Two weeks in the life of Gene & The Gents

by Gene Chetty

Gene "holding" The Gents in a 1960's publicity photo

Dushy (Gene) today pictured at home with his wife Karin

Easter Saturday April13th ~ Top Hat Lisburn

     Easter Sunday April 14th ~ Beechmount Navan

          Easter Monday April 15th ~ Adelphi Dundalk

               Easter Tuesday 16th ~ Portaferry

                    Wednesday 17th ~ Rehearsals

                         Thursday 18th ~ Day Off

                                 Friday 19th ~ Ballycastle

                                      Saturday 20th ~ Palm Beach, Portmanock

                                           Sunday 21st ~ Dungiven

                                                Monday 22nd ~ Rehearsals

                                                     Tuesday 23rd ~ Rostrevor Co Down

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We had introduced into our programme a rock 'n' roll selection as there was yet another rock n roll revival. Also this was a good opportunity to promote our latest record Címon Everybody (the old Eddie Cochrane hit). We were quite excited about the record. Our manager Sam Smyth had arranged for Peter Lee Sterling (ex Ivy League) to be the A&R man. Peter transformed the song from the original version. He now introduced harmonies with a good thumping beat. Looking at the diary it was going to be a hectic period. Here is my recollection.

Easter Saturday13th

We set off in our transit van from Enniskillen at 4pm,arriving at the hall at 6pm.We set up our gear, sound tested and then go for a meal, before our performance. We took to the stage at 9.30 p.m. We have a good young following at Lisburn and the record and Rock medley was well received. Saturday night is a midnight finish. Our last number is Címon Everybody, and Paddy our bandleader reminds the punters the record is now on sale! Joe the road manager packs the instruments into the van. We have tea and biscuits and return home at 3.30 a.m!

Easter Sunday14th

Here we go again. The dance is from 9 to 2am,with a support band. We arrive at Navan at 6.30 pm. Again the usual preliminaries before our meal. We are on stage at 11pm.We receive a warm welcome. Our previous manager was from Navan, and promoted us heavily in the area. The rock medley goes very well. We start with Rock Around The Clock, then Rock n Roll Music, Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On, High School Confidential, Such A Night and finish with a ballad Iím A Fool To Care. At the end of this session, my shirt is drenched and I have to change it! An enjoyable night. Back in Enniskillen at 6 a.m. Easter Monday

Easter Monday15th

I awake at 2 p.m. and have breakfast! We set off for Dundalk at 6.30 pm. The reception is just as good as the previous night. We are pleased to see three busloads of our fans from the Drogheda area. The owner of the hall invites us to his office for a drink. Most of us are non-drinkers but decide to join him as he always has a good tale to tell. Flop into bed at 7a.m. on Tuesday.

Tuesday16th

This is only our second appearance at Portaferry. Another lively crowd and everyone goes home happy!

Wednesday 17 th April

I awake at 10 a.m., very bleary-eyed. Meet the rest of the band at a local cinema for rehearsals. Usually we will rehearse the latest hits and the odd standard. Also have a chat about our performance and any constructive criticism from our road manager who is our eyes and ears at dances as he often mingles with the dancers!

Thursday 18th April

Hooray I have the day to myself! Catch up on my sleep! I go into town to do some shopping in the afternoon. Spend the evening watching television and fall asleep in front of the box!

Friday 19th April

We seem to have some of the youngest dancers at this venue. They are always happy with lively rock and pop numbers, just the occasional ballad to slow things down!

Saturday 20th April

We donít play in the Dublin and surrounding area as often as we would like, so delighted to be playing here. In fact as a student I often danced at the Palm Beach or would come to listen to the Miami. A lively crowd and we are happy to do a few encores. We leave the stage at 2.15 a.m.

Sunday 21st April

We have not played in Dungiven for at least a year, but thankfully the dancers are enjoying themselves. The rock medley gets a good reception!

Monday 22nd April

Rehearsals again. The dates are coming in thick and fast. We have to keep up with the Top 20, as we are essentially a pop/rock band!

Tuesday 23rd April

It is our first appearance at Rostrevor. We are not sure what to expect. We have been playing for an hour before we receive some applause! The lads think we have won them over and by the end of the night I hear a booming voice requesting an encore with the shout of ďOnce MoreĒ.

Well the show band life was not all glamour but we did have ďfunĒ!

 © Gene Dushy Chetty 2004

  © Irish Showbands Archive 2004

 

Back to Homepage                                      More Tall Tales!

© francis kennedy 2004