Beggar
South Wales & Leyton

 

Nigel "Bryn" Gregory - Vocals & Harmonica Jeff John - Guitar & Vocals
Mark Williams - Bass & Vocals Mike Slocombe - Drums

 

Formed in late 1977 in a small Welsh village called Mountain Ash and the surrounding area.

After playing several low key gigs around their local area including several appearances at 'The palace' in Mountain Ash, the band were offered a gig up in London. This was at the 'Bull' in Hornchurch, Essex  on Friday 13th October 1978. On the way to the gig, the van that they were in broke down and had to be towed off the motorway! Not to be deterred they had a great gig followed by a great piss-up!

 The band re-locate to Leyton in East London and went about getting known. They set up a home at '455, High Road, Leyton, London, E10'. This was the bands contact address for a year or so before re-locating again to Walthamstow.

After a successful gig at 'The Saxon House' in Walthamstow the band felt they were finally getting somewhere as they had a group of Mods & Skinheads that started following the band around. On the very next night, the band turned up at the 'Bridge House' to play their gig and the same crowd from the previous night were already there! (Still pissed from the night before!!!!)

'Sounds' magazine report that the band have signed a record deal with "Mayfair Records" and a single is reported to be out some time in July. Sadly this never happened!

On the Sunday 29th April 1979 the band find better accommodation and move to Verulam Avenue, Walthamstow, E17. This would be the bands base until they split.

The band gets asked to play the 'Mods Mayday' gig at the 'Bridge House' in Canning Town along side 'Secret Affair', 'Squire' (who had re-placed the Little Roosters on the day), 'The Mods' & 'The Small Hours'. The band feel that they played an awful set and weren't happy with their performance. Little did they know how historic gig would become in the future.....

In July 1979 the band embark on a small tour of Scotland. It started off bad and ended up worse! It was advertised in the "NME" for June 1979 as "R'n'B SCOTTISH WALKABOUT WITH MOD BAND BEGGAR" It was actually July 1979. After arriving in Scotland, they played their first gig at 'Cuinzie Neuk' in Kinghorn. A few more dates followed and after one of these gigs the band set off in their van through the night. After a short time they stopped at a Souvenir shop which was closed for a call of nature. As the band were in high spirits, a couple of them broke into the souvenir shop and nicked some kilts and they were off on their merry way again. After only a few miles, blue flashing lights were seen in the rear view mirror and was subscantly pulled over. After telly the local constabulary that they had nothing to do with the break in a few miles down the road, the policeman wasn't as green as they thought. He ordered the driver to open up the back of the van.... KILTS AHOY!

The band were then arrested and taken to the local nick. Back in 1979, Scotland didn't have Judges, they had Sheriffs that visited all the small local jails every week! The band were shocked to hear this and sadly missed all their remaining Scottish dates. The late great John Peel even caught wind of this story and announced on his show that London Mod band Beggar "were a bunch of silly beggars after being arrested in Scotland and had to cancel some of their tour dates!". After the event, this ill-fated tour was always known as "THE GREAT KILT ROBBERY" tour.

After borrowing 'Bryn's scrapbook and diary for this web page, there is an entry that reads 'The Mods Mayday Album on Bridge House Records finally gets distributed on 29/09/79. Roll on the royalties.....'

Jeff leaves the band after a gig at the 'New Osbourne Club' in Manchester on 29th November 1979. The gig the following night at the 'Palm Grove' in Bradford on 30th November had to be canalled

Beggar really suffers after losing Jeff as they find it very hard to replace him. Early 1980 they find a replacement in the form of 'Oisheen McCure' or "McCool" for short.

After a very successful gig with the new line up at the 'The Golden Eagle' in Birmingham, the newly acquired Bedford Van breaks down on the way home!

  Beggar finally calls it a day in June 1980 very disillusioned and bitterly disappointed. Slogs & Bill stick together and form a new band. Bryn joins 'Perfect Strangers' and Oisheen is never heard of again.

Bryn then movers to Hastings and joins 'The Breathers' who went on to release one single.

Bryn would then re-surface a few years later in "The Co*Stars"

After the break up of Beggar, Mike Slocombe played for the Monochrome Set and Dream Academy and now runs a
successful live music club in Brixton.


 

The band pose outside their base at ''455, High Road, Leyton, London, E10' in January 1979.

 

The band relax in their back garden at ''455, High Road, Leyton, London, E10' in January 1979.

 

The band with 'Malcolm' & 'Arfa' outside "The Nashville" before supporting 'The Late Show' in 1978.
 
The band with 'Malcolm' & 'Arfa' outside "The Nashville" before supporting 'The Late Show' in 1978.

 

The above 9-Track Demo tape was sent into the 'Bridge House' in Canning Town, London early 1979 to see if the band could secure a few gigs there. Subscantly the band ended up playing at the famous 'Mods Mayday' event in May that year.

 

The above snippet announces that the band place at 'The palace' in Mountain Ash on Thursday 12th October 1978.

 

The above gig advert for "The Bull"  in Hornchurch, Essex is for Friday 13th October 1978.

 

The above gig advert is for the "Rock Garden", London from Friday 8th December 1978.

     

Above is an original Gig Advert for the 'The Bridge House', Canning Town, London for "The Valves" & "Beggar" from Wednesday 20th December 1978.

 

The above gig advert is for "Beggar" & "Skrewdriver" at the 'Palace' in Mountain Ash from Thursday 28th December 1978.

Above is an original Gig Advert for the for 'The Saxon House", Walthamstow, London from Thursday 19th April 1979.

 

Above is the gig Dates that 'Beggar' played in May 1979.

 

The above newspaper clipping appeared in the "South Wales Echo" on Saturday 18th August 1979.

 

 The above snippet appeared in the fanzine "Maximum Speed" #6 from 1979.

 

Above is an original Gig Advert for the "Bridge House" in Canning Town London for 'Beggar' & 'The Mods' from Monday 6th August 1979.

 

   
 

"Bryn" live on stage cica 1979

 

 

Above as an original gig ticket for "The Drill" & "Beggar" from the' Rock Garden', London on Sunday 4th March 1979. 

 

Above is the gig Dates that 'Beggar' played in June 1979.

 

Above is the advert for the ill-fated Scottish tour of July 1979 (even though advert says June)

 

Above is the advert for the ill-fated Scottish tour of July 1979

 

Above is a gig advert from the 'Notre Dame Hall", London from Friday 2nd November 1979 that featured 'THE V.I.P'S', 'The Mods', 'The Lambrettas' & 'Beggar'. The Lambrettas never turned up!

 

Above is an original Gig Advert for the 'Golden Eagle", Birmingham from Friday 11th April 1980.

 
   
 

The above snippet appeared in "Sounds" on 15th September 1979.

Above is an original Gig Advert for the 'Countdown Club", Leigh-On-Sea, Essex from Saturday 24th May 1980.

 

Above is 'Bryn Gregory' & 'Slimey Steve' (aka the roadie 'Steve Lockyear') out on the piss at the 'Bridge House' in Canning Town, London 1979.

 

The above snippet appeared in "Sounds" on Saturday 28th April 1979. It announces that the band have signed to 'Mayfair Records' and a single will be out shortly!

 

 

 

Page Two

 

 

Thanks to 'Bryn Gregory', 'Jeff John' & 'Mike Slocombe'
for all the above photos and newspaper cuttings.

 

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