Rolling back the years

THEN: (from left to right) Mick Larkin, Rob Ryan, Les Calvert, Dave Bell and Mick Lilley pictured outside the Hartlepool Mail offices in 1978.
THEN: (from left to right) Mick Larkin, Rob Ryan, Les Calvert, Dave Bell and Mick Lilley pictured outside the Hartlepool Mail offices in 1978.

MUSICIANS who formed a band during their schooldays rolled back the years for a charity concert.

 Flashback, which formed when its members were pupils at English Martyrs School ,in Hartlepool, held a reunion gig in aid of Hartlepool and District Hospice.

NOW: From left to right Tony stamp, Neil Truefitt, Mick Larkin, Rob Ryan, Mick Lilley , Les Calvert and Dave Bell.

NOW: From left to right Tony stamp, Neil Truefitt, Mick Larkin, Rob Ryan, Mick Lilley , Les Calvert and Dave Bell.

 The event, which sold out when it was held at the Camerons Club, in the town’s Waldon Street, raised £492 for the Wells Avenue-based facility.

 Flashback consisted of singer Les Calvert, Mick Larkin on drums, guitarists Tony Stamp and Neil Trufitt, lead guitarists Mick Lilley and Dave Bell and Rob Ryan on bass.

 It was the first time the lads had officially performed together in 31 years and around 180 fans turned up for the performance.

 The group originally formed when most of the boys were in the same class at school in the late 1970s. They performed at many clubs and venues across the North East before going their separate ways.

 Dave and Rob were later in a band called Avenue and performed in The Pauline Gillan Band alongside the sister of Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan.

 Mick Larkin and Mick Lilley were also in a band called Rebekka.

 The seven lads, who all still live in town, recently got together and decided to put on the gig for charity.

 Mick Larkin, 50-year-old son of 86-year-old well-known town crooner Johnny Larkin, said: “We formed at school, when Father Bell, the head, was all for it.

 “We were really lucky. We used to practice in the school dinner hall on Saturdays and Sundays.

 “We taught ourselves the instruments and did the end of year school disco.”

 Mick, a dad-of-five from the Naisberry Park area, who runs an entertainment agency putting on shows in social clubs, said: “To perform again was a breath of fresh air.  “We only got together in the past five years or so.  “We would go to the pub and said we said why don’t we get the band back together again.

 “It was brilliant – the club was absolutely heaving.”

 Tony Stamp, now a 50-year-old dad-of-two and software engineer from the Throston Grange area, said: “It was just like old times and it was great to be up there.  “We were very rusty but it was very enjoyable.

 “It was a great atmosphere – the crowd was fantastic.”

 Support on the night, which also included a raffle, came from Lunar Road and Flashback thanked everyone who was involved in arranging the night.

 The hospice’s events and community facilitator, Janice Forbes, said: “It’s great that Flashback got back together after 35 years and had a fun night which raised vital funds for our specialist care services.”