New City Sounds
Two Time Winners of Opportunity Knocks!
Line ups -
- Tony (trumpet) Pyatt - Colin Scott - Frank Dempsey - Gloria Williams - Arthur Griffiths - Lenny Barret, John Williams.
Arther Griffiths - Frank Dempsey - Lenny Barret - Angie Barry Okeef Pete Smith.
Photos - Via Hobo Magazine
The name New City Sounds was inspired by a loaf of bread called the New City Loaf.
While I was running Hobo Magazine in Coventry c1973, I was introduced briefly to Frank Demsey - who gave me the above band card - strangely actually on the Broadgate Island where they were photographed!
I received an e mail from Corrie Griffiths
HNew City Sounds Opportunity Knocks Tony (trumpet) Pyatt, Colin Scott, Frank Dempsey, Gloria Williams, Arthur Griffiths Lenny Barret John Williams Arther Griffiths, Frank Dempsey, Lenny Barret, Angie Barry Okeef Pete Smith New City Sounds Internationals West Bank Show Band
The song they won Opportunity Knocks with was Stop the World and Let me Off. It was recorded at Midland Sound
NEW CITY SOUNDS BAND leader Frank Dempsey is the father of local folk / Jazz guitar guru Kevin Dempsey formerly of Dando Shaft.
They played nationwide and supported the likes of Pickerty Witch, The New Vaudeville Band, and even shared fish and chips with the Bay City Rollers.
In Godiva Rocked to a Backbeat - Pete Chambers tells us that the band came together in 1969 at the West End Club (Now the HQ of Mercia Radio) led by Frank Dempsey and the band became a fixture at the Free and Easy weekends. Sadly Mick Hayes, an original member who died from electrocution on stage. Original members - Frank Dempsey and Arthur Griffiths decided that Mick would want the band to continue and they came back bigger and better with Barry and Angie O'Keef and Pete Smith and Len Barrett.
" The band had a new sound and began making their mark not just in Coventry and Warwickshire but also all over the country like Leeds and Manchester. Angie brought some glamour to the band, and with her great voice and good looks became an obvious focal point of the group. " (Backbeat)
Pete Chambers asked Arthur Griffiths about the Opportunity Knocks experience -
"It was absolutely brilliant! When we got back home we were like stars, everyone wanted to talk to us. I had people talking to me who I had never met. I remember our triumphant return to the Parkstone Club after the show. We packed the place out, it was sensational."
After that, hey were voted top band in the Irish polls, and their van with their name on the side always received a lot of attention with people waving and saying hello. They played nationwide and supported the likes of Pickerty Witch, The New Vaudeville Band, and even shared fish and chips with the Bay City Rollers.
After Opportunity Knocks, Barry and Angie O'Keefe left the band. Barry formed the highly successful Las Vegas Showband and Angie joined the Miki Most Empire under the name Angie Miller. She released two unsuccessful singles Born to be Loved by You (RAK 209, 1975) and Stardust in Your Eyes (RAK 151, 1973; EMI/Columbia 1C 006-94 545 (Germany). And an album entitled A Woman's Mind (SRAK515, 1975).
Arthur said: "I remember we did a demo for a song that was passed on to us, it was called Lost in France, a little while after Angie had left I heard the song on the radio, I was convinced it was Angie singing it, of course, it turned out to be Bonnie Tyler."
This of course is not the New City Sounds playing here but it is the winning song on Opportunity Knocks sung here by Patsy Cline.
The Original line up with Frank on the left -
Pic from Godiva Rocked to a Backbeat - Pete Chambers