By Nick Warburton
- John Neighbour – lead vocals/harp
- Frank Torpey – lead guitar
- Martin Slavenic – Hammond organ
- Dennis Cowan – bass
- Malcolm Wolffe – drums
The Tribe was a West London band that formed around January 1965 and is notable for featuring future Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band bass player Dennis Cowan and Frank Torpey, who was the original lead guitarist in The Sweet. Drummer Malcolm Wolffe subsequently played with Geno Washington’s Ram Jam Band and Alan Price.
The Tribe Petticoat Magazine June 1966
Regulars at the Ealing Club in mid-1965, the band began to gig more widely in late 1965/early 1966 and travelled to Paris twice to play at the Gaff Club. The Tribe also spent a month in Copenhagen, Denmark in spring 1966. Petticoat Magazine ran a short article on them in June.
Signed to Shel Talmy’s Planet label, The Tribe’s debut single was the blues rock “The Gamma Goochie” c/w “I’m Leaving”, issued in February 1966. The band moved to RCA for its second release in May 1967 – the soulful “Love Is a Beautiful Thing” c/w “Steel Guitar and a Glass of Wine”.
That same month, the group landed a three-month residency at the Marquee. In mid-August, to tap into the burgeoning psychedelic scene, The Tribe changed name to Dream and appeared at the Festival of the Flower Children held at Woburn Festival on 27 August 1967.
When the band broke up in October 1967, Torpey spent a few months with another West London band, Wainwright’s Gentlemen where he met soon-to-be Sweet band mates Brian Connolly and Mick Tucker.
- 30 March 1965 – Nurses Club, Jolly Gardeners, Isleworth, Middlesex
- 8 April 1965 – Bromel Club, Bromley, Kent
- 2 May 1965 – Ealing Club, Ealing, Middlesex
- 13 May 1965 – Ealing Club, Ealing, Middlesex
- 23 May 1965 – Ealing Club, Ealing, Middlesex
- 31 May 1965 – Ealing Club, Ealing, Middlesex
- 6 August 1965 – California Ballroom, Dunstable with Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band and Bern Elliott & The Klan
- 9 December 1965 – Ealing Club, Middlesex
- 5 February 1966 – California Ballroom, Dunstable with The Overlanders and The Amboy Dukes
- 18 March 1967 – New Yorker Discotheque, Swindon, Wiltshire with Sac-0-Woe
- 30 March 1967 – Marquee, London with Marmalade
- 4 May 1967 – Marquee, London with Marmalade
- 15 June 1967 – Marquee, London with Marmalade
- 1 July 1967 – Marquee, London with The Stalkers
- 8 July 1967 – Marquee, London with The Love Affair
- 15 July 1967 – Marquee, London with The Monopoly
- 22 July 1967 – Marquee, London with Ten Years After
- 29 July 1967 – Marquee, London with Darlings
- 5 August 1967 – Marquee, London The Third Eye
- 12 August 1967 – Marquee, London with Impact Blues
- 19 August 1967 – Marquee, London with Nite People
- 26 August 1967 – Marquee, London with The Third Eye
- 27 August 1967 – Festival of the Flower Children, Woburn Abbey, Woburn, Bedfordshire with The Move, Eric Burdon & The New Animals, The Soft Machine and others
- 2 September 1967 – Marquee, London
- 9 September 1967 – Marquee, London with Herbal Mixture
- 16 September 1967 – Marquee, London with The Iveys
- 23 September 1967 – Marquee, London with Mud
- 30 September 1967 – Marquee, London with The Third Eye
Thanks to Frank Torpey and Bruce Welsh for information.
Gigs from Melody Maker and the Middlesex County Times & West Middlesex Gazette
To contact the author with any further information, email: Warchive@aol.com
Comment from Nick Warburton
I found the following two gigs for The Tribe in the Cambridgeshire Times:
26 February 1966 – Marcam Hall, March, Cambridgeshire with The Fenmen
3 September 1966 – The Gaeity, Ramsey, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire with The Eyes of Blond