Liverpool Groups In
Are Fabulous Say The Chants
By Bill Harry
September 10 1964
Mersey vocal group the Chants returned home last week after spending a month in Germany.
Discussing the groups who were on the same bill at Hamburg's Star Club, leader Joe Ankrah said, "The Liverbirds are the rave group. Sylvia, Mary, Pam and Val have improved their act tremendously, particularly their vocals - and all the fellows go mad over them.
"The girls washed all our shirts while we were over there, they're really gear. They sort of looked after us like little sisters.
"They're so successful in Germany that I think they're staying in Hamburg indefinitely.
"The Roadrunners are really fantastic and completely different from what they were like the last time we saw them. They should be a lot bigger than what they are.
"The Eyes have also got a fabulous sound. They perform up-tempo numbers, the usual sort of rock standards, but the way they go about them is great. They are dying to come home - and they will really shake Liverpool when they get back. The group wants to get on and although they like Hamburg they think they'll be forgotten if they stay away from home too long.
"Shorty And Them from Newcastle were good in a different way again.
"Yes, there was certainly a lot of variety with three good groups who each have different styles."
Eddie Amoo commented: "If you've got long hair, the older people go mad and want to cut it, and if you go to the baths you have to put a bathing cap on. We'd be walking with a member of a group who had long hair and all the people would be calling them names in German.
Alan Harding commented on the audience: "They don't bother to clap or scream - but you can tell if you are appreciated. To make them clap you've got to work hard - very hard."
Joe took up the conversation again: "We had bad trouble with our throats for the first week or two - we just lived on cough sweets. But everything turned out better than we expected. Before we went over there, if we played for three-quarters of an hour we were tired - now we can do a full hour's act. the experience did us a lot of good and our solo singing improved day by day."
During their German season the boys appeared at a new Star Club in Flensburg for a week. Said Alan: "It's about 100 miles from Hamburg and wasn't as lively. We used to feel terrible - when we went out on the streets everyone turned and looked at us. We felt like an African choir.
"It's a smaller club - like a big courtroom - and looks nothing like the Hamburg Star Club - and the audiences are not as advanced in their tastes of music.
"The club hadn't been open long but on Wednesday and weekends it is quite lively and has a good atmosphere."
The Chants saw Tony Sheridan during their stay - and told us that Lee Curtis and Beryl Marsden came to the club for one day to record tracks for an LP.
"We think they'll be staying there indefinitely," they said, "and their manager Joe Flannery is flying back and forth between the different Star Clubs helping the groups and making the arrangements for them."
The Chants latest disc is on release this Friday and the group will be promoting the disc on 'Ready Steady Go' next week. They also hope to appear on several other television programmes including 'Lucky Stars' and 'Scene At 6.30.'
They will be off to Ireland for a week from September 22.