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Migil 5, The

Starting life as a North London pub jazz trio with a singing drummer (Mike Felix) the band became The Migil Four with the addition of balding, Acker Bilk-bearded guitarist Red Lambert, which then tipped their allegiance to pop (which they partly interpreted as speeding up Moonglows ballads like Glad Rag Doll and Lucky Old Sun).

The band took over The Dave Clark Five‘s residency at the Tottenham Royal in January 1964 and contrived to become more like their predecessors by adding a saxophonist, Alan Watson.

migil5_02The Migil Five then transformed Ronald Ronalde’s Mocking Bird Hill into a facsimile of bluebeat and cleaned up on the charts accordingly (issued by Pye, the song reached #10).

After two Top 40 hits, hopes were high for Boys & Girls, penned for them by trumpeter Frank Thomas of The Johnny Howard Band, who handed the manuscript over at the aforementioned Tottenham Royal (this level of trivia doesn’t come cheap, you know).

But the Migils didn’t boost their fortunes by declaring that the bluebeat boom was over, and then issuing a record in precisely that style . . .

By 1967 they had reverted to the jazz cabaret style in which they felt most comfortable.


Mike Felix
Vocals, drums
Red Lambert
Guitar, vocals
Lenny Blanche
Gil Lucas
Alan Watson