Our story has its beginning in the heady days of the early 1960’s, a time of massive change and innovation in the world of popular music. Fuelled by the excitement and electricity surrounding the new sounds of the time four young men from Bristol began an epic journey which so far has lasted for over forty years and still shows no sign of faltering.
The beginnings were to involve two local bands, the Diatones, and Danny Clarke and the Jaguars. In early 1964 three of the Diatones, Adrian Castillo, Sid Phillips and John Strange, joined forces with the Jaguars and with a new name (New Force) and a good set of publicity were offered a record deal. On the eve of recording their first single their guitarist left and was replaced by Brian Trusler from Johnny Slade and the Vikings. Their management decided on a change of name and the band became ‘Force West’. That single ‘I can’t give what I haven’t got’ was released in 1965, the first of seven over the next four years. Radio and Television appearances and National and European tours followed but the ‘big time’ always remained just around the corner.
In 1968 the budding pschycadelic movement meant that a change of image was thought necessary and the band adopted the name ‘Oscar Bicycle’ for one single. This, a double A side featuring a ballad titled ‘On a quiet night’ and an excursion into pop-psych titled ‘The room revolves around me’, was produced by ‘Electric Ladyland’ producer, Eddie Kramer and is currently fetching around £70 on the used record market.
Incidentally, the track ‘The room revolves around me’ was written by Brian Trusler and is now considered a classic of its genre.
By 1970 Danny Clarke, the vocalist, had decided to leave the world of music and go into business. The remaining four reinvented themselves, this time adopting the name ‘Shakane’.
Over the next three years a number of singles were released on the Youngblood label and syndicated to a various companies worldwide. ‘Big Step’ written by Adrian Castillo enjoyed the greatest success reaching the top of the charts in Europe, and ‘Love Machine’ also by Adrian has been released on a number of compilation albums and is still receiving airplay in the USA and other countries to this day. Recently ‘Love Machine’ has been covered by the American band ‘BabyShakes’ on their debut album on Douchemaster records.
In 1972 a chance meeting at a venue in Bristol led to the offer of a night club residency which was eventually to last for around 17 years. This cemented the bands reputation as an indisputably versatile act and led to the Towns Talk on Bedminster Down in Bristol becoming a mecca for live music lovers, attracting customers from as far away as Exeter and Gloucester on a regular basis.
At the beginning of 1984 the bass player, John Strange, decided to hang up his fender bass and the band worked their way through four or five replacements before finally recruiting ex Hot Dog Jackson guitarist Bob Pedrick in October of that year. This line up has endured to the present day making the band surely one of the longest stable line ups in the business.
1989 saw the end of the residency, due to a shift in consumer demand and the effect of drink driving laws, so the band returned to the highways and began to ply their trade around the club circuit again. Bristol and the surrounding area embraced them like lost sons and soon venues were regularly selling out whenever Shakane appeared. Although the business has changed significantly over the intervening years, Shakane have consistently worked around the local area reinforcing their enviable reputation as a band that truly can deliver the goods.
During 2006 the band were forced to take a ‘holiday’ from performing due to unforeseen circumstances and were not seen for a period of two years but as of summer 2008 the band have re-established themselves as one of the major draws on the club circuit, consistently leaving appreciative audiences wherever they appear.
Shakane currently do not revisit their past, preferring instead to concentrate on material from the last five decades that their customers will recognise and feel comfortable and at home with, whilst not necessarily being the ‘obvious’ choices as chosen by many other acts currently performing.
A totally self contained four piece live band featuring four front line vocals, guitar, bass, drums and the multiple talents of Adrian Castillo on guitar, keyboards and saxophone. Everything is performed live with no midi files, pre-recorded backing or other artificial enhancement.
- Screen name:
- Member since:
- Jun 27 2011
- Active over 1 month ago
- Level of commitment:
- Years together:
- Gigs played:
- Over 100
- 66 years
Everything from Abba to ZZ Top