Old rockers return to 'great times' by turning back the clock at the Vic

THEY rocked the roof at Orange High School’s 1969 gala day when they first formed in 1969 and last Sunday some of the members of the Orange-based swingin’ 60’s band Tolpuddle did the same thing when they reunited for a gig at the Victoria Hotel.

Getting in early to secure a seat for the one-off performance were several old school mates from the era who took the chance to catch up with band members.

Of the group, only one - Neil Birdsall went on to carve out a professional music career and he’s based in Sydney.

“I work on my own and I do about three gigs a week - mostly on the club circuit.

He still recalls the band’s first performance.

“We shared the program with a sketch of Rinse the Blood Off My Toga and I recall it was a lot of fun,” he said.

“We put blankets up to the doors and windows to create a nightclub atmosphere and had candles in the top of coke bottles,” he said.

“You certainly wouldn’t be allowed to do that in this day and age,” said fellow band member and drummer with the group Darrell Hair.

Mr Hair didn’t pursue music as a career, but went on to make a name for himself as an international cricket umpire.

“Neil and I found each other on Linkedin and got together and decided it would be great to get together again and play"

The band members came together after finding each other on social media and it was Mr Hair who co-ordinated the reunion trying to get all the members together for a gig.

“Neil and I found each other on Linkedin and got together and decided it would be great to get together again and play,” he said.

One of the other band members Dennis Taylor lived in Orange, but unfortunately couldn’t play on Sunday due to an arm injury.

The other member Robin Large was finally tracked down in New Zealand where he now lives.

“He got in contact on social media saying he’s heard we were looking for him,” Mr Hair said.

In Sunday’s lineup was Orange musician Cedric Inman who was a member of the group at one stage but left to play in another popular Orange band The Confederates.

The guys in the band say they were fortunate to have regular paid gigs in Orange as support acts for rock concerts at the Amoco Hall, now the Orange Function Centre.

“We also played on a regular basis at the 50/50 dances held at the hall - they were great times,”  Mr Hair said.

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