The Microns

Linda and the Microns in 1962

Taken at the Cosmo in Carlisle

Maurice Brown - lead guitar

Ian Sharp - bass guitar

Linda Reid - vocals

Duncan Black - drums

Mike (Jet) Black - rhythm guitar



Mike

The Microns were formed in the early 60's by Mike Black and Ronnie Baxter from Wigton,
the band's name being created by combining the names Mike & Ronnie.

They spent many evenings practising in Mike's home. Crowds of locals would gather outside listening.

Ian Sharp became interested, offering to join in and buy a bass guitar. Duncan (Mike's brother) also decided to have a go, buying a set of drums immediately.

Neighbours soon complained, so they moved their practice room to The Kings Arms in Wigton.

 



Ian

One of their first appearances was in a local pub. Linda Reid popped in and gave them a couple of songs; - the band now had a girl singer and was very much in demand. After a few months, Ronnie Baxter left the band.

Maurice Brown from Aspatria joined soon after.

The Microns were now playing the big halls in Carlisle, such as The Cosmo, Market Hall and County Ballroom.

On one occasion in Wigton Market Hall, they supported The Cryin' Shames - a Liverpool Band who had just released their single 'Please Stay', the most played record in the UK at the time. The crowds were so great, it was impossible to shut the doors of the dancehall.

At last, a possible 'big break' came for The Microns. One of their performances had been secretly recorded by a talent scout. The manager of 'The Searchers' (Tito Burns) was looking for a pop group with a girl singer. He immediately contacted Mike Black and offered them a contract to appear in London and other top venues.

A song-writing team was standing by to pen their first record. Mike was ecstatic! Linda was not keen to travel to, or spend time in London. Mike stayed with her for hours, trying to persuade her to go - to no avail. At the same time, they were booked to appear with Sandie Shaw in Scarborough. Carlisle's Cavedwellers appearing on the same bill.

The boys waited for Linda in the group's van until time ran out. They decided to rush over to Scarborough to honour the contract and made a big impression (without Linda).

Unfortunately, the contract depended on Linda continuing with the band, but a few months later, she decided to leave, get married and settle down.

In 1966, the boys teamed up with ex-Firebirds members, Les Holden, Hughie Stuart and John Fisher. They were renamed The IQs. This new band enjoyed great success over a short period of time, making their final appearance at The Cosmo late 1966.

Lee Castle of 'Lee Castle and the Barons' met up with Mike, Duncan, Ian and Maurice. His band had just split up, so it was decided to form 'Lee Castle and the Knighthood' with Andy Park of Carlisle as manager. From 1967, the band enjoyed huge success, playing the big clubs and dancehalls throughout the North of England.

The band later restructured, with -

Maurice Brown - guitar/vocals
Ian Sharp - bass/vocals
Joe Richardson - drums/vocals
Lee Castle - vocals.

The group specialised in Brit Tamla and cabaret/rock/harmony, working in the Northern Club circuit well into the 70's. After the band split, Ian Sharp left for a life in Australia. Mike Black teamed up again with Lee Castle, this time as manager, touring Europe's top clubs.

Ian Sharp (3rd from left) with his current Australian band The Renegades