Professional musician Roy McMahon started out his music career as part of a Wrexham group, and saw him perform across the world.

The 76-year-old, originally from Wrexham but now in Pant, in Shropshire, looks back on a memorable night in Oswestry...

In 1964 The Beavers were invited to play in a competition to be held in the Victoria Rooms in Oswestry.

There was to be a cash prize of, I think £100, plus a booking at the Victoria Rooms supporting The Applejacks, from Birmingham, who'd had a chart hit with Tell Me When, a rather sickly sweet song.

There were to be groups from Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Mid-Wales, as well as us and The Raynes, from Wrexham.

Were you one the Wrexham beat band The Acoustics?

Music memories: Were you one the Wrexham beat band The Acoustics?

At that time the music columnist for the Leader was Dave Sanderson who "worshipped" The Raynes.

When we arrived we learned Dave was one of the three judges! We thought that we might as well go straight home.

However, we stayed and did our short set, after which we removed our gear from the stage.

At that time we travelled in two cars driven by friends, rather than band members. We packed our gear into one car and the driver took it back to Wrexham. The rest of us remained to see who would come second.

When the results were announced, in reverse order, as was customary, imagine our surprise when the announcer said "...and in second place, from Wrexham - The Raynes!" Then "in first place, from Wrexham, The Beavers who will now come on and play a few more songs".

Horror, no gear!

However, The Raynes immediately said we could use theirs. The last group who'd performed were from Newtown and their drums were still on the stage, so we used them and The Raynes' guitars and amplifiers.

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I think the Newtown group was called The Teensetts. In the picture you can just make out a name on the bass drum.

In the centre, Ron Nicholson is holding a guitar with "Don" on it. This belonged to Don Pickup, The Raynes' rhythm guitarist. You can also see "Raynes" on an amplifier.

Did you dig the sound of beat group Fourwinds and Cindy Craig, Wrexham?

Music memories: Did you dig the sound of beat group Fourwinds and Cindy Craig, Wrexham?

A few months later we did the support gig, expecting The Applejacks to be "sickly sweet", especially as their bass guitarist was a rather gorgeous woman.

However, they blew us away from the start, playing rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues a la Chuck Berry, The Stones, The Animals etc. After about 20 minutes one of them said "I suppose we'd better play it"..."Tell me when you feel a little blue..."

After that they reverted to the good stuff. I learned a valuable lesson, that night. Never judge a group by their singles, wait until you hear them live!

Many years later I took my then (now ex) wife to a Silver Sixties show in the Philharmonic Hall, in Liverpool.

Were you a fan? Wrexham beat band Opposition, 1967.

Music memories: Were you a fan? Wrexham beat band Opposition, 1967.

We left early in case of heavy traffic. We arrived in Liverpool early enough to get a space in the Phil's car park, which only held about 20 cars.

I suggested that we go into The Philharmonic Pub (well worth a visit as the 'gents' is Grade 2 listed. The urinals are pink marble and all the pipe work is highly-polished brass.

As we crossed the road I told her that back in the 60s, most of the bands gigging in Liverpool would call in at the Phil for a drink before the gig, so you'd bump into lots them.

As we were about to enter we let four men come out first. The first one looked at me and said "hi, I haven't seen you for years". It was one of the Swinging Blue Jeans!

Do you remember? Wrexham beat band The Venturers, 1963.

Music memories: Do you remember? Wrexham beat band The Venturers, 1963.

During the show their 'leader' introduced the rest of the band. Each, in turn, stepped up to the microphone and said "good evening", all except the rhythm guitarist, Alan Lovell, who said "noswaith dda" (Welsh for good evening).

After the show the various artistes were in the foyer selling CDs and signing autographs. I approached Alan and said "noswaith dda". We then had a conversation in Welsh.

He asked where I was from, so I told him I was, originally, from Wrexham but now lived in Pant, in Shropshire.

He said he knew Pant well as he grew up in Newtown. I asked if he'd played in bands in the 60s and he had.

I bet you can guess what's coming next! Sure enough he was in the band that we beat in the competition and whose drums we'd borrowed!

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