The Big Sound aka The Fat Sound

In memory of Dave Baxter

Line-up included

  • Karol Keyes aka Luan Peters - Vocals
  • Kevin Parrott - Guitar
  • Graham Evans - Drums
  • Mick Coleman - Bass/Vocals
  • Geoff Peach - Tenor sax
  • Phil Ramsbottom - Baritone sax
  • John Redfern - Organ

The group were primarily a soul outfit modelled on the Stax house band, which backed such artistes as Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding. Mick's style of singing complimented the line up, and the band spent much of the 1960s based mostly in Denmark, from where they regularly toured the rest of Europe and Israel.

We were offered a job backing a blonde girl singer called Karol Keyes, but she didn't want to be associated with the word FAT, so we changed it to The Big Sound in 1966. Deek River's Big Sound had finished a few years earlier. Then while we were abroad, Simon Dupree and the Big Sound came out with there record "Kites".

Karol Keys became Luan Peters who fronted the group 5000 Volts when Tina Charles left. She also became an actress, did several Hammer Horror films.

She was the "Australian" actress in Fawlty Towers, who Basil stumbled into on the landing, placing a hand on her chest covered in black polish.

The band were in Denmark during 1966/67, recruited to back a Danish singer called Rock Nalle (real name Roland Sorensen) - he's still famous over there.

Kevin's letter home during first trip overseas

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I used to go to Moston College with Phil Ramsbottom in the 60's. At that time they were called The Fat Sound. I remember him telling me that they were teaming up with Karol Keyes and were having to change their name to The Big Sound.

I remember him passing out flyers for The Fat Sound in class. Quite a guy as I remember him. I've wondered in the past what became of him.

Jim Chadwick - 7/6/11

I just went into the Manchester Beat, and remember my brother Colin Leah who was the lead guitarist early 60's saying when he had left the group the pathfinders that they had made a record, but have never known what it was, could you please let me know the records name. I went to see the pathfinders when they played at Middleton Town Hall and with the Meteors. The pathfinders when Colin however left the group The Pathfinders. I think around 1963 not sure, he emigrated to Australia in 1964. They certainly did well as they played in other cities. it seemed they changed their names twice, so was their record recorded with their other name. If you can please let me know the record name, and what the name of the group was changed to then. thank you.
I would like to here it I don't think Colin as heard it either not sure.

I was sent a dvd and on it was the matchstix man I thought was very good, was wondering if that was the record they made.
Barbara Mcvey nee Leah - 11th March 2014 
Hello Barbara, I replaced Colin in The Pathfinders. I came to your parent's house on Clarendon Rd. in 1963 & Colin went through some of the songs with me. The Pathfinders never had a record release. However, a Liverpool group with the same name had at least one release on Decca, and some people think it was us, but it wasn't.
Our Pathfinders developed in to a soul band and changed the name to The Fat Sound & then The Big Sound in 1966.

Along with my friend Mick Coleman who was the Big Sound bass player, we had a number one hit with Matchstalk Men & Matchstalk Cats & Dogs in 1978. We are still playing together today, with our band "The Matchstalk Men'.

I still see Pathfinders drummer Dave Snape regularly, and rhythm guitar player Derek Morrison visits once a year from Australia.
Kevin Parrott - 23rd May 2014 
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