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The 'Old English Gentleman' on Fitzroy Street

The 'Old English Gentleman' on Fitzroy Street Photo: Cambs.Collection

Syd at Cambridge Art School - before going to London

Syd at Art School in 1964 Photo: Philip Jordan

Those Without existed for a little over two years from June 1963 to December 1965. Below we have done our best to list some dates and venues, a few anecdotes and dispel a lot of inaccuracies that have appeared about the band (and Syd) in previous articles and publications. We do not claim that we are 100% correct but we have tried to be as precise as our memories will allow.

The Victoria Road Congregational Church Youth Club, June 16, 1963 was probably our first gig as Those Without. Syd was not with us in the beginning. We rehearsed mostly at Stephen Pyle's home or in the back rooms of pubs, such as the 'Midland Tavern' (now the 'Devonshire Arms') and the 'The Old English Gentleman' (no longer in existence). Our immediate bookings back then were mostly the same venues as the now defunct Hollerin' Blues had played at: youth clubs, village halls and other varied locations.

With band rehearsals more frequent, publicity improved and thanks to this (and Warren's persistent hassling of booking agents) better paid and more prestigious gigs arrived:

  • The Sgt's Mess at RAF Lakenheath (in reality a USAF base)

  • The Alley Club - Owned by Stuart Dingley, who was also the booking agent for many other venues, including The Dorothy.

  • The Footlights Club

  • The Racehorse

  • RAF Wyton - Here we supported 'Hedgehoppers Anonymous', a group who had a No.1 hit with "It's Good News Week" under the management of Jonathan King.

Syd's Farewell invitation

Syd's Farewell invitation Photo: Glenn Povey

In July 1964, Syd joined the band but would only be playing during the holidays from his course at Camberwell Art College. He played bass guitar and sang at the 'Blue Horizon Club' in the Guildhall, Cambridge.The night didn't go well as intoxicated members of the audience were invited on to the stage and jam with the band.This was to be one of the shortest music residencies ever when the local council (not impressed) replaced Those Without with Joker's Wild a few days later.

In August, he arrived for band practice at the 'Old English Gentleman' on Fitzroy Street. He was very excited about a new release from The Kinks called "You Really Got Me". He just kept playing it over and over again on the record player!

On the 12th of September, "You Really Got Me" was No. 1 in the local paper's 'Top 20', compiled by local music shop, Millers. Coincidentally that same evening was to be a farewell party for Syd who was heading for London.

The party was held in Stephen Pyle's parents home at Cheshunt College Lodge. The invitation hastily done by Stephen, welcomed people to: 'Bo Siddley's Perverted Bleach Party'. As a farewell memento, the band signed and gave Syd a record album entitled: 'Jimmy Reed Plays 12-String Guitar Blues'.

In December 1964, Those Without played at the 'Union Cellars' in Round Church Street. Syd had returned home for the holidays and was keen to play. Jenny Spires was in the audience. She had come along with her elder brother, Rod, who was a friend of the band. It was on this night that she first met Syd, and from then on they remained life-long friends.

On January 2nd 1965, Stephen's sister Annie married Charles Stewart on what was also her 21st birthday. The reception was held at her parent's home. This photo has appeared in many publications regarding Syd, but always without any details or photo accreditation. This now puts the records straight!

'Those Without' play at Annie's wedding. Photo: Charles Stewart

'Those Without' play at Annie's wedding. Photo: Charles Stewart

Syd, now back at College, was playing with his new bands: 'Pink Floyd Sound' and the 'Tea Set'.

On 30th June 'Those Without' play at the 'Dorothy', alongside Bob Kidman & his Orchestra and the 'Washington D.C's'.

By 15th July, Syd has returned to Cambridge. We play at the 'Victoria'. Wow, things have changed! Syd now has a white Fender with a white Vox amplifier and is also wearing white jeans!

On 17th July we are back at the 'Dorothy'. So are Bern Elliot & the Klan (later having hits as Bern Elliot & the Fenmen), The Seminoles and Hedgehoppers Anonymous.

In July, we also play in Trumpington Village Hall for Jenny Spires 16th birthday.

Another gig at the 'Dorothy'.

Another gig at the 'Dorothy'.

Saturday 7th August was Syd's last gig with Those Without at the 'Gardiner Memorial Hall' in Burwell (near Cambridge). With Alan starting his place at Cambridge University;Steve embarking on a career in the theatre and Warren planning his overland trip to India, the boys decided to disband after fulfilling their last engagements of 1965. These were at the 'Victoria' September 2nd and December 9th and at the 'Dorothy' October 16th and December 18th.