24th February 2018
Sad news to report today. Ian Herbert has had to pull out of the Abbey Road trip this year for personal reasons.
The poor boy is gutted over this reluctant decision.
"I am gutted over this reluctant decision which I have had to make reluctantly. It is a trip I always look forward to making and I'll miss seeing many friends across the water."
Ian's absence leaves a rather large hole in the band's ranks which can only be filled by 2 people! On rhythm guitar comes long time band friend, Rob Bridge formerly of the Rockits. He is over at the festival with his new band The V8's and sees the chance of playing with Wingsbanned as a dream come true.
"This is something I have wanted to do since Gareth, Johnny and myself played together in the US back in October 2014. We had such a great time that we have been looking for a chance to do it again. It's a dream come true," he confirmed.
Thus, the bass sized gap left when Johnny moves to the piano will now be filled by current Rockits bassisit and lead singer, Chris Grindrod. Rickenbacker playing Chris will add his distinctive bass and voice on several numbers and if he behaves himself, will be allowed to do some lead vocals. Chris will also play bass with the V8's.
On the down side, the amalgamation of Rockits and Wingsbanned has always led to savage debauchery and ruin of reputations in the past and it is feared that this summer will be no different. The mix of Southern Poncey's with some Northern Luddites is a volatile one usually fuelled by alcohol and out of control libido's. However, Wingsbanned's Johnny Heywood has a different take on it.
"I'm from Glasgow, Scotland so as far as I'm concerned they're all Southern Softies to me."
6th February 2018
Yet another change in plans for the Abbey Rd Festival this year.
Out goes the Top 100 Beatles songs to be replaced by a simple "Best Of Macca" which, after all is what the band specialises in. There was much relief sighing from band members.
"I sighed with relief," confirmed guitarist Gareth Davies (27). "With all my featured rock God guitar slugging on Saturday, plus 3 Wingsbanned gigs plus being the leading light of a new band, The V8's, I simply don't have time to eat let alone learn new bleedin' songs. I only have so many notes on my guitar and after that...."
Keys maestro Shane Gould (31) breathed his sigh of relief admitting that he seldom learned any songs. "On my custom made all-singing, all-dancing Acme synth, I simply program it all in and then hit the "start" button. It's really no problem at all."
Lead person Johnny Heywood had no such concerns. "These Beatles songs are ingrained in my whole being as I grew up with them and have performed them all many, many times. Mind you, sometimes I forget the words....and the tunes."
So all in all, it's shaping up nicely.
5th January 2018
A Happy New Year to all!
It has been quiet on the Wingsbanned front recently but plans are being made for the annual jaunt to the States in May for the Abbey Road On The River Festival.
The band will be playing 3 gigs this time to allow for some other extra activity from the various band mambers.
Gareth and Shane have got themselves into the house band for the big Saturday Night concert which features several vocalists from various bands who will be featured on specific numbers. Johnny will be doing Roy Orbison's Oh, Pretty Woman backed by this band.
One of Wingsbanned's gigs will feature a set chosen by AROTR's head man, Gary Jacobs who has specified 100 Beatles songs to be divided amongst several of the top bands. For this set, the boys will need to learns several new songs such as, Michelle, Things We Said Today and a couple of numbers only occasionally performed such as We Can Work It Out and Twist & Shout.
This time the band will have to do without the services of drummer Lee Herbert who is unable to make the trip due to personal reasons so the boys will have to ensure it is so good that he feels such remorse that he saves up for next year!
8th November 2017
Some pix from last weeks gig at The Horns has appeared on the Gallery. Thanks to Gail for taking them!
It was a great night and much busier than last time. Although the band was under-rehearsed everything seemed to go well despite a few interesting "jazz" substitution notes. Johnny was in great voice and managed to take up most of the stage area by using 2 microphone stands - but then, as he pointed out, so does bloody Paul McCartney.
Many were worried that Gareth Davies would not perform in his usual rock god way as he had admitted to having 18" lopped off his magnificent barnet - the source of his near mythical guitar powers. They needed have concerned themselves; it was all still there in spades. A comical burst strap only added to the enjoyment as it happened on the intro to Band On The Run - a spot where there is no hiding!
Shane Gould's only disappointment was the non inclusion of Octopussy's Garden in the set simply because it got missed in all the excitement. This has become a highlight of the band's and gives much mirth to play especially Lee Herbert's underwater singing!
Ian Herbert wore his trousers well tonight in the wake of much flak and derision from (mainly) ladies. His pleas of "I have no bum," cut no ice here but he was able to keep them up most of the night. The only let down if you pardon the pun was that his flies were undone for much of the evening. Still, his guitar playing almost made up for it and he vocalised the top line on Something, Here Comes The Sun and Medicine Jar.
Lee didn't enjoy himself quite as much as usual despite the accolade and approval from the crowd. This well known perfectionist accepts nothing but the best and felt the band need to play more to get the quality consistent. He took the lead vocals of several songs such as Twist & Shout, Come Together and Don't Let Me Down sounding more like Neil than John Lennon but still powering the band through the night on his mighty drums.
1st November 2017
The band play at The Horns, Watford on Thursday 2nd November and this will be the band's first gig since May. This is the longest time the band has gone without performing but that holds no fears for frontman, Johnny Heywood.
"That holds no fears for me," he confirmed. "We are like an old pair of wellington boots. Comfortable, dry but not terribly hygenic."
The set list will comprise the usual Macca faves but also several Beatles numbers which the band seldom plays.
2nd September 2017
Wingsbanned have been invited back to the Abbey Road On The River Festival in 2018!
Having taken a year off in 2017, it has been arranged for the band to return next May which will be the second time it has been held in Jeffersonville. Previously, it has been held for many years in Louisville. Geographically, it is directly across the Ohio River and the old site can be seen from the new stages but everything about it is new - apart from the people! The band looks forward to seeing familiar faces, friends, comrades and band mates. There is such a bond between the artists that transcends any rivalries and there are alway several guest spots every night and interchanging of band members.
For the next few weeks the band will be choosing the sets and albums to be featured. There is talk of re-doing the Abbey Road album
1st September 2017
Former Wingsbanned guitarist/bassist/vocalist Martin Fleming finally hangs up his guitar for ever tonight as he plays his last gig with Large Portion at the General Elliot, Uxbridge. Martin has been in the Portion for 7 years but now feels it is a younger man's game. He leaves the Rock World in the capable hands of teenagers such as Lee Herbert and Johnny Heywood and spring chickens such as Gareth Davies. His place in the Portion will be his Wingsbanned colleague, Ian "Baby Face" Herbert who looks to make his official live debut on Saturday night at the Crown, Cowley.
Martin has taken up painting as an alternative lifestyle which keeps alive his artistic nature. He has already done his lounge and bathroom.
The band feels he will be bored stiff in 6 weeks and predict the formation of the Marty Fleming Band by wife Jan just to get him out of the house.
Meanwhile, in other news, Wingsbanned manager Billy Weasleknob is negotiating for a German tour including Hamburg for next year. This will be the first time the band has played in Germany and takes in the famous port where the Beatles first found a degree of success and more importantly, got their sound and stage act together to take back to the UK and then the World!
16th June 2017
We've let the News section drift a bit this year but here is some great news!!
A new Just Johnny article which gets to the nitty gritty of left handed bass playing.
Also, a couple of pix are on the gallery from the gig at the Liverpool Marathon on the 28th May.
13th January 2017
Wingsbanned have been booked to play the Beatles 1Day Festival on the 30th April 2017. This is an event set up by Dan Richards and follows his previous Beatles day-long festivals to celebrate the "Hard Days Night" and "Help" film anniversaries. Timings are yet to be finalised but this promises to be a cracker.The festival will be held at the Chiswick Club Society, 11 - 13 Chiswick High Road W4 2ND
3rd March 2016
Wingsbanned are playing the Cavern Club in Liverpool on April 15th and the band are going to be playing the medley from Abbey Road amongst other songs added to the repertoire this year. In fact, the whole Abbey Road album will be played in its entirety in May at the Abbey Road On The River Festival.
Drummer/Vocalist Lee Herbert (27) expressed his joy at playing this music. "It's been a dream of mine to play the Abbey Road medley since I first heard The Beatles as a kid. Now it's a dream come true and I'm deeply moved."
Vocalist/Bassist Johnny Heywood (31) was equally forthright. "Bloody Lee Herbert forced us to play this and it's ok for Shane Gould who sings Octopus's bloody Garden. That's easy peasy but I have to do Oh Darling in a silly key and it's really at the limit of my talent. I'm deeply unmoved. Let him sing it and see how it sounds!"
Keysman Shane (24) was unworried. "I'm unworried as I have purchased a new keyboard which allows me to replicate any orchestral instruments or weird sound effects from those LSD laced 1969 sessions and really, it's a dream come true for me. I'm moved - deeply."
Guitarist Gareth (18) faced an uphill battle to play all the guitar parts necessary but in an astonishingly short time he had learned not only the lead & rhythm parts but everyone else's parts and all vocals, too. "I'd really rather be doing cabaret or a tribute to Django Reinhardt but sod it, any chance to use all my 6000 guitars in my collection then I'll take it. People will be moved when they hear me. Deeply"
Multi-tasking Ian Herbert (12) has already lined up a nice new Rosewood Telecaster similar to Beatle George's and plans on using it for the first time in Liverpool. "I've always wanted one, well for weeks anyway and now it's about to come true. Like a dream. When my wife finds out I've bought another guitar then I'll have to move. Actually, I'm in deep trouble."
After Liverpool the band returns to The Stanley Ward Club in Blackpool which was such a success last year and on May 1st will play the Oddfellow Arms in Apsley - a nice warm up for the States.
9th September 2015
Starclubbers guitarist/singer Fernando Duarte has organised a charity event at The Liverpool Cavern Club in aid of the refugees. It will be all day on October 11th and will feature bands such as Wingsbanned, Them Beatles, The Rockits and many more. Looks like a great day for a great cause.
24th August 2015
The band has been pretty busy recently with gigs in Blackpool, Hayes and Sutton.
The Stanley Ward Club is in Blackpool and what a fabulous place it is. The boys were made very welcome from the start and the packed audience loved the material. There is now a hard core set list which the band is using though there may be a few changes made depending on how "Macca-oriented" the audience might be. Guitarist Chris Hunt from the Rockits came to show support and joined the band for Live & Let Die just as he had done back in May in Louisville.We look forward to a return visit next year. See Gallery for pix.
Not long after this success the band played in Hayes where the large Working Men's Club was almost empty. This was a poor turn out and later the band was criticised for playing too many Paul McCartney and Beatles numbers! Words bloody fail me. We won't be returning.
Finally, it was back up to the Diamond Club in Sutton. Once again the turn out was not so good but the few that were there more than made up for it. It was one of the best shows the band has played there. Johnny was in good voice, the harmonies were crystal clear and though we followed the same basic set list a few additions and subs were made. Nice to get a chance to play Uncle Albert again as it was requested. The bar staff remarked that we were the best band to have played there so that's something! Back again in January so let's hope it has a better turn out.
5th August 2015
Wingsbanned played a short set at the 50th Anniversary Celebrations for the Help film on July ? With keys player Shane Gould (25) missing on holiday it meant the band played songs that didn't rely on heavy orchestration!
This gave a nice rocking vibe and allowed several Beatles songs to get played which don't often get an outing. Lee Herbert (31) took the lead on Don't Let Me Down which got its debut here and was played flawlessly.
However, the guys were unaware that there was a sound limiter on and it didn't stay on when the band got a little carried away. This meant the power cut off twice during the show halting Maybe I'm Amazed right at the crucial climax. Johnny Heywood (16) finished the song without a microphone.
Gareth Davies (22) enjoyed the extra sonic space left by the lack of keys but found the lack of physical space on the tiny stage prevented his usual boisterous act.
Ian Herbert (43) moved between electric, acoustic & bass guitar simultaneously singing backing vocals and gets stronger with every performance after missing much of last year's schedule.
The band has a handful of club gigs lined up before the big Mons Beatles Festival in October.
4th June 2015
The Apple Corps Band are organising a 50th anniversary celebration day for The Beatles HELP film and album on the 19th July. Just like last year's A Hard Day's Night celebration, this one will also take place in The Turk's Head pub, Twickenham and will feature different bands plus videos, guests and stalls selling related Beatle's bric-a-brac.
Wingsbanned will be there but it looks like we'll be missing keys player Shane Gould who is off happily holiday-ing with the family. Thus, the set met well be aimed at early Beatles, early Wings, simple Macca songs unless we find someone keen to learn the parts!
2nd June 2015
Wingsbanned returned from Louisville this week having successfully completed their seventh Abbey Road On The River Festival. New pix are on the GALLERY and everyone played out of their skins. Each year that has gone by has seen the band climb higher in the pecking order and seem to be a favourite on many. This is pleasing given how hard everyone has worked.
Many of the concerts were filmed and when we have edited the best bits then they'll appear on this site. Johnny reckoned he had his best vocal performance in years, staying in full voice right till the end and avoiding the dreaded "L'ville throat" that plagues so many.
Drummer Lee played 13 times as he was combining duties with The Rockits so averaged 3 gigs a day. Johnny played 11 times as he joined Never Mind The Bullocks on bass and depped with Janne Brough's Identity Crisis. Guitarist Gareth Davies also got up several times with the Rockits and good friends The Starclubbers to add his sparkle to the proceedings.
Next year may well see some changes and may well be the last but it promises to be the biggest and best yet. Wingsbanned are already planning!
Band On The Run from the first night (it was cold!) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4JvvyNMy4c
Live And Let Die from the second concert - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eFxcyGDmeo
13th March 2015
A last minute gig has come in at The Diamond Club, Sutton-In-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire.
The band has played here several times before and it's a fantastic club. It will be the only concert before Wingsbanned flies out to Louisville's Abbey Road Festival.
12th March 2015
More vocal rehearsals took place this week in the quiet seclusion of Gareth's house in Twickenham. One more of these and the boys will dare to go into a real studio for a noisy run through. Many new songs have been added to the list and now we have been specifically asked to do My Brave Face. This is good as the band does not cover enough non-60's & 70's numbers!
Drummer Lee Herbert will be extra busy this year as he has been asked to drum for UK band The Rockits as well as Wingsbanned duties. Fortunately, the concerts don't cross but there are some that run consecutively. Serves him right!
Johnny Heywood is performing for songs at the special John Lennon 75 Solo Years concert which is on both Saturday & Sunday. So here we will have Johnny doing Paul doing John!
5th March 2015
Rehearsals began this week for the upcoming annual trip to Abbey Road On The River, the World's largest Beatles festival. The band is playing 7 concerts over the 5 days which is more than ever before and will include a special concert relating the Black Album!
This is an unofficial album compiled from the Beatles solo tracks and so to do justice to the John, Ringo & George numbers, lead vocals have been shared throughout the band. This means that Gareth & Shane will each make their debut solo vocal performances at this concert and anticipation is high! We are not sure for what exactly but judging from what was heard the other night there is plenty of work to do yet. However, this now means that Wingsbanned can claim 5 lead vocalists and our two new singers can add a "slash" to their job descriptions!
14th February 2015
Wingsbanned are very pleased to announce they will be appearing at Beatles Day Mons, Belgium on Sat 17th Oct. hope to see some of you there. Also appearing are our
good friends, Cavern house band The Rockits.
10th February 2015
Wingsbanned played the Sports Bar in Bedwas on Saturday night and the joint was rocking.
This was the first time this line up had played together though it few could tell and everyone with the band was very happy with the results.
It was deliberately kept rocking with most of the popular Beatles and Macca songs being played with only a few curve balls thrown in for good measure. In the second half a chance encounter with an enthusiastic punter who announced Wings Over America as a favourite album and could we play Venus & Mars/Rock Show? They weren't on the list but got played anyway.
By the end the band could do no wrong and seldom played rockers like Long Tall Sally & Twist And Shout were put in plus Johnny B Good for an encore.
5th February 2015
The first gig of the year takes place on Saturday and it's back to the Bedwas Sports Club for a couple of hours of Macca's finest. The set will probably feature the more commercial and obvious songs but will also include numbers not played all that often such as Twist & Shout and You Can't Do That.
It will be the first time that the 5 piece line-up has played together but all indications are that this is the tightest and sound wise, the cleanest yet. Gareth and Shane are now up to having a microphone each and in some cases they actually are turned on. If they pass this test then we'll inflict their sound onto America.
There has been a first draft of May's gigs but as these may change we will report them as soon as all is definite.
We have been booked for the Beatles Festival in Mons, Belgium in October - more details to follow.