Portsmouth music scene

The Sapphires

Meet the "Rock" groups No 5 Strong Naval Atmosphere

A ROCR'N'ROLL group with a strong naval atmosphere is Vance Diamond and the Sapphires, formed four months ago.
It has five members two able seamen, a communications yeoman, and a radio operator. The fifth is an ex-Merchant Navy man now working as an electrical fitter's mate at Portsmouth Dockyard.
The idea to start the Sapphires came when three sailors serving with the Seventh Destroyer Squadron based in Malta met at a party. They found they would all be returning to Portsmouth and decided to meet up when they got back.
Skiffle group
Two of the sailors, Communication Yeoman Michael Turks (29); and Radio Operator Second Class (S) Alexander Buchn Watt (19) were serving on H.M.S. Broadsword and had formed a skiffle group on board ship. The third, Able -Seaman Edward Cook (24) was serving in H.M.S. Jutland and was also in a skiffle group on board his ship. They all met up again in Portsmouth and joined together, as planned to make the Sapphires. The three are all guitarists and they made the group up to five when they met, in Portsmouth, a drummer, Able Seaman Mick Dungay (22), and a vocalist, Vance Diamond, whose Teal name is Claude Couderc (20).
Edward Cook is the Sapphires rhythm guitarist and is now serving with the Reserve Ship Authority at Portsmouth. He is married with one son. Lead guitarist is Alexander Watt who is now stationed at H.M.S. Mercury. His home is at Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland.
Bass guitar is played by Michael Tunks who is also the group's-manager. He is stationed at H.M.S. Dolphin and lives at 52 Cotwell Avenue. Complain. He is married and has two sons. Mick Dungay is stationed at the Royal Naval Barracks Portsmouth. He is married with two daughters and a son. He lives at the Caravan, Medlar Cottage, Havant Road, Stoke, Hayling Island.
Vance, the only man in " civvy street" is of French parentage and lives at 205, Lake Road, Portsmouth.
Wives' " Shindy "
At first the wives of the married members "kicked up a shindy " because they were not asked out when the group was playing and had to stay at home looking after the children.
" Now we ask them out and if they want to come we arrange baby sitters," said Michael Tunks. The Sapphires wear Clack trousers, white shirts; bow ties and light blue jackets.
Mick Dungay said in the four months the group has been going he thought they had come from a " shambles " to a reasonable group.
As a group they have about 300 worth of equipment.


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