Carlyle



Martin Binks came to Carlisle in 1976 - the year of the long hot summer - having spent the previous five years playing in Germany, mostly in the bases in the North of Germany.

Martin played in a few club bands in Carlisle before getting together with Brian Ward (guitar & vocals), Tony Johnson (bass & lead vocal) Iain Snowdon (guitar) and Martin himself on drums forming Carlyle.

Carlyle played local gigs like the Terrier, Kreeps and the Coach House and then started to play other venues further afield.

Their set was comprised mainly of Thin Lizzy numbers, but also including some ZZ Top, Bad Company etc. At that time not many bands were doing rock covers and they became in effect a Thin Lizzy tribute band without realising it.

In the summer of 1977 Carlyle appeared on the bill at the Bitts Park Open Air Fest in Carlisle and went down a storm. After that the band became very busy.

In 1979 Iain left the band to go to Norway and was replaced by Pete Barr. The band carried on for another year before splitting up and the members went their separate ways, all subsequently playing in different local bands.

Iain adds to the above -
In between 77 & 79 when Carlyle broke up Brian Ward , Tony Johnstone and myself formed The Pheonix Blues Band together with Olly Alcock , Bobby Habbick and Ian Dalgleish ex Strauss. We played together mostly at Micky Potts's Mick's Club and other palces around Cumbria . A guest who regularly appeared with us was harp player Craig Duggan who later formed " Borderline " with Kenny Kendall Brian Armstrong and a pedal steel player who's name I sadly forget.

As far as Martin is aware Pete is living in Spain and Tony went to the north east where he is still playing and his son Leroy is up and gigging with his own band.


Sadly Brian died a few years ago. Afterwards everyone who knew him met up at the Front Page for a get-together in his memory.

Many people can still picture Brian, with his black Les Paul slung low, playing the blues.

Many thanks to Martin Binks for providing the pictures and information for this page, also Iain Snowdon for additional information.