The Marquee Club - A tribute site dedicated to the history of the legendary Marquee club at London's 90 Wardour street.

Interview - Trevor Duplock of the Giants

Trevor Duplock
Picture courtesy of Brightonbeat.com

Trevor Duplock is one of the witnesses of Brighton's 60's music scene who helps to keep the memory alive throughout Brightonbeat.com, a web site dedicated to the history of the city's early rock scene and it's bands. Guitarist and vocalist Trevor Duplock was member of the Sapphires, and later the Giants. The band toured throughout the UK and Germany and played at the celebrated Cavern Club in Liverpool supporting the Animals and started a Star-Club tour with legendary rock n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis which has been often referred to as the best live recording of the 60's. The Sapphires and the the Giants are also credited as the most important beat bands at the time, which built a strong teenage following and provoked the gathering of two thousand teenagers at the local clubs. In 1966 , Trevor Duplock joined the soul band Shelley. which was actually formed by ex-members from the bands the Giants and the T-Bones, and played again at the Marquee club supporting Free. The band became one of the most popular bands in Scandinavia, where they had legion of devoted fans.


-What is the first image that springs to your mind when you hear the words Marquee Club?

Sonny Boy Williamson on stage playing harmonica, fantastic!

-Do you remember the very first time you ever visited the club?

I went to see the Cyril Davies All-Stars  in the summer of 1963. A truly great band.

-By early 1964, you were playing  with the Giants and had a residency at Brighton’s celebrated Starlight Rooms and you also played at the infamous Cavern Club in Liverpool. Around the same time, you played at the Marquee club for the first time. How different was the atmosphere at these clubs from London's Marquee?

In those days the atmosphere at all the great venues was very similar, the three clubs mentioned had many things in common, a very knowledgeable audience and a crowd in touching distance of the stage and the musicians. So everyone was very involved in the music and the atmosphere was very special. I loved playing all three venues.

-Do you think that playing at the Marquee was helpful for the career of the Giants?

Certainly, we were from the south coast and needed that London focus, and the Marquee was the place to get it.

-What kind of repertory did you use to play at the time?

Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, James Brown, Arthur Alexander, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Jimmy Reed, Martha & the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, and many others!

-In 1964, the Giants toured Europe with legendary rock n' roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis. What is your memory about the music business in those days?

As far as the rock and R&B music scene was concerned it wasn't a business at all, the sixties made it happen. All the managers and agents were completely new at it and all the old school managers didn't understand what was happening and had no connection with this new form of entertainment. Which is why the music took off in new venues like the Marquee. Very exciting, chaotic wonderful days.

-In early 1964, some members of your first band the Sapphires formed the T-Bones, which had one of the longest residencies ever at the Marquee club. Do you remember going to see them at the club?

Several times, the most memorable being a performance on a Friday evening after an afternoon recording of Ready Steady Go, I had travelled up with the band as the TV show included a lot of Motown stars, one of them being Stevie Wonder. In the evening he came down to the Marquee and sat in with the T-Bones playing harmonica and the drums. Amazing!

-By the fall of 1968, you played a couple of shows at the Marquee club with your new band called Shelley, supporting Free. At that moment, Shelley was the most popular band in Scandinavia where you had legion of devoted fans. Did you remember noticing a big contrast between the audience of the Marquee and your Scandinavian fans?

Only that we were a lot less well known in London than we were in Scandinavia, but the music always wins through and we enjoyed it.

-What did you think when you heard about the demolishing of the original Marquee club building at 90 Wardour street in the 90's?

Disappointment of course, but all the great clubs have gone.

-Have you ever visited Wardour street again?

I still drink in the pubs there sometimes.

-Talking about Soho pubs, do you remember drinking at the infamous The Ship in those days?

I drank in the Ship and the Intrepid Fox.

-Have you ever told your children about your gigs at the Marquee club?

I don't have kids, but I tell everyone else.

-If you had to define the effect that the Marquee club had in your life or in your musical career, how would you put it into words?

Thats hard to say as I was lucky enough to have played so many great venues, but as I said before, to make it on the London scene you had to have played there. It was a very special place in the sixties.

Interview by K. Barroso, March 2006.
Copyright © TheMarqueeClub.net.

More info on the Giants, the Shappires, Shelley and the T-Bones at Brightonbeat web site