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Friars Dunstable

Monday June 20th 1974

queensway (civic) hall, dunstable

friars aylesbury cup winners 1974

steve harley inducted into the friars heroes hall of fame in 2010

exclusive friars aylesbury interview with steve harley


Cockney Rebel
BeBop Deluxe
related friars history (click on date)
Cockney Rebel Saturday January 5th 1974  Saturday 25th May 1974 Thursday June 6th 1974 Saturday August 6th 1974  

Friars Dunstable Monday 4th March 1974

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel Wednesday 7th April 1976  Saturday December 20th 1980  Saturday December 12th 1981

BeBop Deluxe Friars Aylesbury Saturday July 19th 1975



band line up
Cockney Rebel
Steve Harley (vocs)  Stuart Elliott (drums)  Paul Jeffries (bass) Milton Reame James (keys) John Paul Crocker (violin)
BeBop Deluxe
Bill Nelson (vocs/guitar) Ian Parkin (guitar) Robert Bryan (bass) Nicholas Chatterton - Drew (drums)
gig poster and flyer (click to enlarge flyer)



 Steve Harley

"In the 70s, Friars was the gig of gigs. We could play 40-date tours of the UK, to all towns and cities, and still carry that air of anticipation throughout the bus, waiting especially for Aylesbury.Dave Stopps was a sensational 'spotter and Promoter; finger on the pulse, hip to his fingertips to all that was happening out of everywhere that boasted new bands. In 1974, Cockney Rebel played Friars four times - in January, in May, in June and again in August. All sold out and all buzzing. Unforgettable. Good luck with your site. The old place was unique and deserves such an accolade."

Steve Harley, writing on his official website in 2004 said:

"Have heard they're tearing down Aylesbury Civic Hall, the legendary Friars' replacement.

What a shame. What a drag. can it be true? No rock venue of that type and size in amiable Aylesbury for the first time in ages?


The immortal Dave Stopps was the 70's promoter who brought many good names to Bucks. He tapped a source there. The London-based music mag critics would get out to Aylesbury, because it was only a short hop from The Smoke.

Out of Friars, thanks mostly to the eagle-eye and sound judgment of Dave Stopps, broke the careers of David Bowie, Genesis, Mott The Hoople, Roxy Music, many many more and even yours truly.

The first front cover the first Cockney Rebel received from either the NME or Melody Maker was after a show, early on, at Friars, Aylesbury.

There is an important rock audience in that general vicinity, and so a new hall must be found/built pretty damn soon.

But why? The place can't be more than 20 years old. What on earth could have happened to it, that it needs demolishing? The mind boggles and the hackles rise"

Milton Reame - James:

" My memories of Friars:  Wonderful, it was after our first gig (January 5th 1974) we knew then Cockney Rebel would break in the UK.  Our first taste of success.  I forget exactly how many times we played and all good gigs.  By the time we did the final tour as you said it was a wonderful reception.  After Bowie had had his initial success there, Steve and our agents/ management knew how vital it was for us to succeed there.  Fans also travelled to local gigs ( Luton and Dunstable as I recall ) and brought the Friars effect with them.  Wonderful times and before the difficulties which led to the band breaking up mid tour."

Jean Paul Crocker

"I do recall the excellent receptions at Friars, but that is about all I'm afraid (a lot of water etc)" 

press cuttings
what happened next
This original incarnation of Cockney Rebel had imploded by the summer on 1974 after much internal strife. Only Steve Harley and Stuart Elliott from the classic line up were left by the time they made their fourth appearance at Friars in August 1974. Steve Harley continues to record and tour, sometimes using the Cockney Rebel moniker. Stuart Elliott apart from continuing in Cockney Rebel became an in demand drummer, playing on many Kate Bush records and with the Alan Parsons Project (as well as other artistes such as Deacon Blue). Milton remained in the music business working with Modern Romance (who had hits in the 1980s) and worked in his own studio providing with voice overs and commercials. He did make a new album under the name Banana Rebel

Milton Reame James is involved in a new multi media project The Rainbow Ride which is an interactive journey through the colours of the rainbow and was at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival

John (Jean Paul) Crocker runs a company producing specialised award winning mousemats and also plays in The Crocker Brothers.

Paul Jeffreys died in the Lockerbie disaster in December 1988

steve harley and cockney rebel performed the human menagerie and the psychomodo in their entireties for the first time in 2012. the official programme included a shot of steve at the friars august 1974 gig

odds and trivia
official web presence
Steve Harley Official site   Milton Reame James Official site  John Crocker Official site  Paul Jeffreys Official tribute site
sound and vision

Cockney Rebel - Judy Teen 

BeBop Deluxe - Ships In The Night

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