The Diablos (Oldham)

Courtesy Bert Ashton


  • Gordon Leach - vocals
  • Alan Warburton - lead
  • Johnny Kirkham - drums
  • Ray Whitehead - rhythm
  • Billy Lees - bass


In 1959 a group of lads from the Oldham area formed a beat group and called themselves The Diablos. They became the resident group at the Waterloo Hotel, Union St, Oldham and later became the resident group in the large upstairs concert room at the Friendship Inn, Mumps, Oldham.

The lads also found success in playing at local workings men's clubs.

Venn Tracey and the Diablos


  • Venn Tracey - vocals
  • Alan Warburton  - lead
  • Charlie Sidebottom - drums
  • Ray Whitehead - rhythm
  • Billy Lees - bass

About 1962, Gordon Leach left the group and was replaced by singer Venn Tracey, and still resident at the Friendship, they attracted a large following and soon found bookings at some of the bigger venues in the Lancashire area.

They also did a stint as warm-up group for Top of the Pops at the Dickinson Road studios in Manchester. The lads also won the best beat group award at the Oldham Empire.

Sadly the group broke up in the late sixties and the lads went their separate ways.

Venn Tracy took to the road as a very successful comedian and MC, appearing at nightclubs and sportsman's dinners throughout the northwest, and is still active today. Alan Warburton joined the Manton Set, he still lives in the Waterhead area of Oldham.  

Venn Tracey and the Diablos have always been good friends of mine. The group were a very tight combo. Alan Warberton left them and came with me in the Tony Manton Set. Venn is a good friend but now I'm living in Spain I don't keep in touch with them. Also Venn looked after me when I was in a bit of trouble - can't speak too highly of them all. Happy days.

Tony Manton

After leaving the DIABLOS Gordon Leach joined THE RENEGADES

Peter Havery - 17/3/13
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