22nd Street People

James Wyllie, John McVicar, Brian Oliver and Keith McVicar in 1970

Brian Oliver and John Coulthard originally founded 22nd Street People when they were still at school in Harraby, Carlisle. Both were influenced by American barber shop harmony vocal groups. John was an accomplished pianist and Brian played guitar. The other members of the band were Alan Duncan on drums and Neil Marshall on bass guitar, who could both sing as well.Their four part harmonies were ideal for Beach Boys and Four Seasons type material which they worked on until both Alan and Neil left the band.

Brian then approached John and Keith McVicar, two brothers from Brampton, who he felt had the right harmonic blend for the band. John was the natural third harmony and Keith sang baritone and they played drums and lead guitar which also fitted the band's requirements. They rehearsed from the start of 1967 and went on the road in the middle of the year. They immediately gained acclaim for the sheer quality of their music.

The band flourished until John Coulthard left when his work with British Rail took him away from Carlisle. His place was taken by Mike Shannan who had an extraordinarily good falsetto voice and his extra guitar gave the band a harder edge.

Brian's main focus was on the voices and "Street", as they were known, were one of the few bands of the era who could perform accapella. They went from strength to strength working nationwide through the Beverly Organisation for Artists and with local agent Andy Park.

Mike was the next to leave the band, just as they were becoming very successful with Brian's songwriting coming to the fore. Mike was replaced by bassist James Wyllie. The band subsequently gained a recording contract with Polydor which led to the band doing Radio One work and national gigs. Their recording of "Sunny Sleeps Late", a Nicky Chinn/Mike Chapman composition, was a minor hit in Sweden and Finland.

Brian went on to try follow his fortune in London where he worked with April Music and formed business interests with Bruce Welsh of the Shadows.

22nd Street People were acknowledged as being the "finest harmony quartet" to ever come out of Cumbria. They acknowledges the assistance they were given by Andy Park and the ex-members remain on good terms despite their paths going in different directions.


You can listen to 22nd Street and
buy their records if you go to -


22nd Street evolved from

The BeeJees/The Chains/The Troubles

John and Keith McVicar in 2005