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Koobas, The

Possibly the least-known of Brian Epstein‘s post-Beatles charges from the Merseybeat era, The Koobas formed in 1962 and broke up in 1968.

Their story read like virtually every other Liverpool beat group: four young guys growing up in post-war Merseyside left school to play in various local groups before hitting on the right combination and forming their own band.

Leatherwood and Morris had been in The Thunderbeats, while Morris and Ellis came from The Midnighters.

The group were originally called The Kubas and changed the spelling in 1965. Due to local musical connections the band signed with Brian Epstein‘s NEMS company and appeared in the Mersey-ploitation movie Ferry Cross The Mersey (1965).

kubas_012The group secured a record deal with Pye and a support slot on The Beatles‘ final UK tour in December 1965 (they knew their manager!).

The Koobas’ debut single was a cover of Kim Weston‘s Take Me For A Little While, while the follow-up – You’d Better Make Up Your Mind (May 1966) – was equally unsuccessful.

The group were very popular in Germany and spent a great deal of time there, gigging and appearing on television shows like Bremen’s Beat! Beat! Beat!

In 1966 the group were offered a deal with Columbia/EMI but their three-year stint with the label was disappointing, despite some fine output including a cover of Cat Stevens‘ The First Cut Is The Deepest going head-to-head with PP Arnold‘s more successful version.

A quaintly English faux-psychedelic album (also called The Koobas) was released in 1969 but by then the band had thrown in the towel.

The album was destined to become something of a collector’s item (it commands over £600 in mint condition these days) while Ellis went off to Van der Graaf Generator and Leatherwood joined an outfit called March Hare with Pete Dello (ex-Honeybus).

The Koobas & Beryl Marsden.

Stu Leatherwood 
Guitar, vocals
Roy Morris 

Guitar, vocals
Keith Ellis 

Tony O’Riley