The Phlok

In 1964 the original members of the ‘Phlok’ were Dave Wishart –Lead Guitar & vocals (from Padstow in Keekle), Alan Flynn -Bass Guitar & vocals, Martin McDowell –Rhythm Guitar and vocals with Ray Kelly the Drummer, all three from the Whitehaven area.

In 1965 Alan left and Martin took over on the Bass guitar. His twin brother Frank, joined the group as Lead singer. Later on Ray Kelly, who had built up quite a reputation as a drummer, left to join the army. Keith Robinson from Frizington was recruited on the Drums and this line-up remained for some time.

In 1967, Frank Scott joined the group for a short time as Rhythm guitarist but shortly after Frank departed, Fraser Hogg was recruited on Trumpet and Keyboards.

Ian Todd was then included in the band after he had left Billy Steele and the Strollers. The Phlok split up towards the end of ’67.

We had some great years on the Road mostly around the County but did manage longer trips as seen by one of the posters I acquired at Bonnyrigg near Edinburgh and noting from the Poster, we just missed playing alongside ‘Chris McClures Section’ -who went on to have a bit of a name in Scotland - and in fact got on TOTP I do remember

There were loads of Village Hall and Market Hall dances back in the Sixties up and down the county, but we played all the usual well known places including the Empress in Whitehaven, the Palace Ballroom in Maryport, the County and Embassy Ballrooms at Carlisle, the County Hall in Millom, the Tow Bar at Nethertown near Egremont, The Pavillion at Keswick and many of the Youth club type of places like ‘Banklands’, Westfield Welfare, the 'Tin Mish’ and Fox Club at Workington.

Who could forget St. Patrick’s Hall in Cleator Moor where we actually all managed to get set up (including the drums) on one of the Snooker tables.

In those days, there were many schools who had Beat nights. The more memorable ones were Millom and St. Cuthberts in Cleator Moor.

It was a rewarding time and I went on to continue playing through the years in different guises in duo’s, trios, Rock bands, Dance Bands and a whole series of Residential jobs having the pleasure of playing with great people including the legend ‘Dave Batey’, who is probably serialised in the ‘Fifties scenes’.

Many thanks to Keith Robinson for providing this history of The Phlok and additional information about other Cumbrian bands of the 60s
Martin McDowell has been in touch to say that he remembers that Frazer Hogg played with The Phlok on sax and trumpet before they broke up and that Dave Wishart and Frazer Hogg went on to play with Mid-Stream