Portsmouth music scene

The Phantoms

Meet the "Rock" groups No 16, Young scientist put career first

STUDYING the law of gravity and experimenting with acids and alkalies, or enjoying a practice rock 'n' roll session are the alternatives that face. three potential scientists every evening.
Surprisingy, perhaps, books and equipment gain a resounding victory over musical instruments. For the three "scientists," who are members of a five-man rock group, the Phantoms, are determined that their hobby will not take precedence over their careers.
" We practice rock whenever we can so long as it does not interfere with our homework." explained the group's lead guitarist 17 year-old Anthony Smith, of 14, Kirby Road, North End.
Like Anthony, Brian Davis (17) the rhythm guitarist, is also studying "A" level science at St John's College. Brian lives at 107, West Street, Portchester. Third member of the science trio is 16-year-old Paul Beaumont of 13, Amberley Road, Hilsea. He plays the drums.
It was just a year ago that these three rather tentatively formed their own group "which we called a variety of names." Between them they boasted an old Spanish guitar (cost: 15s), a mandolin, and a side drum - also not in its prime.
As the group's singer, Stephen Hearn (17), of 26, Southwood Road, HiIsea, is also still at school (the Southern Grammar), money for buying equipment is short.
To help compensate, each student takes a job during his summer holidays, which might be anything from weeding the flower beds near the Canoe Lake to working in a bottle factory., " In ,addition to replenishing the kitty and enabling us to buy better equipment, it gives us a chance "to find out what it is like to earn your own living", added Anthony.
Someone who does have to work, flve days a week for his living is bass-guitarist John, Bullock, an electrical fitter In the Dockyard, whose home is at 20, Edmund Road, Southsea.
The Phantoms practice sessions are limited to two hours one day a week.
"Our homework is set on a weekly basis. Once we have drawn out a programme for the week, we know when we can each spend two hours practising," said Brian.
One aspect the group, as a whole, feel strongly about is the movements of members of a rock group while they are playing. A stage technique, they consider, should be practiced and perfected, so that a group "never looks awkward, I but relaxed and at ease."
In the main, Phantoms concentrate on rock and twist numbers, showing a preference for fast numbers rather than the ballad. Dates include a couple of regular evenings at social clubs, and dance invitations in the Portsmouth area.


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