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A first publicity shot of 'Those Without', taken at the Wandlebury Ring (Gog Magog Hills) late 1963
Around 1962/3, Alan 'Barney' Barnes - a local (Cambridge) lad - and Stephen Pyle - who had moved to the city with his family when 12 years old - formed a rhythm and blues band called, 'Hollerin' Blues'. Alan, who had been taught the piano by his father (himself a very accomplished player in the local pub scene) was very musically gifted and could play the harmonica as well as sing. Stephen was to be the drummer. They did not want to be another one of the many local bands that did mainly 'pop covers' - a more exciting option was there, influenced by the likes of black American artists such as Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker and the likes. Another two friends, Alan Sizer (guitar) and Pete Glass (harmonica) were invited to make-up the band.
Contrary to pieces written in the past, we can categorically deny that Roger 'Syd' Barrett was ever in the 'Hollerin' Blues'! Concentrating solely on musical content, they had asked another friend, Brian Scott, to be the manager. Unfortunately Brian was more interested in the girl 'pulling-power' that even a small local band could attract and this preoccupation resulted in the band getting very little work - the main being in church and village halls. Barney and Steve became increasingly frustrated and decided to disband and re-form under a new name and with a new manager.
Warren Dosanjh, fed up with the strictures and discipline of a formal grammar school, had decided to "walk out on any further education" and - somehow (without being able to play any musical instrument) - join in the new musical revolution. It fell well. A recently acquired friend of both Steve and Barney, he was invited to be the manager and (perhaps?) roadie, since he had mates with transport!
The book which inspired the band name
In the early hours of one morning at Warren's home they talked about a name for the new band. Warren, like so many others at that time, had become engrossed in the new wave of continental (mainly French) films and novels that enveloped free expression in contrast to a still austere post-war Britain. One such novel by Francoise Sagan was titled: 'Those Without Shadows'. Spying this book in Warren's collection, Steve suggested that upon dropping the word 'shadows', then 'Those Without' would make a great name for a band. Since it was very fashionable in those days for bands to be called "The Somebody's", this seemed a very attractive anti-establishment name. Yes, Yes!
Working as a sort of door-to-door salesman, Warren over the next two years was able to secure an incredible number of bookings from village halls, private functions and RAF camps to prestigious local venues such as 'The Victoria', 'The Dorothy' and 'The Guildhall'. In the beginning, the line-up of the band was somewhat hit and miss, leading to some erratic and below-par performances. Apart from Barney, Steve and Alan Sizer (also ex-'Hollerin' Blues'), the rest of the band was often made up by "whoever was available on the night"!
In 1964, Steve asked Syd if he wanted to play some 'gigs' with the band. They were close friends and on the same art course at the local 'College of Arts & Technology'. Syd always had his guitar with him and was keen to have a go. He had only once previously played in public and that had been for one night only!
The Cambridge School of Art, part of the Cambridge School of Arts and Technology
On March 10th 1962, Syd had played at 'The Free Church Hall (on the corner of Cherry Hinton Road and Hartington Grove) for 'Geoff Mott & the Mottoes'. This was a one-gig band put together to raise funds for the local branch of CND. Mary Waters, one of Syd's teachers at his junior school, was a local CND representative - as also was her son, Roger.
Syd slotted into 'Those Without' easily, playing bass guitar/vocals.
As he had by then been accepted into The Camberwell College of Art, he would only be available in the summer prior to his enrolment in the following September and during holidays between terms. During 1964/5 he played as many times as he could make himself available up to and including Saturday August 7th 1965 at the 'Gardiner Memorial Hall' in Burwell near Cambridge,which was to be his last appearance in 'Those Without'.