One of Britain's great progressive rock bands has
its origins in Winton. For more than thirty years King Crimson
has been a name to reckon with. Two of its founder members
were the brothers Michael and Peter Giles from Winton.
was a drummer, Peter was a bassist and both played during the
Sixties with a series of local bands including Johnny King and
the Raiders, Dave Anthony and the Rebels, the Dowland Brothers,
the Soundtracks, the Sands Combo, the Interns, and Trendsetters
Ltd. Also playing in Johnny King and the Raiders was Roger Collis,
from Maple Road, who went on to found the Big Roll Band.
As part of supporting groups they made an appearance
in at least one of the famous talent contests held at the Moderne
A big name both locally and further afield as a
backing group, Trendsetters Ltd had several of their own shows
on Radio Luxemburg and even released a record - although it was
never a hit.
1966 the Giles brothers left Trendsetters Ltd to form their own
band. They advertised for local musicians to join them.
One of the responses came from Robert Fripp, a guitarist
from Wimborne who had played with League of Gentlemen and was
currently guitarist with a local dance band. Together they formed
Giles, Giles and Fripp - a band that had little live success but
did release a couple of singles and an album.
This was to be the core of King Crimson.
Peter Giles left the band in 1968 to become a computer
programmer. He was replaced by local lad Greg Lake who in due
course was to get fame in his own right as part of Emerson Lake
With the addition of other musicians, King Crimson
became one of the most influential progressive rock bands of the
late sixties and seventies. They were an international name and
appeared at major venues around the world. "In the court
of the Crimson King" and "In the wake of Poseidon"
were the first of a long series of albums released across four
2002 the Giles Brothers reunited musically to form 21st Century
Schizoid Band together with other King Crimson veterans Mel Collins,
Ian McDonald and Michael Giles' son-in-law Jakko Jakszyk. The
band has released several LPs.
The Giles brothers were part of a sixties Bournemouth
music scene that produced a number of other big names.
The roll call incudes Zoot Money (and the Big Roll
Band ), John Wetton (Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music and Uriah
Heep), Lee Kerslake (Uriah Heep, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath),
Andy Summers (the Big Roll Band, Police and many others), Gordon
Haskell, Al Stewart and jazz pianist Al Kirtley.
Before developing into a jazz pianist, Kirtley played
with the Trendsetters, Giles,Giles and Fripp, Screaming Lord Sutch
and Zoot Money among others. His first paid gig was in the late
1950's as part of the Tennessee Tramps skiffle group playing during
the interval at the Moderne cinema.
This is how he describes the event: "We somehow
talked our way into doing an interval slot at the Saturday morning
picture show at the Modern Cinema. This was an important gig for
me, because, for the first time, I was going to sing a number.
We worked our way through our programme, my nerves steadily worsening
as we did so, and then it was time for me to step out to the front
and face two hundred kids, who were waiting impatiently for the
Hopalong Cassidy main feature to begin.
the washboard hanging from my neck by a string, I launched into
Frankie and Johnnie - not a song noted for its upbeat tempo. As
I worked my way desperately through all fourteen verses, I began
to sense a certain restlessness amongst the audience, but I managed
to get to verse ten before the first coins started hitting the
stage. Undaunted, I plodded gamely on to the end, and then gathered
up the coins. They came to sixpence ha'penny. "
Another band that owed its big break to the Moderne
talent contests was The Dowland Brothers. They toured nationally
and had at least one chart hit with their close harmony Everley
They were part of a collection of names produced
by the legendary Joe Meek. Among their recordings was a cover
of the Beatles song "All my loving" which stayed in
the charts for two months in 1964. It was also their first and
only US single. Their subsequent releases were eclipsed by Liverpool
bands like the Merseybeats.
Visit Al Kirtley's
site for more recollections of Winton's golden rock era.