The Excitement / Twilight Explosion
Sunshine Express

In 1967 Tom Jenkins started repairing the amplifiers for a Cockermouth based group called the Excitement.

They comprised: James Garner - lead guitar, Jess Burns - bass, Allan Sinkinson - rythm guitar and Chris Barr on drums. The vocalist was called James.

The group changed their name to Twilight Explosion and later asked Tom to manage them. They decided to change their name again and Tom came up with Sunshine Express.

Tom continued to manage the band and found gigs further afield. Playing in Carlisle, Scotland and south of the county.

One of their most memorable gigs was at the Pavilion at Keswick, where they were the backing group to The Mindbenders.

After Tom stopped managing the group in the 1970's some of the lads left and the group took on new musicians to form the Pendulum, who were very popular in the 1970's.

Pendulum often played the Palace at Maryport, The Tow Bar at Nethertown, Pavillion at Keswick including other popular locations.

Another memorable gig was playing with the Wigton group Rue & The Rockets at a Club in Whitehaven although the acoustics were very poor, probably due to the building being on stilts and the walls made of concrete.

Charlie Birkett used to roadie for Pendulum in the 70`s. Over the years the line up included, James Garner (lead guitar & vocals) Mike Donnelly (drums) Alan Sinkinson (rythm guitar) Tony (Doz) Dawes (bass guitar, rhythm guitar & vocals) Mike Telford (bass Guitar, rythm guitar, sax & vocals) and John Casey ( bass guitar & vocals).

During his early days with the band Charlie remembers that there was another roadie called Rodney Smith (aka Cruiser or Yendor), and remembers some "interesting" times, like a one night stand at the Winter Gardens in Banbury, or how about this for a weekend:- Friday night; the Green near Millom... Saturday night; Portree on the Isle of Skye... Sunday night Stewards Club in Workington! Other Pendulum bookings included Wigan Rugby League Club and, Didsbury Uni. Charlie remembers the band playing at the Princess Hall (Workington) on a Friday for half price so they could go and watch Workington Comets (speedway), and headlining at the Albert Hall (Greysouthern).

Charlie reckons if he hadn't had his memory removed he could write a book.

Thanks to Tom Jenkins and Charlie Birkett for the above Information

Have a look at Tom Jenkins' Local Railways Website