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Derek Tolson's
Reunion Band

This picture shows John Fisher and Les Holden on the gate
and Alan and Derek Tolson standing in front

While not strictly a sixties band. the Reunion Band (as it's name implies) is composed largely of former members of local sixties bands who still enjoy playing the music of the fifties and sixties together with some country music.

They have recorded a couple of impressive CDs which were well received locally.

Derek Tolson is from Torpenhow in Cumbria and played in various country bands over the years.

He played in the Lofthouse cowboys with Dennis Blamire, Tony Rennie and Chris Graham.

Derek, Chris Graham and Tony Rennie later went on to join Colin Wright and Ken Kirby in the Sadlers - a famous professional country music band which toured throughout the UK for a number of years.

In 1988, he helped form The Garage Band, playing the clubs and dancehalls in aid of various charities.

In 1994 they became The Reunion Band, keeping up the good work.

The Reunion band continue to play regularly and have recorded a couple of CDs.

Derek's son Alan is an accomplished guitarist and has made a major contribution to the band's sound over the years.

In 1965 Les Holden was the lead singer with The Konchords. Les was arguably one of the best singers Cumbria ever produced. When the Konchords appeared at the Carnegie Theatre in Workington, an EMI Records executive missed the chance to sign him up.

Les caught the attention of newspapers that night who likened his voice to that of the great American hitmaker - Conway Twitty. He is renowned for his memorable covers of Elvis and Rick Nelson songs.

After the Konchords Les had a brief spell with the IQs.

In 1967 Les emigrated to Australia, joining a busy band at Woomera with the catchy name "The East Cheam Working Men's Creole Stompers".

Les returned home in 1970 and later joined the Garage Band and then Reunion, Les and Reunion continue to play to packed audiences in Cumbria today.

John Fisher is from Uldale in Cumbria.

He played with the Firebirds from 1964 to 1965 who were regulars at the Globe Hall in Ireby and supported the VIPs at the Cosmo in Carlisle.

In 1965 John teamed up with Les Holden to form The Konchords. The Konchords were in action in 1965/66 and supported the Applejacks in Brampton and took part in the "Group of the Year" competition at the Carnegie Theatre in Workington which is documented on the Renegades page.

John and Les were then with The IQs with Maurice Brown, Hughie Stuart and Mike and Duncan Black from 1966 to 1967.

In 1988 John joined The Garage Band and then joined Derek Tolson in The Reunion Band until late 1999.

Ace guitar player and a natural comedian, Tony Smith (left) joined the Garage Band in 1988 and was a member of Reunion until 1994. At the slightest encouragement he would whip out a skull, stick it in his pint and say "look at the head on that!".

Renowned pedal-steel guitar player Geoff Betsworth (right) formerly with Lemon Grass joined Reunion in 1997 and is still a member. He is a also a 'rock' gutarist.

Angela Turner took over from John on keyboards around 1999 and continues to this day.