1. Lost and Alone
2. King Bee
Recording Date: 1965
Group Members: Alan Davies (vocs, Harp), Phil Norman (lead gtr), Dave Stanton (gtr), Iam Macdonald (bass gtr), Mally Coram (drums).
The following text was submitted by Phil Norman and Dave Stanton 10th April, 2012:
The Prowlers were a five-piece, formed early in 1964 to play Chicago style electric blues, rocked up a bit - the sort of music the Stones and some other bands were playing in their early days. We all lived in Birkenhead and started playing around the area in the spring; youth clubs, students and other dances, clubs like the Kraal, Cubik, Left Bank and even the Mersey cruise ship, Royal Iris. There were ballroom gigs including the Tower in New Brighton and the Majestic, Birkenhead. We built up a strong following and late in the year got the chance to go to Germany. This was an opportunity to become full-time musicians so we went for a month to the Star Palast, Kiel in January '65. During that month we backed black American singer, Davy Jones, for one night because his band got stuck in the snow coming from Sweden. In 1961 Davy played a gig at the Cavern and was backed by the Beatles before they became famous. We also played alongside Goldie and the Gingerbreads who were a very classy American girl band (who later did well in the UK) and alongside Freddie Fingers Lee’s band with Ian Hunter as its bass player. Ian emerged in the 1970s as Mott the Hoople's frontman. He and Freddie started writing a song for us but it didn't get finished.
When we came back after our first month away we were anxious to find out if our popularity had suffered while we had been away but we played a great show at Birkenhead Technical College Hall to an over-capacity audience (mainly screaming girls) and a lot of fans had to be turned away. The local paper published an excellent review. We had professional management by this time and back in the UK we were sent all over the country. We went down particularly well around the Midlands, Scotland and Dublin. We opened for Manfred Mann on one Scottish tour, playing to 2000+ audiences and with the Swinging Blue Jeans a couple of times.
Back in Germany in April and July, with a steadily growing following, we were offered recording contracts by both Philips and Polydor (German divisions) but it would have meant being based in Germany which we didn’t want to do. We opened for Screaming Lord Sutch & the Savages for one week in Kiel. Back in the UK we still had our strong local following but weren't playing in our home area as often because we were working around the country. Unfortunately our agent was sending us to quite a lot of venues, more like cabaret clubs that weren’t really suitable for our band. Early in 1966, guitarist Dave Stanton and our singer Alan Davies left as things weren't working out as well as we had hoped and we were back doing day jobs. We found replacements but it was never quite the same although we played the Cavern many times in 1966/67 including a couple of sessions on the day that the Cavern reopened on July 23rd 1966 after a short closure. Solomon Burke and Rufus Thomas were on the bill. Prime Minister Harold Wilson was there along with just about everyone else!
“Pirate”Radio Caroline used to use a demo of ours (Cadillac) on the adverts for the Cavern. We had a near-miss with Decca who told us that they liked the demo of Cadillac and were going to record us, then there was an unexplained change of heart. We played our last gigs some time in 1967 and by then there were only Ian and Phil left from the original line-up as Mally had tired of travelling over from Liverpool (where he now lived) for practice sessions with Alan and Dave's replacements who, we quickly discovered, didn't fully share our ambition or musical aims.
The Prowlers did not release any records. We made three double-sided demo records:-
1. Lost & Alone (written by Alan and Dave)
2. King Bee (Slim Harpo) (Recorded on very basic equipment at a local youth club).
3. I Believe to my Soul (written by Alan and Dave)
4. You Don’t Own Me (Recorded at Northampton Sound Studios)
6. Motor Car
Sadly missed: Drummer Mally Coram died suddenly in February 2008 in his new home Australia following a brief UK trip to visit friends and family.
Further information on The Prowlers can be found at:
All recorded and photographic material copyright Phil Norman, Dave Stanton and Alan Davies. 2012.
Very special thanks to: Phil Norman, Alan Davies, Dave Stanton.