A Band Of The 1970s

Monday, 8 August 2011

Caliban 1970 ~ 1974

Based in Ormskirk, Nr. Merseyside, UK and formed in 1969 by vocalist Roy Smith and guitarist Keith Hubbard from the remnants of their recently disbanded band ‘The Rebels’, ‘Caliban’ included, together with Roy and Keith, ex Rebels drummer Chris Kenny and new found acquaintance bass guitarist Ray Chapman.

The first gig was at the Ba’ Ba’ Lou Club in Seel Street Liverpool, the band received a great reception. There then followed a three week tour of Denmark, this really got the band together. On their return, the band’s next gig was at Liverpool’s Knightsbridge Club.

Throughout the following year ‘Caliban’ established a following, appearing at many of Liverpool’s favourite haunts including the Knightsbridge, the Ba’ Ba’ Lou, Dino’s then Gulliver’s, the Victoriana, the Timepiece, the Mardi Gras etc; as well as local comprehensive school and college functions. ‘Caliban’ played extensively throughout the UK, taking gigs at university’s, clubs, major pub rock venues, and festivals, including the Windsor festival and a number of appearances at the famous Greyhound pub in London, they also made further excursions into Europe.

In November 1972 the band were approached by the management of Liverpool’s Cavern, with a view to playing at the club, a date was set and ‘Caliban’ made their first Cavern appearance on 19th January 1973. Five further appearances ensued before the final performance when, after notification that the club was to close; the band was invited by Cavern Club owner Roy Adams, to be on the bill for the final night at the world famous venue.

The date was Thursday 27th May 1973; The Cavern Club closed its doors forever at 6am Friday 28th May 1973.

 The bill for the final night was Merseyside bands; Strife, Wardog, Bilf Slat, Harpoon Caliban, Supercharge and from London, Hackensack. The all-night session was recorded on the Rolling Stones mobile studio and was to be released by London Music Management.

A little later with the Cavern now closed, owner Roy Adams offered ‘Caliban’ a spot on the opening night of the New Cavern which was to be situated on the opposite side of Mathew Street in the old Fruit Exchange.

The opening was set for 16th August 1973; ‘Caliban’ would be support to ‘Roy Woods Wizard’.
Over the following year 'Caliban' made numerous appearances at the New Cavern including being supported by now top rock act, ‘Judas Priest’.

On June 23rd 1974, drummer Chris Kenny played his final gig with the band. Suffering from a long term illness, he could no longer stand the rigours of life on the road.

With replacement John McCauley in place, ‘Caliban’ continued to tour but although John was a top drummer and while the band were still being successful, things were never the same, After a final gig at Warwick University with a  support bill including ‘Gravy Train’ and the then unknown ‘Cockney Rebel’; 'Caliban' was no more.

CD available