Shad Beats


Years active:




St Just in Penwith


Band Members:                                         

Philip Semmens (Rhythm)
Colin Williams (Bass)

Gary Kaute (drums)
Alan Cargeeg (bass)
Ritchard Urbanski (Rhythm)
John Turner (Lead and Vocals) 
Diane McParland (vocals)             


Part Shadows and part Beatles. A name thought up by colleagues of Diane Mcparlan in the Co-Op she worked in. Diane used to sing about ten songs, including Lulu’s ‘Shout’, Sandy Possie’s ‘Single Girl’ and The Crystals ‘Then I Kissed Her’, as well as a couple of Sonny & Cher songs.

They often played in St Just, WI Pendeen ambulance hall, Sennen Cove [in the lifeboat house] and once at The Lizard & Mousehole. The band didn't have a lot of gear, but hired it from The Sabres who had stopped playing at that time. On one occasion they visited the Winter Gardens to see The Pretty Things, and as there were some problems with the backing band they ended up borrowing the Pretties equipment and playing a 45min set!

The band would change their name to Give and Take and Diane left the band at this time.

John still does solo pub work in and around St Just and Diane married and moved to Australia, where she still performs with a musical theatre group.


Many thanks to Gary Kaute for further information on the band and for supplying the great pictures

The Shadbeats first started with John Turner on lead guitar Phillip Semmens on rythm Tony Williams on bass guitar and Gary Kaute on drums. Phillip stopped playing in the  the band when he received a severe electric shock from one of the amplifiers.

I had an old valve radio which had a PU output which we used and i suspect it was something to do with this that caused the shock having no earth on it. I could not even test the radio at home because we had no electric in those days only paraffin,tilley and candles. We did have a Linear valve amp which was manufactured  with no case just the bare chassis with the valves sticking up.

Diane Turner, John’s sister came in on lead vocals for a number of songs.

My first set of drums came from James music shop in Penzance. It was a John Grey kit red champagne sparkle and cost £36.00 new on hire purchase for two years.

I also played drums for  Pendeen pantomime in the churchrooms where i discovered a 1948 Olympic  chrome on brass snare drum with 28 inch bassdrum and Chinese temple blocks which i bought for 30 shillings, £150 at todays prices. I still have the snare drum and have been offered recently to be the  drummer for Pendeen Brass band where this drum originated.

Cause we only had pushbikes which was a bit of a luxury we brought the drums home on the bus and the diesel  froze in cold weather conditions outside Boscaswell stores at Pendeen so we had to wait to transfer the drums to another bus that came along.

I made up a buggy and trailer for my drums out of pram wheels cause i lived a mile away from practice in St.Just and i used to roll on down hill mainly to get there. One time in thick fog the trailer overturned and the drums scattered in the road so i panicked to pick them up before a car came although there not many on the road then.

I still have the bass drum head which is made of pigskin as all drumheads were then and i have included a picture of it. The words shad beats incorporating two drumsticks were painted by Marsden Prophet who did out the pirate scenes in the Tyringham arms, Smugglers and the Lobster pot in Mousehole apart from other places.

We did not have much in the way of equipment so i  bought two round crystal mics at 12/6 pence each from Joslings electrical shop on the corner of High Street at the top of Causeway head Penzance.

For microphone stands we had the idea of hacksawing off a couple of steering columns from some very old cars near Leswidden claypit till a bloke came out and asked us what we thought we were up to sawing the steering off of his cars.

When we mentioned we were in a band and needed them for mic stands he was ok about it. The steering wheel served as a good sturdy base and the old trafficator rod which ran down the centre served as an adjustable height which we just taped up including taping the mics until we got some Reslo mics.


Links to other bands:

The band would continue as Give and Take

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