Six­ties singer a Star at­trac­tion af­ter 57 years

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - NEWS - By Alan Smith aj­smith@thek­m­group.co.uk @aj­smithKM

Many will have seen the blue plaque erected in the Royal Star Ar­cade to com­mem­o­rate the late David Bowie who used to per­form there when it was still the Royal Star Ho­tel back in the 1960s.

Of course the su­per­star wasn’t ac­tu­ally David Bowie then – he was Davy Jones, lead singer with Cox­heath band The Man­ish Boys.

The name change came later so he would not be con­fused with Davy Jones of The Mon­kees.

His blue plaque was un­veiled last month by Top­per Headon, for­mer drum­mer with The Clash.

Sadly Bowie is no longer with us, but live mu­sic is re­turn­ing to the Star, in High Street, Maid­stone, with an ap­pear­ance by Five In The Bar in the court­yard out­side the 4 De­grees Craft Bar and Restau­rant on Fri­day, Au­gust 5.

In a strange twist of fate, the leader singer of Five In The Bar, Tony Elling­ham, used to ap­pear with Bowie at The Royal Star back in 1964.

Mr Elling­ham, from Lordswood, was then the lead singer with Gravesend-based band The Ca­su­als.

He said: “We backed Bowie’s band on sev­eral oc­ca­sions. In fact, when Bowie was hav­ing trou­ble find­ing lodg­ings he stayed for sev­eral months with a mate of mine, Reg Keam, in Twydall.”

Reg Keam later be­came the drum­mer in Mr Elling­ham’s next band, Unit 5.

Mr Elling­ham said: “Bowie was a strange char­ac­ter even back then – though ac­tu­ally of course the show­biz in­dus­try was full of strange char­ac­ters.

“It will be a very nos­tal­gic re­turn to The Royal Star for me, and for some other mem­bers of the band who also played there at times.”

Mr Elling­ham had his own brush with fame, when in 1969 – per­form­ing un­der the stage name Do­rian Gray – he had a top 40 hit with “I’ve Got You On My Mind” stay­ing seven weeks in the charts. He ap­peared on Top of The Pops with Cilla Black and Tom Jones.

His fame never reached Bowie’s stel­lar heights, but at the age of 75, he is still per­form­ing 57 years af­ter his first ap­pear­ance with The Ca­su­als.

The 4 De­grees con­cert is free en­try. Five In The Bar will per­form from 9pm to 11pm.

Band pic­ture: Bob Solly

The Man­nish Boys with a young David Bowie, right back and the blue plaque at Royal Star Ar­cade

Tony Elling­ham dur­ing his chart hit days as Do­rian Gray

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