The Band's first gig, at Heamoor Scout Hut. L-R; Keith Vingoe (Lead guitar),
Malcolm Perry (Drums),
Brian Ableman (Vocals), Billy Oxenham (Rhythm),
Dave Berryman (Bass)
Circuit 5 were formed by a group of friends around late 1965. At the time Keith was working with another band in the Penzance area and was storing their gear in his cellar. When his friends came to visit they made use of the kit and played some songs together. His mates persuaded him to form a band with them. The band took their name after Keith’s guitar at the time, a Watkins Circuit 4.
While the band didn’t play any of their own material they did play cover versions in their own style, partly due to struggling to reproduce the original and also difficulties in deciphering the lyrics! The songs the band picked were quite diverse, and even included the ‘Theme from the Beverly Hillbillies’!
Some of the songs the band covered were Not Fade Away, Under My Thumb, Out of Time and Spider and The Fly (Rolling Stones); Kids Are Alright and My Generation (Who); You Were On My Mind (Crispian St Peters); Looking Back (John Mayall's Bluesbreakers); These Boots Are Made For Walking (Nancy Sinatra); Hideaway and Hold Tight (DDDMBT). They also played many RnB standards such as Hold On I'm
Comin, Don't Fight It, Land of a Thousand Dances, Respect, Down in the
Valley, 634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A) and Midnight Hour. taking the lead from Geno Washington they would also seque into several songs, once going through a whole set without stopping!
By 1966 the band were securing regular gigs and had upgraded their kit. The photo at the top of the page shows Circuit 5 at Penzance’s Gremlin Club, with Malcolm Perry playing one of the few Pearl drum kits in the county. Dave Berryman had also moved from using a Vox to a WEM Rapier Bass.
The band supported the Symbols (of ‘Bye Bye Baby’ and ‘The Best Part Of Breaking Up’ fame) at the Winter Gardens. At the Flamingo they supported the Quiet Five who had a minor hit with a cover of ‘Homeward Bound’. Also at the Flamingo they supported the Manchester Playboys. The band also competed twice in the annual Rock and Rhythm contest.
They would also knock around with other local bands such as Modesty Blues, Accoustics, Onyx, Bluecaps and the Layabouts. There was a chippy in Bodmin that used to be a regular hang out for bands to talk about gigs and gear. Bands could order their chips for later in the evening, after the gig, where they would all meet up and chew the fat. Bedford and Transit bands filled with gear would line the main street in the town after midnight!
A Tuesday night at Carbis Bay Memorial Hall, performing 'Not Fade Away'. The band would perform their first set in stage suits and then return later in their mod gear!
St Ives Rugby club
In Jan 1967 Simon Edwards was minus a band (despite recently playing on stage with Eric Clapton at Redruth's Flamingo...) and Circuit 5 were in need of a new guitarist. Simon was approached to join the band, which included is his old band mate from The Surfers, Keith Strick. After a rehearsal at the 'Trencrom Revellers' hut he was invited to join. Simon was with the band for around a year.
When old Surfers drummer Phil Blake returned to Cornwall it caused a divide in the band whether he should be brought in as the bands drummer. He wasn't, and Dave and Simon left the band shortly after.
Heamoor British Legion
L-R; Keith Srick, Billy Oxenham, Malcom Perry, Will Nankervis, Malcom Mckenna. 1968
A short lived band consisting of Phil (drums) Malcolm McKenna (guitar) and Dave (bass), then played as 'New Circuit', before renaming themselves Supernatural.
Tragically, Billy Oxenham would commit suicide.
Keith would play for several years as a session musician and continues to play in local band Delta Skelter, with Gavin Carter who drummed for Smokey Joes