The Big Four


Years active:






Band Members:

Manny Cockle (Rhythm Guitar and Vocal)
Pete Bawden (Lead Guitar)
Peter Cockle (Bass)
Chris (Cotterell) Francis (Drums)
Dave Bunday (Drums)


Early Manny Cockle band, The Six Squares

The Deadbeats, late 50s

Thanks to QueeninCornwall

The Big Four (the usual abbreviation of the Big Four Beat Combo) were one of the top draws in Cornwall throughout the early-mid 60s and were an influence on many of the bands in the county.

Manny Cockle Four. c1961

(Thanks to QueeninCornwall)


Be Bop A Lula  


Mean Woman Blues

(Manny Cockle's 'Downbeats'. Crantock St Drill Hall, Newquay.1961)


Pete Bawden had previously played with the Staggerlees and was an extremely tasteful guitarist, his solos being beautifully constructed. 

Manny Cockle was a big hit with the ladies and also possessed an unbelievably rich voice. The band covered a wide range of styles, from beat to ballads which suited Manny’s style of singing well. Manny had previously played in a number of skiffle and rock and roll groups, including The Six Squares and the Deadbeats, being one of the first Cornish groups to start aplifying their equipment and using electric guitars.

After the break up of the Drifters Dave Bunday would replace Chris Cotterell (whose stage name was Chris Francis).

Dave Bunday., Blue Lagoon, Newquay

After playing gigs for around a year in Cornwall this new line-up would make the journey to London to seek fame and fortune, along with the many other bands from across the UK. Sadly when they arrived they soon found the streets were not paved with gold and after a few weeks of being unable to secure a single gig Dave returned to Cornwall, leaving the rest of the band behind. They did eventually get some gigs with a stand-in drummer, but nothing materialised from the doomed trip and they returned after several months.

When they came back Dave was asked to re-join the band and they played their reunion gig at the Tall Trees in Newquay.

The Cockle family were a very well known and respected family in the local area and it came as a great shock to all when Peter Cockle was tragically drowned soon after their reunion, and this would spell the end of the band.

Pete Bawden would later set up Room at the Top in Truro, with David Penprase and later PJ’s.

Fools Rush In (Lane Village Hall, Newquay)

Say Mama (St Brannocks Hotel, Newquay) 

With thanks to Manny Cockle & Queenincornwall




Links to other bands:

Dave played with the Drifters, Other Five, Jaguars, Good Times, Trevenson Tree Tramplers and Hairy Magpie
Chris played with the Onyx

Did you play in this band? If so please get in touch!