The Twilights were an Australian rock music group of the mid to late 1960s. Alongside their own career successes, The Twilights are also notable for the inclusion of vocalist Glenn Shorrock, who later fronted Axiom, Esperanto and Little River Band, and guitarist Terry Britten who went on to become an internationally successful songwriter and producer and pen major hits for artists such as Cliff Richard and Tina Turner.
Biography[edit | edit source]
The Twilights formed in the satellite town of Elizabeth, 20 km north of Adelaide in South Australia, a town whose population in the 1960s was largely made up of families who had recently migrated from the UK, and all the original members were born in Britain. Like many other nascent pop bands, The Twilights were strongly affected by The Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night and other emerging British beat groups, notably The Hollies, The Who and The Small Faces, and they kept abreast of the latest trends with packages of records and tape recordings of Top 40 radio shows that they regularly received from relatives in Britain. Drawn together by their common origins and musical interests, singer Glenn Shorrock (hailing originally from Kent, UK), and his friends Mike Sykes and Clem "Paddy" McCartney (born in Belfast) formed an a cappella trio, eventually gaining regular bookings around the small Adelaide folk/coffee-house circuit.
Occasionally, and especially for more prestige engagements, this original vocal 3-piece teamed up with local instrumental outfits, including The Vector Men and The Hurricanes. Typical of the era, the Hurricanes had started out as a Shadows-style instrumental act, but the impact of The Beatles and other "British Invasion" bands saw many guitar bands around Australia recruiting lead singers and changing over to vocal-based material. The Twilights and The Hurricanes developed a solid bond, leading to the formation of the six-piece, fully electric-and-vocal group, The Twilights.
Still based in Adelaide, and originally self-managed and produced, the band released its debut single, "I'll Be Where You Are" on EMI's Columbia imprint in June 1965. A ballad written by Shorrock and Britten, the single gained some airplay in Melbourne but failed to chart outside Adelaide. Subsequent singles made further inroads – the second release, "Wanted To Sell", cracked the Melbourne charts and the third, the brisk, Beatles-styled Brideoake/Britten original "If She Finds Out" gave the band its first chart success in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
The Twilights quickly gained a strong reputation for their dynamic live shows in Adelaide. Early in 1965, drummer Frank Barnard left the group after the band hired Gary Spry as their manager. Barnard was replaced by Laurie Pryor, a well-known local drumming prodigy, who had previously played with another popular Adelaide band, John E. Broome & The Handels. The new Twilights line-up with Pryor remained intact for the rest of the life of the band.
After taking over the group's management, Melbourne promoter Gary Spry realised that it was essential to establish the group in Australia's pop capital, Melbourne. The Twilights moved there in late 1965 where they took up a three-month residency at Spry's discothèque, Pinocchio's. Their reputation quickly spread around Melbourne, – the club was sold out every night and they were soon being booked by all the major disco and dance promoters in the city.
Members[edit | edit source]
- Frank Barnard – drums (1964–65)
- Peter Brideoake – rhythm guitar, vocals
- Terry Britten – lead guitar, vocals
- John Bywaters – bass
- Clem "Paddy" McCartney – lead vocals
- Laurie Pryor – drums (1965–69)
- Glenn Shorrock – lead vocals