The Story of The Barristers Showband, Derry

Related: Bankers

The Barristers Showband from Derry, began life as The Coasters and ended as The Bankers, but it was as the “wig and gown” Barristers that they made the biggest impact between 1964 and 1966.

The line-up of The Coasters included Tony Molloy (lead guitar), Liam Griffin (drums), Johnny ‘Peel’ Quigley (vocals), Seamus Creagh (trombone) and the Bonner brothers Jackie (trumpet), Billy (tenor sax/clarinet) and Joe (bass). Changes in the line-up saw Chuck McGuigan join and Mickey Cassidy replace Tony Molloy. Barney Mullan was the band’s manager.

In 1964, they were approached by the proprietor of the popular Belfast venue, The Boom Boom Rooms and offered the position of resident band there. A new female vocalist, Tricia Dee was added to the line-up and the band changed their name to The Barristers. The wigs and long black gowns looked very impressive in their publicity photographs but they proved very uncomfortable to wear onstage, so they only wore them for a short part of their nightly performance. Eddie Davis took over management of the band.

As well as holding down a residency in Belfast, the Derry showband also found time to tour Great Britain and the USA and some US military bases on the continent. The Barristers released one single which featured Mickey Cassidy on vocals, “Love Looks Good On You” / “The Way It Feels To Die”. While touring they shared the stage with some international stars such as Jim Reeves, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Clinton Ford and John Leyton.

In 1966, the almost inevitable “showband split” reared its head and some of The Barristers decided to form a new showband called The Bankers. This line-up released one single also, “Lovely Leenan Bay” / “The Old Boreen” featuring Chuck McGuigan on vocals.

Town/Village/County: Derry
Lead Guitar:
2nd Guitar:
Sax/Clarinet: Seamus Creagh
Eddie Davis
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