The Aztecs / Sad Eyes


In the early sixties, four Annan teenagers with a passion for music, decided to form a group and play the music everyone was listening to, never imagining that a few years later they would be supporting some of those famous groups on stage. But that's what happened to The Aztecs, the original line up being Alan Sewell (lead guitar), Andrew Garson (accordion, later keyboards ), Elliot Routledge (drums) and Jim Kean (rhythm guitar).

The band became a five piece with the introduction of Rod Harvey (bass guitar), later Derek Irving joining on vocals to complete the six piece line up.

It was around this time that the boys decided to change the group's name to Sad Eyes. "We thought of the name because in most of our photos we all appeared to look sad (which of course was not the case)".

"We first practiced in Rowanburn Hall, Canonbie (then later in Annan) and played mainly at weddings" said Alan, who now lives at Smithfield near Carlisle, "usually in village halls where our music had to be varied to cater for all age groups."

That all changed when they were given a contract to work four nights a week at the Anaconda Bar in Dumfries. "Obviously we had to have a vast repertoire of pop songs to cover these nights and with permanent jobs to hold down, plus night classes, our lives were pretty hectic, to say the least. Our musical career started to take off and we enjoyed playing at some great venues in Whitehaven, Wigton and Egremont. In Carlisle we played at the County, The Kings, Bonds and of course, The Cosmo.

Saturday nights at the Cosmo used to be when old time band The Mayfarers played. We were the 'pop' band that followed them on stage. We were then promoted to Sunday nights and it was then we got the chance to support legendary acts such as The Who, Georgie Fame, Wayne Fontana, John Mayell's Bluesbreakers (featuring music legend Eric Clapton), The Troggs and The Searchers".

Rod recalls it was about this time they started to write their own material. "I remember Cosmo owner Les Leighton liked the sound of one of our songs, taped it and sent it to a recording studio. Unfortunately for us, they can't have liked it as much, as we never heard back from them". Eventually with their lives moving in different directions the band decided to call it a day in 1966. "Jim (now living in Luton) Rod (in Bristol) and myself still keep in touch" said Alan "but it would be lovely to hear from the rest of the band."

 

If anyone remembers The Aztecs / Sad Eyes, or knows how to track down Elliot,
Andrew or Derek then get in touch with Alastair on this site and I'll pass on the
information to Alan.