The Diplomats.
Twice a week, The Diplomats invade No 1, Angerstein Road, but these invaders are lucky. They are given a spacious room in which to practise -because " Mum " likes rock. Sometimes a session lasts four or five hours. But no one comes in and says "That's enough." Instead, there are, encouraging words an appropriate smile - and refreshments "Mum" (she used to play the piano) approves of rock.
How, did n all start?, Geoff and leader Keith Francis (18), who lives at 52, Angerstein Road heard each other playing the guitar several times They were interested So were " Mum " and coach driver husband George. Geoff is a salesman and Keith an architectual assistant. Bass guitarist is Colin Wilkinson (18), a plumber-welder of 64 Kimbolton Road. Copnor, Fourth members of the group formed only about six weeks is drummer Bob Harrigan (19) a warehouse trainee of 17, Lovett Road, Copnor. They believe too many groups base their style on The Shadows, Cliff Richard's famous backers. Instead, they have chosen the American group, The Ventures, as their model. But they keep to one rule, nothing released more than 18 months, and onIy one Instrumental.
The Diplomats rarely do a ' vocal number, : because of a dearth of good singers although Bob an accomplished clarinet player, is always willing to stand in. They wear royal blue suits black American bow ties and black shoes, and have so far confined their performances to Portsmouth youthclubs.
Maybe the group will turn professional one day and if they do they may still need a house in which to practice and where they can take their friends They will not have to ask twice No 1 Angerstein Road is theirs, "Mum" says so.

Mike Devon and the Diplomats

Mike Devon and the Diplomats

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